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Hive by British Gas hints at smart home controls as it connects 100,000th customer

British Gas wants to expand its Hive range by adding smart home products like lights and security cameras.

With 100,000 customers now using its Hive smart heating system, which launched over a year ago, British Gas wants to use this as a springboard into customer’s homes.

Smart home services the gas and electricity giant has mooted include smart lighting, home monitoring and remote pet care, meaning things like Philips Hue, BT Smart Home Cam and Kittyo might be offered alongside dual-fuel plans in the future.

Hive Mind: British Gas wants to offer customers more than just a heating solution
Hive Mind: British Gas wants to offer customers more than just a heating solution

Kassir Hussain, director of connected homes for British Gas, said: “A year ago today we started on a journey to transform how people control their homes. It’s incredible that we’ve now got over 100,000 customers experiencing greater heating and hot water control with our first product, Hive Active Heating. Now we’re looking towards joining up and evolving the connected home. 
 
“Our customers who have Hive are asking us ‘What’s next?’ And even though there’s a lot more still to come with Hive Active Heating, we’re looking at a suite of home automation and control products alongside an open, developer friendly platform.”

The announcement comes after smart heating system Evohome got its own IFTTT (If This Then That) channel, letting customers trigger smart home actions, and Scottish Power partners Climote revealed plans to turn its heating hub into a future smart home control centre

Hive is a smart heating system that lets customers check and control the temperature of their homes from remote online and mobile dashboards. The idea is that by being able to warm your house up slowly before you get home from work, you will use less power and therefore save money. 

In April 2014, British Gas added a geolocation update that lets your phone tell Hive when you are getting close to home, allowing it to automatically crank the heating up for your arrival.

As winter approaches, British Gas polled 2,035 Hive customers to see how they planned to prepare for the drop in temperatures. The majority of Hive customers (94 per cent) said they expect to use Hive at least once a week, with over half (58 per cent) expecting to use it once a day. 

Over two thirds (70 per cent) of Hive punters believe they have made savings since having the product installed – although they won’t know exactly how big a saving until those winter statements come in, or until we all start using smart meters.

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