EDF Energy customers will soon be able to control the heating remotely thanks to fancy thermostats from Netatmo.
The energy provider has formed a partnership with smart home company Netatmo, whose smart thermostats let you check and change the temperature in your house from your iOS, Android or Windows Phone.
Customers who sign up for one of EDF Energy’s HeatSmart plans will be able to snap up a Netatmo thermostat. It’s not yet confirmed how much EDF customers will have to pay for the Netatmo product – normally £199 with installation – as pricing details have yet to be confirmed.
“We are very pleased to sign this partnership with EDF Energy. We demonstrate we are an essential partner to address the issues related to energy, a major society concern,” said Fred Potter, CEO and founder of Netatmo.
“Consumers want to save money on their energy consumption so we are very excited to bring a hassle-free, smart thermostat solution to the UK market.”
Perhaps placing a greater premium on design than other smart heating companies, Netatmo’s Philippe Starck-designed heating hub looks more like a perfume bottle than a boring old thermostat.
It’s designed so that it can be a static unit fitted to a wall or exist as a portable, wireless device that you can leave on your coffee table.
The round-cornered white plastic body is surrounded by a translucent, sharp-edged plexiglass shell. In the centre of the front sits an e ink panel. This displays the current temperature in white and your desired target temperature in black. You can change the target temperature by half a degree (Celsius) pressing on either side of the screen.
A neat thing about Netatmo’s portable thermo is that the screen and the touch controls rotate and dynamically adjust, whichever way up you’re holding it. You can also augment the look and feel of the device with coloured strips that come in the box. The demo model we saw came with a fetching orange hue – EDF’s colours – but you can add sky blue, green, grey or a rather acidic yellow if you prefer.
It’s not just a pretty face though; Netatmo’s system also learns your daily heating habits. In theory, this allows the system to better predict when you’re going to want hot water or when you’ll want to crank the heating up to 30 degrees, therefore saving you money.
Netatmo’s Auto-Adapt feature also accounts for things like home insulation and the outdoor temperature. The unit will over time figure out how long it takes to reach your target temperatures and determine how to get there in the most energy-efficient manner.
Of course, the amount of cash you’ll save with a system like Netatmo depends greatly on how you use it. To give you a better idea of how well you’re doing, Netatmo will send out a monthly energy report which will come with personalised recommendations.
The mobile apps also let you monitor your energy consumption letting you monitor energy consumption in real time. You won’t be able to see how much you’re spending in real money terms sadly, but you’d need a separate smart meter for that anyway.
Netatmo is also one of the few smart heating systems out there to launch an official Windows Phone app – with the exception of Tado, few other companies are reaching out to warm the frost-bitten hands of Nokia Lumia owners.
Update: A previous version of this article stated the Netatmo products would be available as part of an EDF package. This has been amended.
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