Nest smart thermostat comes to nPower, cools your energy bill

nPower is the first European energy company to offer the Nest Learning Thermostat, and at £100 installation is cheaper than rival Hive.

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The Nest Learning Thermostat. Andrew Hoyle/CNET

You can warm your nest without burning money as nPower becomes the first European energy company to sell the smart Nest Learning Thermostat, turning up the heat on rival British Gas smart system Hive.

Nest's smart heating controller talks to your phone and adapts your energy use to your comings and goings, saving the planet and in theory saving you money at the same time. It's been keeping Americans toasty for a while before going on sale in the UK this year, and now nPower's deal offers a cheaper way to get a Nest installed in your home.

The Nest thermostat is available with nPower's "Intelligent Fix - April 2017" tariff, which fixes energy prices for the next three years. You have to get both your electricity and gas from nPower, and you have to pay by direct debit. The tariff costs just an extra £1 per month over standard charges, but you do have to fork out £100 to install the Nest.

Recently snapped up by Google, Nest connects your home appliances to your phone or tablet to give you more control. Other Nest products include the Nest Protect smart smoke alarm, although that has run into problems lately. The different devices are designed to talk to each other as well as to your phone, with the thermostat shutting off your boiler if the smoke alarm detects carbon monoxide leaking.

The Nest thermostat learns your preferred temperatures and adjusts your heating settings based on your schedule and on the weather, coming on earlier on cold days, for example. Whereas an old-school thermostat turns on the heating at scheduled times even if you're out, the Nest's sensors can tell when the house is empty and automatically turns off the heating.

Equally, if you are out -- or you're home but can't be bothered to walk to the airing cupboard -- you can control the heating from an app on your phone, tablet or online. The app also shows your energy use over the past 10 days.

On its own without an energy contract, the Nest thermostat costs £180, or £249 if you get a man in to install it.

Energy suppliers are warming up to the idea of smart heating. British Gas offers a smart thermostat with similar features to the Nest, called Hive. Hive costs £199 from British Gas, twice as much as nPower's Nest installation.

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