How much does the Hive Unit cost?

A basic Hive heating unit on its own will cost about £100 but if this is the first Hive unit you have fitted in your home, then you will also need to buy the Hive Hub which allows you to connect the Hive units to your Smartphone. A Hive thermostat with Hive Hub costs around £150- £200 with any labour charges on top. View our table of Hive installation costs below

What is Smart heating?

Smart heating is a generic term that refers to any heating system that you can control by remote using a mobile app. A smart thermostat connected to the internet will allow you to access your home’s central heating system from your smartphone either from remote or within the property’s four walls.

There are lots of appealing reasons to install a Smart thermostat:-

  • You might want to upgrade your existing thermostat to a smart unit
  • You can control your heating whilst you are out and about or just sitting on the sofa
  • Smart technology allows you to see trends in your heating behaviour and keep track of how much you are spending on energy
  • Turn off devices you are not using instantly with voice commands, several appliances on standby can really add to your energy bills over the course of a year
  • You can control your energy bills with ultimate flexibility and varied heating patterns and don’t need to be confined to pre-set timings morning and evening
  • Smart technology offers more control of your heating particularly if your routine changes a lot or is unpredictable; this could save you a fortune by not heating an empty house but will still allow you to enjoy a warm environment when you come home
  • Receive reminders to your Smartphone if you have left the heating on
    Enjoy a holiday mode where you can tell the thermostat your holiday dates and it will set itself to turn on just before you come back
  • A Smart thermostat can be combined with other Smart technology and product

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What is Hive?

Hive is part of a product category known as smart heating. If you want to have Hive, you don’t need to make any alterations or adjustments to your heating system other than the installation of a new thermostat in your house and an app on your phone to control it.

Hive tells your boiler to heat up the hot water and your home so just like your normal thermostat but there is a bit more to it. The thermostat comes with a Hive Receiver which attaches to your boiler’s circuits and relays the thermostat’s instructions to it and the boiler’s temperature back to the thermostat.

If you really want to make the most of all the features Hive has to offer then you will need the Hive Hub or combine the Hive thermostat with any of the other products from the Hive suite. The Hive Hub will allow you to use the internet or Wi-fi controls rather than the manual buttons on the actual thermostat.

Hive Active Heating

All the high tech features of Hive are found on Hive Active Heating and you will need a Hive Hub if you want to interface the thermostat with the Hive app on your phone or device. The standard Hive Hub works by plugging into the broadband router with an Ethernet cable and this works fine if you just want to manage the heating. But the newer Hub 360 model has additional functions such as notifications if it hears alarms or breaking glass. It also has a memory so functions can continue even if the Wi-fi drops out. It features a wireless internet connection so you can put it anywhere you like in the house.

What other Smart functions does it have?

You will get auto-frost protection which you can enable to keep your pipes at a minimum temperature of 7 degrees to prevent frost damage or splitting in very cold weather.
Turn on the geolocation settings and the app can control your heating based on your proximity to the house, turning off as you leave a small area around your house and then switching it on as you enter a larger radius to make sure you walk into a pre-heated house but without the inconvenience and cost of pre-set timings which are no use if you are delayed or change your plans, just wasting heat on an empty property. If this all sounds too technical then it can just send you reminders to switch off the heating when you don’t want it.

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What does a Hive Hub do?

Using a Hive Hub alongside other Hive products, you can change settings simultaneously with a single action using the Hive app on your phone to co-ordinate this. For instance, you could preset the Hub to switch everything off when you leave the house and then automatically turn it back on again when you return. Or, you can set the Hive Hub to trigger sequentially so you can use the motion sensors to automatically switch the heating off and on as it detects the front door moving.

What is Multizone?

For an extra cost, you can add Multizone to your plan which lets you designate up to three areas in your home with thermostats which function independently plus you can add scheduled heating times for these three areas. This means you can plan ahead and set areas to be warm and cosy before you use them but without necessarily having to heat the whole house.

Come home to a snug lounge and then an hour before bedtime, the independent thermostat can make sure the bathroom is at the perfect temperature for a relaxing soak and then the bedroom at just the right level of warmth before you go to bed. You will need what is described as a zone heating system first so do ensure that you check that your home is compatible with this before you order the product.

How does Hive Heating work?

Hive Heating can be as simple as your regular thermostat so literally, you turn the dial on the wall to the temperature that you want. There is a settings menu so you can pre-programme different functions for easy operation in the future.

You can use Hive with voice commands

Either of the two Hive Hubs currently available will work with an internet connection and link to a device of your choice to work both inside and outside the house. You can also combine Hive with Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa so that you can give Hive voice-activated controls. Voice commands will let you turn the Hive thermostat on and off and adjust the level.

Hive is also compatible with the IFTTT service – If This Then That – which is a web-based service that allows users to create chains of conditional statements triggered by changes that occur with other internet services such as Facebook, Instagram, Gmail or Pinterest. This requires a bit more work but you sign up with IFTTT then you can find Hive in their library from which you select the Active Heating option. Then you can set up lots of conditional statements in the form of ‘if this, then that’ from the menu of more than fifty preset online choices.

If you want to, you can also use a slimmed-down app on the Apple Watch which can switch plugs on and off, turn the lights on and off or boost your heating or hot water.

What are the benefits of installing Hive?

Hive claim you can save £130 per year on your heating costs so that’s the first inducement – one year of savings will almost cover the Hive installation cost. Also, you can add lots of extra functions to your central heating system beyond the 24-hour schedule which is on a simple repeat setting. Hive provides the ultimate in flexible home heating meaning you only heat your house when you really need to.

Customising your Hive thermostat

When you buy the Hive thermostat, you can customise the outer frame with one from a choice of twelve different Dulux paint colours. So now you can blend or contrast with your interior design. There is also a stand you can put the Hive thermostat on if you want to keep it portable and move it around the house.

The Hive thermostat is very attractive with a design-driven responsive display and buttons for ease of use. The Hive thermostat was designed by the famous Swiss tech designer, Yves Báhar.

Buying Hive

If you buy from the Hive website, there are two options. The ‘Active Heating without Hive Hub’ bundles provides the thermostat and receiver in stand-alone mode. The Active Heating’ bundle gives you a thermostat and receiver plus a basic Hive Hub which enables purchasers to access the advanced features on the Hive app. Or you can upgrade to the Hive Hub 360.

The Warm Welcome Home pack offers the basic essentials plus two dimmable light bulbs, a smart plug, a motion detector and a second-generation Amazon Echo Dot which will allow you to use Hive voice commands.

Before you click ‘buy now’ you can add some extras to your purchase, a coloured frame, a stand for portability and additional thermostats for Multizone use.

What are the Hive Plans?

Hive Plans allow you to pay for your purchase over 12 months rather than all up front. Both of the two Active Heating bundles can be purchased this way although the Hive Hub or Hub 360 will cost more per month than just the Active Heating thermostat and Hive receiver.

Other Hive Products

In addition to the Hive Hubs and thermostats, Hive also sells the Hive camera and the advanced Hive View indoor and outdoor security cameras. These have a range of sensors which fit on the doors and windows of your home to detect motion either for security or to act as a trigger for other Hive products.

Additionally, Hive sells smart lights, normal dimmable bulbs or colour-changing versions, smart plugs which can be turned on and off from remote or with voice controls, a water leak detector and a signal booster for houses with a poor Wi-fi connection.

A smart thermostat connected to the internet will allow you to access your home’s central heating system from your smartphone either from remote or within the property’s four walls.

FAQs - Hive Installation Cost

Is Hive a UK brand?

Hive is a sub-brand of British Gas which is owned by Centrica. There is actually a suite of Hive smart home technology products including cameras, motion sensors and smart plugs.

Can I install Hive myself?

It is quite possible to install Hive yourself and the whole process should take no longer than an hour. Some people prefer to use an engineer if they are new to the technology, it can be easier and quicker to see all the different features because the engineer can talk you through them.

Will Hive work with my existing boiler?

Hive should work with most boilers and radiators so the only thing you need to change is the thermostat

Do I need a Hive Hub?

You don’t need a Hive Hub for basic functionality as you can set up the Hive thermostat in ‘stand-alone mode’ at installation and then use it just like your normal thermostat. It is a good looking piece of kit and will display more information than you regular thermostat.

What are the benefits of a Hive hub?

A Hub lets you control any other Hive products you might have in your house and combine different products’ functions together in what are called ‘Hive Actions’.

What is the difference between a Smart meter and a Smart thermostat?

A Smart meter shows you information about your energy usage with a display unit in your home. A Smart meter can show you how much energy you are using and how much it costs and can only be fitted by your energy supplier.

A Smart thermostat allows any householder to control their heating system either on-site or from remote and it can be fitted by anyone.

Who gets the most out of Hive?

There is no doubt that Hive is of the greatest benefit to those who don’t have a settled or regular work/life schedule. If you are at home a lot or in a regular routine then you probably won’t benefit as much from some of the Hive technology.

What are Hive Light Dimmable smart bulbs?

Smart light bulbs are controlled in the home via an app on a Smartphone. Users can control the lights in their home from their phone, setting lighting schedules or varied patterns of light activity. The Hive light bulbs are also LED so 80% more energy-efficient than traditional light bulbs. Hive lights can also be voice-controlled and are compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

Where should you put the Hive thermostat?

Aim for around a metre to a metre and a half above the floor and site it away from heat sources such as radiators and direct sunlight from windows or doorways. For an accurate reading, the Hive thermostat needs a free flow of air so make sure it is not concealed in a corner where it could be covered by curtains or other objects.
Pick an interior wall towards the centre of the property and choose one of the most commonly occupied rooms such as the sitting room or lounge.

When would I need a Hive signal booster?

If you have a very large house or a long house or maybe it is a period property with very thick walls, these are all issues that can interfere with the Wi-fi when you attempt to use your Smartphone in different parts of the property. Hive has a small and unobtrusive signal booster which you simply plug into a socket to increase the strength and reach of your Wi-fi signal.

Can you control your hot water with Hive?

Hive is unusual amongst Smart home thermostats in that it will allow you to control your hot water but it won’t allow you to control the temperature.

For more information, see the Hive website and government guidance for using smart devices safely in your home.

Mike Alexander
Hey there, I'm Mike - writer and part time home improvement expert at Refurbb. Since owning and refurbishing my own property in 2018, I've since been developing rental properties, writing about my home improvement endeavours, sharing what I've learned and connecting readers to reputable tradespeople in the UK.
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