Business Technology

Sunday 23 July 2017

Turn your heating on while on the bus home - and save money while doing it

Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

A new smart thermostat has come to the market that aims to beat off competition from other remote heating controllers by offering more functionality, and costing less.

"If you're getting on to the plane in Spain and it's freezing back in Dublin you can tell your heating at home to turn on and it will be just as hot as it is in Madrid when you get home," Hub Controllers CTO Andrew McMillan told independent.ie.

If you think this is something you've heard before - or indeed you're already using a similar product - it might be an idea not to switch off so quickly.

"You can save money too while having it on holiday mode while you're away. Over time, we analyse the heating patterns that you have and offer you suggestions so you can change your heating to save money," he added.

According to the firm's founder Ollie Hynes the company is striving to become the market leader in home energy controls.

McMillan and his colleagues - Head of Software Stephen Reilly and Sonja Zaric - are lined up among the many other startups along the walls of the Dublin Tech Summit's Exhibition Hall.

Hub Controls was identified by Enterprise Ireland as a High Potential Start-Up in 2015.

Their product, the Hub Controller, has a general touchscreen interface that offers remote access to your heating system, and aims to help you manage your utility bills more effectively.

"The Hub controller currently controls the heating but we'd like to expand that to other utility bills, even your mobile phone usage your landline usage, your electricity, etc. You could potentially even control your children's phone usage using the controller," Reilly said.

"Other controllers in the market tend to focus on the simple control of their system, turning heating on and off and checking what temperature it is.

"We're leaning more towards directly saving you money a particular budget for a time period rather than set a particular temperature. Over time, it will adjust your heating to match that. It's a different space."

While the Dublin-based company are still focusing on "getting one product right first", this product is already receiving funding from the US and "getting fantastic feedback".

One of the selling features of the controller is that the installation is a simple 5 minute process - but the firm advises that customers employ a professional tradesman to install, and installers are their primary customer base at present.

The Hub Controller can be purchased on Amazon for €249.

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