My thermostat had packed up and although I’d managed to pusuede it to just about work, I knew it was on its last legs. I knew I needed to replace it but didn’t fancy shelling out £80 for the unit and then perhaps another £100 for fitting.
I asked some of my friends what they would do and a few of them recommended getting a HIVE unit fitted.
What is Hive?
Hive is a connected ‘Smart Device’ collection of tech. They range from Heating to Motion Sensors and also Cameras and ‘Smart’ sockets. Part of the Centrica group, they allow automated/semi automated control over various items in the home.
What is Hive Heating?
This, specifically, is the heating part of the Hive set up. You can replace your wired thermostat with a wireless unit and have it connect to your boiler remotely. You also can have a Hive Hub installed and this will give you the ability to control your heating when you aren’t at home.
Buying Your Hive Heating
You have a couple of options here. One is to go to the British Gas website and you can pay £249 to have a British Gas Engineer come round and fit a Hive Thermostat, Hive Boiler Control Unit and Hive Hub. If you are a British Gas customer you may find they have an offer to reduce the price or include an Alexa Dot in the price.
Another option is to buy the Hive Thermostat and related items somewhere else and pay for someone to install them. If you are happy/confident/able to install yourself then there is no reason why this couldn’t be a self-install.
The third option is to buy the Hive Thermostat with Installation included. This is usually more expensive than buying it without installation however it does use the British Gas installation team so you know the job is going to be a good one.
Where to Buy?
I bought my Hive Heating with Installation from Amazon. The reason for this was that I saw Amazon were doing this kit for £149.99 and this was Just under £100 cheaper than British Gas while still including the British Gas installation.
Sure, I did miss out on getting the Alexa Dot, but seeing that at the moment Amazon are selling this for £29.99 on a deal (usually Price £49.99), I could buy this separately and still save myself £70 in the process!
At the time of writing this, the Hive Heating without installation is £119.99 so only £30 less expensive than having a qualified engineer fit it for you!
If you wanted to buy the kit separately it work out quite expensive too!
How I got it On The Cheap
The Amazon price of £149.99 seemed very good and I couldn’t find anywhere on-line that could beat that price including the installation. Always wanting to get a bargain I thought there must be a way to get this installed for less.
If you are a regular shopper on Amazon you will know they have third party sellers that sometimes sell the items on Amazon cheaper than Amazon do. I checked out their prices and the cheapest 3rd party seller was actually almost £50 more expensive than Amazon themselves!
What I did next was check out what the Amazon Warehouse was selling them for. If you don’t know, the Amazon Warehouse is how Amazon sells all the items it gets returned. If you’ve bought something from Amazon and returned it within the 7 day period then it will more likely than not end up at the Amazon Warehouse.
Here you can see that if you were willing to accept something that was in ‘Used – Very Good’ condition, then you could save £15 on the new price, about 10%. What you need to look out for is the condition. I tend to find Amazon err on the side of caution for this but for a rough idea of their condition levels, these are the market-place seller rules for condition.
Amazon 3rd Party Seller conditions
- Refurbished: a product that has been professionally restored to working order. Typically, this means the product has been inspected, cleaned and repaired to meet manufacturer specifications. It may or may not be in its original packaging. The manufacturer warranty or warranty of the company performing the refurbishing services may apply to the product and should be included in the condition notes for the item.
- Like New: an apparently untouched item in perfect condition. The original plastic wrap may be missing, but the original packaging is intact. There are absolutely no signs of wear. Suitable for presenting as a gift.
- Very Good: a well-cared-for item that has seen limited use but remains in great condition. The item and its instructions are complete and undamaged, but may show some signs of wear. The item works perfectly.
- Good: the item shows wear from consistent use, but remains in good condition. The original instructions are included, and are in acceptable condition. The item may be marked or identified, and show other signs of previous use. The item works perfectly and is in good overall shape.
- Acceptable: the item is fairly worn, but it continues to work perfectly. The signs of wear can include scratches, dents and other aesthetic problems. The box and non-essential instructions may be missing or damaged. The item may be marked or identified, and show other signs of previous use.
At the moment there is only a ‘very good’ Hive Heating install available but when I ordered mine there was a ‘Like New’ item available for £142 – so an £8 saving.
As it was going to be in my home, the ‘like new’ condition was very important to me. When it arrived it was all still wrapped in the plastic and none of the protective film on the thermostat had been removed. Result!
Of course, if you do get something from the Amazon Warehouse and it isn’t in a condition you are happy with you are able to invoke the ‘Satisfaction Guaranteed’ offering that Amazon gives on all warehouse items and send it back.
How I got Hive Heating Even Cheaper!
There are people that say, “look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves.” and the would probably be happy with the £8 saving. I, on the other hand, want to pay as little as I can for something so looked into ways to get it cheaper.
If I wasn’t in a Rush
I could have bought Amazon credit online from various places. Often it is offered for sale for 92% face value. I have, in the past, managed to grab some for 85% face value but anything around 92% seems to be the going rate.
By purchasing the credit at a discount I could have paid around £130 so maybe a 15% discount from Amazon new list price.
However I was in a rush so I couldn’t do this.
What I did do!
Amazon occasionally has Warehouse discount days. These can carry either a 10% or even a 20% discount on Amazon Warehouse items. Luckily for me there were some ‘Like New’ Hive Heating kits which included installation. The Amazon Warehouse stock does change and is dynamically updated by Amazon when items are sold/returned so you can never be sure what is in stock.
Some people do think that Amazon automatically ups some of its prices when a discount is offered. I’m not sure whether this is true or not as I wasn’t monitoring the prices before I purchased.
This took the price down from £142.10 down to £113.68. This is roughly a 25% discount on the standard list price of £149.99 – a great result, even if I do say so myself!
I ordered the Hive Heating kit on the Friday and it arrived on the Saturday morning. When I called to arrange the install they could arrange for it to be installed it on the Tuesday – 4 days after ordering. I really can’t complain with that level of service. They gave morning and afternoon installation windows. The ‘morning’ was 8am-2pm and the afternoon was 12-6pm. I opted for the afternoon slot.
The British Gas engineer called me about 15 minutes before he was due to arrive and arrived at my home at 2.45pm. The whole installation, including him giving me an idiots guide to using it, took less than an hour and before 3.45pm he had already left with it all set up and running.
Using Hive Heating
You can use Hive Heating either with or without the smart functions. If you disconnect the smart hub from the internet then you essentially have a standard wireless thermostat working your heating.
Leave the hub connected and you can use the app on your phone to control your heating and all the other Hive Smart functionality if you buy the other HIVE tech.
I’ve only just had it installed so I can’t give you a full run-down but I will follow up this blog post with one just on how to maximise your Hive Heating.
The Reverend’s Final Thought
My heating broke and I thought that I’d have to find an engineer, pay them loads of money to supply and fit a replacement thermostat. What I discovered was the Amazon, of all places, could supply and arrange the fitting of some smart tech for not much more than the cost of just supplying a like-for-like replacement thermostat.
The advertising bumpf tells me that I could save £150 a year for my heating bills if the Hive Heating is set up ‘correctly’ so its possible that my new thermostat could pay for itself within a year. If that happens I’ll be over the moon!