Quick Wins For Efficiency With Heating Controls

Controls play an important part in ensuring a heating system can run at its best, yet there are still homeowners across the UK who aren’t currently using any.

Mark Wilkins, Technologies and Training Director at Glow-worm, discusses how a simple swap to a smart control can help deliver quick energy efficiency wins for your customers.

Efficiency now

Gas prices in the UK are at a record high , and with more homeowners working from home, it’s likely installers will see more and more customers coming to them looking for ways to reduce their energy use and improve efficiencies.

While upgrading to a low carbon technology such as a heat pump may be an option for some – others may want to wait, particularly if their existing boiler has a lot of life left in it. For these customers, the good news is that new boilers are the most energy efficient they have ever been, however that’s not to say that homeowners can’t achieve further efficiency wins with smart controls.

Making the case

New research commissioned by BEAMA revealed that the use of advanced room thermostats can have a positive impact on fuel reductions, which is great news for homeowners and makes it easier for installers to justify to their customers the additional cost of a smart thermostat.

The study found that something as simple as replacing a standard room thermostat with a directly modulating one in a central heating system, could reduce the gas used by up to 12 per cent over the heating season.

In addition, installing a room thermostat with proportional on/off load compensation, as a direct replacement for a standard thermostat, can reduce the gas used for heating by around 10 per cent over the peak period.

More control

With boilers more efficient than ever before, installers may find it useful to look at how a customer is currently controlling their heating to understand where energy might be being used unnecessarily.

For end users that are now working from home more regularly, the ability to control their heating on the go can make a real difference. Here, installers have an opportunity to build customer loyalty and upsell through smart controls, helping their customers to reduce energy usage and save money.

The MiGo personal heating assistant works with all Glow-worm boilers and starts learning about a customer’s energy needs from day one. Providing a control and app in one, your customers can control their heating and hot water needs wherever they are, whenever they need to. The app is compatible with both Android and iOS, with an easy-to-use, intuitive interface that allows the homeowner to control their heating system quickly and easily via their smart phones.

Virtual assistance

In a world where technology is constantly evolving, voice-activated assistant technology remains ever-popular and, according to consumer research from Ampere Analysis, 52% of internet households own a voice assistant device4.

Whether this is an Alexa or a Google Home, more of us are using these types of devices to help us in our daily lives. From turning the lights off to setting reminders, or simply accessing news and music – the rise of voice assistance technology has been huge.

In response, Glow-worm has recently updated the MiGo control to ensure it is fully compatible with both Amazon Alexa and Google Home devices. Customers can simply say “Alexa, set the temperature to 20 degrees” or “OK Google, lower the temperature by 2 degrees” to set a manual override of the set temperature, which will last for 3 hours before converting back.

This compatibility not only provides your customers with another way to control their heating, but as they will already be familiar with voice activated devices, it means they can start using MiGo straightaway, without having to learn how to use a new system or interface.

And to further widen the appeal to homeowners, all Glow-worm boilers registered via Club Energy offer a boiler match guarantee, meaning any MiGo control fitted will also benefit from an extended guarantee of up to 10 years when fitted by a Club Energy installer and fitted alongside the Glow-worm Unbelievabundle.

It’s good to talk

Using eBUS technology the MiGo communicates with all Glow-worm boilers manufactured from 2006 onwards to ensure homeowners are only using the required amount of energy. Meaning they can save even more energy and money than with any other Wi-Fi enabled thermostat.

MiGo only ever uses energy as and when it needs to. Thanks to its weather compensation technology, it automatically makes a calculation based on its location and the surrounding weather stations to obtain the outside temperature the property, all without the need for a separate external temperature sensor.

On the journey

Depending on where a customer is in their journey towards a low-carbon solution, it’s clear that advanced heating controls will be key to unlocking efficiencies in the immediate term. Installers are in a unique position to guide them through the entire process, and with millions of UK properties having none, or inadequate controls for their heating system, there is plenty to play for.

For more information on the Glow-worm MiGo personal heating assistant and other controls compatible with Glow-worm boilers, installers can speak with their Regional Business Manager, or visit: