The 2023 heating season is starting against a challenging backdrop for many. 

The ongoing cost of living challenges are putting household budgets under real pressure as winter looms. As a result, consumers will be eager to seek out solutions that can help them reduce their energy consumption and cut down their energy bills as a result.

Many properties across the UK may still have inefficient controls for their heating system, which means more energy is being used than is truly required to achieve comfort.

Upgrading controls

As they worry about the size of their heating bills over the winter months, householders will be turning to heating professionals to guide them with informed advice to best address what remains a significant cost consideration. There is no doubt that heating control upgrades should be central to those conversations.

It is understandable that heating engineers may feel cautious about broaching with customers the possibility of spending money on additional products – such as upgrading their existing heating control solutions. However, a clearly communicated message about potential options to save money on energy bills can prove to be of tangible value to customers. 

Installers are arguably the best-placed people to engage with customers and initiate straightforward and educational discussions on the way heating controls can make a difference to consumption and bills.

Suggesting a check of the existing heating controls during a boiler service or upgrade is always a good place to start. Taking a few minutes to assess whether a customer’s thermostat is set correctly, and that they know how to use it effectively, can really add value to a visit. If an older mechanical heating control is in place, putting forward a number of options for a newer, digital replacement, might be appropriate. 

And, just as importantly, customers should know that controls upgrades can be undertaken at any time, not just when a boiler is being replaced.

Individual energy savings will be dependent on existing controls and the level of insulation of the building itself, but Resideo has worked with BEAMA to identify how switching controls can make a difference. 

According to this research, based on test environment using a timeclock, Class I on/off room thermostat and manual radiator valves, in an end-terrace/semi-detached house:

  • Installers could save their customers up to 10% on their heating bills by upgrading existing heating controls to the Honeywell Home DT4 Room Thermostat or T3R Programmable Thermostat    
  • Customers could see heating bills fall by up to 12% if controls are upgraded to a Honeywell Home T6R Smart Thermostat
  • And a 31% saving can be achieved if a combination of a Honeywell Home T6R Smart Thermostat is installed, in conjunction with the Honeywell Home VTL200 TRV solution. 

The figures above are based on energy prices as of November 2023.

Advice for installers

To assist installers, Resideo has launched a heating season campaign entitled ‘Small upgrade, mighty impact’.

Its purpose is to help installers demonstrate to their clients that making small upgrades to their heating controls can make a noticeable difference to energy bills this winter. 

The campaign, which will be promoted across media platforms, in merchant branches, and at industry events, aims to arm the installer with the communication tools to help their customers make an informed choice.