Chris

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  1. 1,092 votes
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    planned  ·  104 comments  ·  Product ideas  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    Chris supported this idea  · 
    Chris commented  · 

    Perhaps when it's implemented you may consider having a "administrator" user with access to all features and then a set of permissions for the ordinary users so that for instance they can boost but they can't change the schedule and limit how long they can boost for.

    It would also be really useful on the thermostat itself if there was a way to change the maximum boost time and to require a pin to be entered to change the schedule so the kids can't change it!

  2. 663 votes
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    196 comments  ·  Product ideas » Thermostat  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    Chris commented  · 

    The ability to use IFTT to return the thermostat to "scheduled mode" is a step forward from what we used to have, however it doesn't address the underlying problem of tech savy tenants simply adjusting the actual schedule!

    It wasn't uncommon for me to find that tenants had simply reset the schedule to be 35 degrees 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Sadly IFTT won't stop them doing that and if a sensible tenant actually turns the thermostat down, it will simply reset it to the 35 degree schedule a while later.

    The workable solution for most is a maximum temperature setting (that can only be set by the landlord/bill payer) and applied to scheduled setting as well as manual adjustments.

    The problem is that the name of the feature request is wrong (it should be Max temperature setting) because the naive muppets at BG believe all landlords are evil (they must be if the Daily Mail says so) and want to freeze their tenants to death. 99% of landlords want happy tenants (it's simply better for business) but BG believe the rhetoric and don't want to be seen to support "evil" even though this would be useful for families wanting to stop their kids running up the bills. They could easily defend this by not allowing it to be set lower than 21 degrees, the government recommended temperature and it would be easy to implement because the setting is actually already there on their databases, they just choose not to use it.

    Either way I can't see BG doing it any time soon ... after all they are an energy supplier and they actually benefit from people turning up the heat so why would they do anything to limit that additional profit!

    I gave up years ago waiting for them to do anything so ended up writing my own system to talk to their servers directly and the same as IFTT reset to schedule every 30 minutes, but also re-send the schedule at the same time so if the tenants do change the schedule it gets overwritten again with sensible values.

    For any other users, just buy a NEST as it's been there for years on that thermostat!

    Chris commented  · 

    At the time of writing this has 397 votes and 104 comments. ALL the feature requests with over 400 votes are "under review" and many with less than half he number are also under review. It's time Hive were honest and told us why they don't want to even consider a maximum temperature option.

    Chris supported this idea  · 
    Chris commented  · 

    As a responsible and professional landlord I recognise that tenants need to be allowed to control their own heat comfort levels but only within safe limits. The government "recommended" temperative for daytime house temperatures is 21 degrees and 18 degrees whilst sleeping. The World Health Organisation recommend a maximum temperature of 24 degrees and note that anything above 28 degrees can lead to heat stress and medical issues so Hive having 32 degrees as a max is not only ridiculous it's actually dangerous!

    I've ended up implementing something similar to this "landlord mode" myself with a little app that runs on my server and talks through the internet to the Hive back-end interface in the same way their web dashboard does. Basically it checks every minute if the target temperature has been set too high and if so reduces it to a reasonable temperature. My tenants have also on occasion set the schedule to a constant 30 degrees (and then openned windows coz it was too hot!!) so my app also resets the schedule each time. It can't prevent tenants setting the thermostat to 32 degrees but it does correct it pretty quick if they do.

    Obviously it would be far better if there was a simple, secure way to lock in a maximum temperature that tenants can set on the dial and in the schedule and bizzarely whilst developing my app I found that the thermostat object in their programming interface has a maxHeatTemperature parameter so it would be almost trivial for Hive to implement a maximum temperature facility if they chose to do so as the back-end bit is already there. Sadly at the moment it's a read only parameter so can't currently be changed even by techies like me and I have to rely on my "check every minute and adjust" app.

    A proper way of implementing a Landlord Mode would update the software on the thermostat / website to provide a pin locked menu to :
    - set a max temperature which is then used as a max for any schedule/manual dial set/boost temperature
    - allow / disallow schedule changes from the thermostat
    - allow / disallow boost or heat/water and set a maximum time for the boost (lower than 4 hours!)

    The Hive thermostat is a nice little bit of kit, looks great and is easy to use but sadly the fact they've not even made ANY response to a suggestion with so many votes and comments is just another example of their lack of respect for customer feedback and appalingly slow action on the rare occasions when they do eventually agree to do something. That's why they continue to lose business to Nest who actively engage with the user community and do things quickly. Despite having hardware that could easily compete with or exceed Nest functionality, they choose to stay stuck in the past which will inevitably see the Nest win the battle in the long run.

    For all you expectant Landlords out there, I don't anticipate them to do anything on this for a very long time as they haven't even commented on it yet and even important things like IFTTT took over 2 years from the point that that said they finally agreed and said they'd be doing it "soon". They take very little notice of customer feedback no matter how useful a feature could be or how it could increase their sales/profits.

    The moral of the story is that if you buy a Hive, be prepared to have to write your own control software as I've done or pay a few quid more and buy a Nest that does it already!

  3. 598 votes
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    under review  ·  52 comments  ·  Product ideas  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    Chris supported this idea  · 
    Chris commented  · 

    Hive is based on the AlertMe API (BG bought AlertMe last year) and there's documentation out there for that if you search. I wrote my own app that links to the API servers using the info and can adjust target temperature, schedules, boost, etc so I know it works.

    That said, the documentation isn't great and I ended up using Firefox's Tools > Web Developer > Network option to trace some of the traffic that their web dashboard generated in order to "reverse engineer" some of the calls my app needed.

    It would be far better if BG simply published a comprehensive API guide like the competition do.

  4. 2,184 votes
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    under review  ·  145 comments  ·  Product ideas  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    Chris supported this idea  · 
    Chris commented  · 

    A great idea!

    For safety, all Landlord with gas appliances now have to provide a CO detector by law and if I could get one that also turned the boiler off, that would be a great extra safety feature.

    It would need a long attery life (at least 3 years) and to email when the batteries were getting low, but that feature is already there in the thermostat so should be easy to implement.

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