British Gas has come under fire from angry consumers after their Hive smart home devices, including security cameras, were switched off after being discontinued.
Smart devices are a state-of-the-art technology that allow homeowners to directly control technology like their central heating system or security setup through wifi and their phones. As a result more and more homeowners are now looking at how to design a smart home as part of their renovation and self build projects.
However, in a blow to smart technology, Hive, which is owned by Centrica, the parent company of British Gas, has jettisoned its home security line and disconnected users of its Hive Camera and Nano 1 Hub leaving users with no replacement. More products are also due to be switched off by 2025 with the company saying it has made the move to instead focus on supplying sustainable devices, such as for air source heat pumps and electric car charging points.
Here is what you need to know about the HIVE smart device switch off, including which products are affected.
Which Hive smart devices will stop working?
Hive, which has two million customers, has already switched off functionality for its Boiler IQ WIFI, Hub 360 sound detection, the Hive camera, and Nano 1 Hub.
The Leak sensor will stop working on September 1 2023, while the Hive HomeShield, Hive View indoor and outdoor cameras and their associated subscriptions will stop functioning on August 1 2025.
You can read more about this if you own one of these products on the HIVE product news section of their website.
Why are these Hive smart devices being discontinued?
Hive says it has ‘big plans’ to make homes more energy efficient and cheaper to run by focusing on climate tech such as air source heat pump installation.
A spokesman said: “At Hive we’ve got big plans to make Britain’s homes greener. So we made the tough decision to discontinue some products including security cameras and develop more smart home tech that’ll get us closer to net zero.
“When this decision was made in 2022 we agreed that the majority of indoor and outdoor cameras would be supported for another three years, ending on August 1 2025. A small number have not been supported... however, these products have not been sold since 2019 and 2016 respectively.”
They added: “Our focus on net zero is around home energy management, using our smart home technology to give our customers energy efficiency insights on their homes and connect new devices such as air source heat pumps, electric vehicle chargers, and home batteries to the Hive platform.”
Air source heat pumps to be run off smartphones
Like traditional boilers, heat pumps can be connected to smart technology that allows you to change the temperature and switch your heating off and on using your smartphone and voice recognition technology such as Amazon Echo, Google Home, and others. Centrica has said it will now focus its attention on smart devices for heat pumps instead.
Existing smart technology means you can ask Alexa, Cortana, or Google to increase or decrease the temperature once you have connected your thermostat to your SMART home device. Many SMART controls are also designed with intuitive functions to improve the performance of the heating system to increase thermal efficiency and therefore save money.
You can look at our buying guide for ideas to create your smart home tech for every budget.
But existing customers left without replacements
Many customers are put out that technology they invested in a few years ago has now become obsolete. Hive is not replacing the defunct products, instead offering a discount on replacements.
Some took to Twitter to vent their frustration. Emily Harper wrote: “@HiveHomeUK - you have discontinued a perfectly functional product. How do you justify this when resources are scarce and we are in the midst of a climate crisis?
“We will never buy another Hive.”
Hive’s Twitter account replied: “Hi Emily, I'm really sorry your unhappy with the decision to remove support for the first generation hubs. Unfortunately, we're not able to offer a free replacement but we are offering a 50% discount - so £30 for the replacement hub.”
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Sam is based in Coventry and has been a news reporter for nearly 20 years. His work has featured in the Mirror, The Sun, MailOnline, the Independent, and news outlets throughout the world. As a copywriter, he has written for clients as diverse as Saint-Gobain, Michelin, Halfords Autocentre, Great British Heating, and Irwin Industrial Tools. During the pandemic, he converted a van into a mini-camper and is currently planning to convert his shed into an office and Star Wars shrine.