We reviewed the original Hive Active Heating a year ago, and now British Gas is launching Hive Active Heating 2.

You can upgrade at a discounted price if you’re an existing Hive owner, and the new gadgets will work with your existing system even if you’d prefer to keep your old thermostat.

See also: Best smart heating systems you can buy in 2015

Hive Active Heating 2 thermostat: release date

You can buy the new thermostat immediately online from hivehome.com, and britishgas.co.uk, and it will show up soon on Amazon, John Lewis, Argos, Littlewoods, and in Apple Stores and Currys PC World stores.

Installations will start on 17 August, and thermostats you can install yourself will start shipping out on the same date.

Hive Active Heating 2 thermostat: price

If you already have a Hive system, you can buy the new thermostat for just £99 (and you'll have to install it yourself - a simple matter of pairing it with your hub and attaching it to the wall).

New customers will have to pay £249, but this includes installation. You don’t have to be a British Gas customer – the thermostat will work regardless of your supplier, and you don’t have to switch to British Gas.

If you're happy to install the system yourself, click the 'I'm an engineer and I want to install the Hive kit myself' link and you can buy the whole kit for £179.

There are 11 different coloured frames to choose from, costing £19.99 each. There's also a wood-effect frame.

Those wanting multiple thermostats to control multiple zones will benefit from discounts, but pricing for these packages isn’t yet available. You can register on the HiveHome website to be notified.

See also: Hive vs Nest

Hive Active Heating 2 thermostat: features

As well as a stylish new design, the new thermostat has an LED screen and central dial which makes it easy to adjust the temperature, change settings and even set up a heating and hot water schedule.

Hive Active Heating 2 release date price

In fact, it’s worth pointing out that Hive is one of few smart thermostats capable of controlling your hot water. It’s only relevant if you have a hot water cylinder, though, since those with a combi boiler have hot water on demand, meaning there’s nothing to control.

On the top edge of the thermostat are two ‘boost’ buttons: one for hot water and one for heating. British Gas says the heating boost was the number one most requested feature from existing Hive customers.

The heating boost lets you choose the temperature and how many hours to boost for. A countdown timer shows on the display so you know how long is left (and you can check from the Hive app too, of course).

Hive Active Heating 2 release date price

The thermostat runs from AA batteries which are extremely easy to change as the unit pops off the wall bracket using a hidden tab underneath. Because it’s wireless, it’s easy to install the new thermostat and upgrade your existing Hive controller.

There’s also a choice of colour bands which snap around the thermostat to match or contrast with your décor.

Hive Active Heating 2 release date price

Hive Active Heating 2: connected home

In addition to the new thermostat, Hive is launching other gadgets which all work together in the Hive app: motion sensors, smart plugs, window and door sensors, smart lightbulbs and more. They work on what Hive is calling the ‘Honeycomb’ platform which British Gas acquired when it bought AlertMe back in February 2015.

Hive Active Heating 2 release date price

The ‘Active Plugs’ work as you would expect. You Plug them into a socket, then plug an appliance into the Active Plug. Then you can turn that socket on and off from the app. It’s handy if you’re prone to accidentally leaving the iron on as you can switch it off remotely.

Or, you could control a slow cooker remotely to ensure your dinner’s ready by the time you get home.

The motion sensor can alert you to movement in a particular area of the house, but can also work with other devices such as a smart plug or smart light bulb and turn on a lamp when motion is detected. As it’s a standard PIR sensor, any movement will trigger it – including pets.

The door and window sensors also send alerts when they’re triggered.

A final component will be a camera so you can see what’s going on when you get an alert. Rather than launch its own-brand cameras, Hive has said it will make the platform open to other companies and has already demonstrated a Samsung IP camera working in the Hive app.

Hive Active Heating 2 release date price

No prices for any of these gadgets have been decided. They will all be available to buy in the autumn.