You could be forgiven for not thinking about central heating at the moment but, with ever-rising bills, it pays to look ahead.

Remote Heating Control from British Gas claims to bring even the most basic central heating system into the internet age. For £199 – or £229 for customers with a different energy supplier – the company will send a professional installer to fit the system, which wirelessly links your central heating boiler to your home broadband, allowing you to switch your heating on or off and adjust the temperature from anywhere in the world.

There are a number of ways to control the system. Most simply, temperatures can be adjusted using the wall-mounted control panel that's included. But the real magic is its web interface. By logging on to a password-protected website, owners can switch their boiler on or off and adjust household temperatures. An optional smartphone app allows the system to be controlled, schedules set and temperatures adjusted on the move.

Family members who are still clinging to their old Nokia aren't left out either – up to five mobile numbers can be authorised to control the system by text message.

Using the smartphone app or, more easily, the web interface, heating schedules can be set up with an impressive degree of flexibility. I opted for a fairly simple schedule with identical target temperatures in the morning and evening and lower temperatures at other times, although it's possible to configure dozens of different times and target temperatures throughout the week.

Once the system is installed, the wireless thermostat – which is fairly attractive, with a curved white plastic shell and grey buttons that shouldn't be offensive in any home – is the only part on display. A built-in LCD display shows the current temperature in the room and allows it to be adjusted without resorting to phones or laptops.

One slight criticism of the online dashboard is that, while it's useful to see temperature fluctuations graphed across days and weeks, there's no indication of whether the heating system actually had to turn on or for how long. The gadget already knows that information, so hopefully British Gas will be able to add that feedback in a future online update.

Remote Heating Control is a great product with a lot to recommend it. People with busy family or social lives will probably get the most benefit from the system, allowing them to react to unplanned evenings out or in. But it's also a great system for gadget freaks – being able to control household heating on your phone from the comfort of your sofa is about as clever as things get.

Positives Clever technology with surprisingly keen pricing.

Negatives Online dashboard could be more comprehensive.

Twitter: @grant_gibson