By next year 95% of housing in the social sector is expected to reach the Decent Homes standard, according to the government. But as one Whitehall target is met another is set, with 2020 now being D-Day for all homes in Britain to have so-called ‘smart meters’ installed.
The move was announced in May by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, which also launched a consultation in to the plan. The scheme is aimed at allowing people to gain ‘real time’ information about their energy use – the theory is that seeing how much electricity is being used is a primary driver in reducing this usage.
We support this theory and know from experience that savings of up to 20% can be made when a power monitoring system is installed in a domestic property. However, already there are murmurs that the meters being discussed by government will not be quite smart enough. Yes, they will make estimated bills obsolete, negate the need for meter readings, allow easier switching between energy suppliers and provide scope for suppliers to offer better energy deals. But the technology – and products – already exist to work in conjunction with smart meters and deliver even greater control of electric devices within the home.
And although an environmentally-positive idea, the ability of energy monitoring to save tenants money will be the main driver behind its success. The Decent Homes programme delivered more modern homes for social housing tenants and with these improvements came reduced running costs – upgraded loft insulation, high efficiency boilers and better double glazing were three ways of making a house cheaper to run. Smart meters will undoubtedly continue this drive to reduce household bills, but taking this initiative one step further and installing even more technologically advanced monitoring systems would undoubtedly deliver bigger savings and empower tenants to take even greater control of their energy use.
The intelligent option
We believe our Intelli Heat electric heating system is a real revolution when it comes to energy saving. Pair it with n Intellygreen smart monitoring programmer and not only can you monitor the overall energy usage of a domestic property, you can break it down into individual products such as electric heating washing machine, tumble dryer, fridge and freezer, television, computers – even the kettle, long regarded as the four-wheel drive of the kitchen due to its high demand for power.
Furthermore, this wireless monitoring system may prove especially valuable for landlords operating multi-occupancy properties with electric heating, since tenants will be able to monitor exactly how much power the electric heating system is using and, more importantly, how much it is costing them on a minute-by-minute basis if they wish. Energy use can then be more closely matched to budget, ending the days of no cash being left for meters or unexpectedly high bills being received.
IntellyGreen also offers the option of not just monitoring but also scheduling and controlling power usage. For example, it is possible to set-up the system to allow users to turn on their central heating and hot water systems over the internet. This system is available now for those wishing to get a head start on the government’s plans. IntellyGreen gives real-time information on energy use and allows tenants to identify and make energy savings. It is an on-demand and online energy management tool that provides a secure and bespoke service. Quite simply it is a comprehensive diagnostic tool for analysing and manipulating your power supply.
The IntellyGreen system includes a handheld wireless controller (the Wippy) that displays real-time consumption from one appliance through to groups of devices and allows for remote programming of all connected electrical appliances and systems. In addition, users have individual monitors for electric radiators and domestic devices that relay power usage information back to the controller, and an E Box that connects into the smart meter.
Programmable monitors have proved to be the most effective way to help reduce electricity bills. When you know which device is using the most electricity you can do something about it. IntellyGreen offers an economical, proven package of industry standard methods to control electric heating or any electric radiators.
Intelli Heat electric radiators can be installed in one day as stand-alone or as a complete heating system, with each one being individually controllable. They make great replacements for inefficient storage heaters.