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Smart home technology to tackle fuel poverty in Northumberland
Posted by Jamie Hardesty on 26 Feb 2016
Two Castles Housing Association, which manages properties across the North of England, is employing smart home technology to help tackle fuel poverty at a Northumberland-based housing scheme.
With 2.35 million households across England currently living in fuel poverty, Two Castles believes this technology has the potential to shape the way social landlords design affordable homes in the future.
At present all properties in England require an Energy Performance Certificate to inform residents how energy efficient their property is. Assessments are judged on things like how costly it is to heat and light the property, as well as what its carbon dioxide emissions are likely to be.
Using sensor monitoring equipment, designed by software solutions company Capita, Two Castles will be able to capture and analyse household data such as air quality, temperature and humidity.
The project is one of the first of its kind for the sector and will help tackle overheating and fuel poverty, as well as helping to provide services to vulnerable residents.
Rob Brittain, property services director at Two Castles Housing Association, said: “Being able to afford to keep homes warm is a real issue for too many families across the North of England. The problem is exacerbated in rural communities affected by rising energy prices and high fuel expenditure.
“To tackle this issue, we have formed an innovative partnership with Capita which we believe has the potential to be a game changer for the way our industry designs and builds sustainable, affordable homes in the future.
“Many of our residents tell us how energy efficient their homes are, but once keys are handed over we have no way of demonstrating the actual performance of a property or evaluating which elements are having the greatest impact.
“Using smart monitoring equipment we can accurately test how well a home is performing from its internal energy usage to external building fabric. This will allow us to identify what features are working well, on top of areas for improvement, enabling the homes we build in the future to be as energy efficient as possible for the individuals and families who live in them.”