The keenest of memory may recall us receiving some Technology Strategy Board funding to investigate how smart technologies and solar panels can help households on low incomes manage their finances.
Well we’ve just produced a report alongside our partners at London Rebuilding Society on what we’ve found out – published just in time for Energy Saving Week. And it’s good news.
Of 18 households, all saved money. Sure, it ranged between £300 and £3,500, but we all behave differently and take different action based on what we’ve got to work with. In this case, the thing pilot participants had to work with was an interactive system where they could monitor their energy and financial outgoings and incomings, and also access advice, support on how to increase household budget.
We spent some time in East London yesterday at the home of one of the pilot participants, and they spoke to BBC Radio London about what they’d got out of taking part – aside from being able to tell exactly how much their kettle is costing them in real-time…You can hear what they had to say here, 1 minute 15 seconds in, or check the article online.
Our CEO Philip sums up why we took on the project nicely:
“Ultimately, we need to have smart homes, not just smart meters. What this pilot found is that solar PV alone is not sufficient to achieve behavioural change in fuel poor households. SHIMMER ensures savings are optimised by smart use of appliances based on the simple, actionable feedback made possible by the data that’s collected.
“The full package of financial advice that people could access was absolutely central in compounding the energy savings they made – and we’ve also seen that smart home energy management can be a catalyst for greater digital inclusion.”
These are social times at the Energy Saving Trust. On top of SHIMMER, the successful bidders for funding from the Renewable Heat Premium Payment social housing pot will be announced very soon…we’ll let you know right here as soon as it happens.
You can view the full report and press release for SHIMMER right here.