It’s well-known that London is big on smart. Woe betide the interview-goer who doesn’t err strictly on the former side of smart/casual.

One thing city planners certainly can’t be casual about is smartening up the way our energy-use ties in with the management of other resources, transport, and even health and social services – and low and behold, London’s getting ahead in this respect too.

It was recently reported that the capital, or at least part of it, is going to be the test ground for Urban OS, a new smart city operating system by a company called Living Plan IT. The London Borough of Greenwich will be the home of the guinea pigs, who stand to benefit from everything from smart water and heating to smart street lights.

The general concept is about making a town or city more like an organic thing, that can move resources to where they’re needed via physical and digital networks, thus minimising waste.

Networks for the smart systems are said to be extremely robust – which, frankly, should be taken as a given if this is really how the future will look.

One of our energy experts Stephen Passmore is very interested in the potential impact of smart technology on a domestic level. He has this to say:

“The rise of smarts in profile is amazing. Technologies like the Nest thermostat are making heating controls ‘sexy’ – they’re even making the glossy home magazines!

This rise in mainstream consciousness can only be a good thing – with schemes like the smart meter roll-out kicking in, people need to know that this is just the start of a myriad of smart options that will affect the way they look at their resource use.

This isn’t so new for us.  We have been working with a number of companies who are developing Smart Home Energy Management systems.  The aim to provide complete home automation, a home heating control system that learns what makes you comfortable and adjusts to ensure you stay that way.  These systems are attracting growing interest as on top of the benefits to the consumer they also promise to manage our energy usage at peak times – intuitive stuff. It’s pretty exciting times.

Of course, security, compatibility with appliances and time of use energy charging are all needed to make this work best, but I for one can see the benefits to householders.”

We’ve also been involved in developing an emerging piece of smart energy kit. SHIMMER does quite a lot of the stuff mentioned above like linking energy and household financial management, and has been tested in London, albeit on a smaller scale. Read more about it here if you are interested – and indeed that goes for Living Plan IT as well.

There are new smart technologies appearing all the time, so expect to see more on this subject right here in the near future.