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Data-based advice on night storage heaters

a close up of the controls on a storage heater

This project used advanced data monitoring technology to enable us to give personalised advice to people using night storage heaters.

Project duration: May 2017 to August 2018

The trial initially worked with 20 Somerset households. Building on the methodology and techniques we developed in a similar project we used sensors to collect data about how storage heaters are used. This data was then presented in a visually accessible format to give personalised support.

“We know that a lot of people struggle to get to grips with using night storage heaters,” said Paul Winney, project manager. “But we don’t always know the bigger picture in terms of how the householders’ overall energy use and the warmth of their home. This project helped us get a much clearer idea of how we can help people with storage heaters who are struggling to keep warm.”

The technology was able to identify periods of under-heating and explore how best to provide households with a ‘thermal safeguarding’ alert to help reduce the risk of an unhealthily cold home. This information could help energy advisors refer households for appropriate interventions such as insulation or tariff advice for example.

“Seeing data about their own homes makes it easier for people to understand their energy use. And, although the project is now finished, and technology has moved on considerably, it provided CSE’s advice team with the foundations to give advice on smart meters, time of use tariffs and flexible energy use and enable what the most effective interventions are for dealing with cold homes or high bills” said Paul.

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