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thermal performance of a home

Halton helping to transform how thermal performance of homes is measured

5th September 2019

2 minutes

Halton Housing has partnered with three leading UK universities to develop, test and demonstrate technologies that measure the thermal performance of homes using smart meters and other data.  

Following a competition, The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS) Smart Meter Enabled Thermal Efficiency Ratings (SMETER) contract for Technical Assessment was successfully awarded to a consortium made up of Loughborough University, Leeds Beckett University, University College London and Halton Housing. 

Currently, the energy and environmental performance of a home is calculated using a method defined in the Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP). This involves a home survey which can result in inaccurate inputs to the SAP calculation. The SMETER programme will demonstrate whether tools based on measurement of energy use can provide a more reliable and accurate assessment. 

The programme will improve the reliability and accuracy of Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs), which are based on SAP, alongside the ability to measure and incentivise actual improvements to a building’s energy performance. By 2030, all social housing homes must have a minimum EPC rating of C (the current guideline is E). 

As part of the project, Halton Housing is providing 45 homes over a four-month period to take part in the trial. 

The consortium has now started to independently test and demonstrate SMETER tools. Once complete, an in-depth trial will begin using special sensors in the 45 of Halton Housing’s homes to find a precise way to measure the same value in a less intrusive way.  

Halton Housing lead disruptor, Lee Reevell said: “This is an exciting opportunity and will pave the way for future endeavours. The data set created from the homes we are providing for this project will shape the future of this technology and will be the first of its kind utilising state of the art NB-IoT networks.” 

At the end of the trial, the sensors will be removed and the information gathered will be used to develop a method to provide homes with a more accurate EPC without disruption to the customer.  

The programme is fully funded by BEIS and the outcomes will help to shape future legislation and contribute towards the UK meeting its 2030 Fuel Poverty target. 

This project links to ‘Our Direction 3 (OD3)’, Halton Housing’s corporate strategy for 2019-22 setting out its ambition to be a modern, dynamic housing business that leads at the forefront of innovation. Find out more about OD3.

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