Curo’s Asset Management Team has been looking at innovative ways to tackle fuel poverty and deliver the goal of providing homes that meet our SHAW criteria (Safe, Healthy, Affordable & Warm).
At Curo we’ve been following the success of a smart thermostat called Switchee for some time, having been involved in its inception. Switchee is similar to the Hive thermostat, but it’s been designed specifically for housing associations.
So we’re excited to be running a pilot scheme with Switchee, giving our customers the opportunity to see how much the system could save them in energy use and fuel bills.
Our pilot scheme will see Switchee devices installed in place of traditional thermostats during new heating installations in 30 Curo properties across Bath.
Switchee is a smart thermostat that uses motion sensors to detect and learn patterns of occupancy, creating a custom heating profile for each property. By learning a household’s routine, Switchee ensures heating is switched off when nobody is at home, avoiding wasted energy use and unnecessarily high bills. Switchee estimates a customer saving of between 15-20% on energy bills.
As well as the prospect of significant savings for residents there are considerable benefits for Curo as a landlord - benefits that will lead to a better home environment for our customers.
Data from Switchee’s humidity and heat sensors can alert our Asset Management Team about properties where there’s a risk of mould growth or where insulation could be improved.
The system can also tell us remotely where there might be boiler problems. It can run remote boiler checks, helping us to identify boilers that could benefit from servicing before the winter season and peak demand.
Collecting property performance information like this means we can be more proactive in our approach to maintenance issues, reducing emergency call-outs and enabling us to improve the quality of our customers’ homes.
Switchee was recently awarded the 2017 Impax Ashden Award for Energy Innovation – an award that received 214 entries globally. Switchee also featured on BBC Radio 4's You & Yours consumer programme – you can listen to it here (skip to 34 minutes).