26 January 2023 Company News, Innovation, Metering, Net Zero, Press Release

SMS to innovate smart meter solution for generating tailored home heat efficiency insights

Smart Meter IHD

Through utilising a temperature sensor built into the smart meter in-home display (IHD), the project aims to show how consumers can benefit from intelligently generated energy efficiency insights for reducing home heating bills

A consortium led by energy solutions firm, SMS plc, has received Government support for a new research project that aims to demonstrate how the smart meter system can be used to develop innovative, ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT)-enabled solutions for UK households.

The trial, backed by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), proposes to access a temperature sensor that is built into a smart meter’s in-home display (IHD) in order to record real-time temperature data within consumers’ homes. The temperature data, along with corresponding outside temperature data obtained from weather reports, will then be compared with the related consumption data from gas smart meters in order to make a highly accurate calculation of home heat efficiency.

SMS will use the energy data platform from n3rgy, its subsidiary company, to capture consumer consent to record the data. Heat transfer coefficient algorithms then analyse homes’ historic gas usage data to create different archetype groups and benchmarks. Tailored advice and solutions can then be presented to consumers via an app suggesting how to use energy more cost effectively. Recommendations on specific energy efficiency upgrade options, such as necessary fabric improvements and suitability for more sustainable heating systems, will also be identified and offered to each home.

Working alongside SMS on the project is leading smart energy technology company Chameleon Technology. Chameleon’s IHD device with built in temperature sensor is already being deployed as part of the national smart meter rollout, whilst the company’s ivie smart energy app will be utilised as part of the trial to deliver insights to customers. Independent energy supplier Green Energy UK completes the consortium of partners.

The project is part of BEIS’s new Smart Meter-based Internet of Things Applications Programme, which aims to support innovation to determine the feasibility of, and trial, the use of IoT sensor devices within the smart meter system.

Tom Woolley, Smart Product and Strategy Director at SMS, said:

“This exciting project is yet another great opportunity to show how the smart meter system can be used as a platform for innovation. Through the ongoing smart meter rollout, the UK Government, network operator Smart DCC, and industry pioneers like SMS are helping establish a digital backbone for the UK energy industry.

“This particular study will look at new ways of proving how our national, secure, and interoperable smart meter ecosystem can be used for more than just energy data. The use case we have identified will enable a low-cost, mass-market opportunity using existing technologies to assess the heat loss coefficient of a property. In turn, we anticipate we will be able to intelligently identify solutions for homeowners, such as modelling the impact a heat pump would have in their home, as well as offering more practical advice on home energy efficiency.”

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Our smart meter lab facility in Bolton, Lancashire, provides a bank of 200+ live meters for energy suppliers and other industry partners, providing assurance, device combination proving, and over-the-air (OTA) testing in a range of mock real-life scenarios and environments.