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New project monitors energy usage patterns in social housing

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New project monitors energy usage patterns in social housing

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Published by Brian Church for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Sustainability

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A new project, called '3B’ for 'Boiler, Building or Behaviour', is hoping to better understand tenant behaviour and build energy efficiency.

Community Switch, the provider of energy switching services for social housing tenants, is working with E.ON and three North West social landlords – Plus Dane, Together Housing Group and Bolton at Home.

The North West pilot scheme is due to commence in early April and run for a minimum of two years. Housing providers interested in participating in the study should contact Community Switch direct.

Community Switch will co-ordinate a study of 1,000 households to analyse energy usage data via smart meters already fitted in tenants’ homes. 

Behavioural information drawn from the meter will be cross-referenced with other factors such as solar panels and loft insulation, and the style and condition of different housing stock.

Collected data will be available to all of the project’s partners via E.ON’s secure cloud based energy data analysis software. After logging on to a real time dashboard landlords will be able to extract energy-related data on individual properties or aggregate figures across some or all of the participating households.

They will also be able to compare energy performance and usage patterns against a wide range of geographical, structural and social criteria.

Patrick Berry, Community Switch’s managing director said: "We are all very aware that improved energy saving and energy efficiency is crucial both to customers as a financial issue and with regards to cutting CO2 levels. However it remains very difficult to really understand the relationship between people’s attitude to energy use, the type of property they occupy and their domestic situation. 

"We will be asking tenants to opt in to taking part in 3B so we can work together to unlock some of these conundrums and give a detailed picture of how energy is used, how it is wasted and how we can all help to influence customer behaviour, improve the performance of housing stock and devise new ways of saving fuel."

Martin Gladwin, Plus Dane Group’s head of asset management, said: "Plus Dane is delighted to participate in this innovative project. It will undoubtedly assist us in the development of our future energy programmes, allowing us to target improvements to our homes and residents in greatest need."

 E.ON will provide the technology platform. 

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