Thanks to a £100,000 innovation award from the National Grid Energy Efficiency Innovation Award scheme, CityWest Homes has teamed up with utility metering company Energy Assets to install ‘community metering’ across 840 properties in eight London tower blocks. These will access cheaper electricity without tenants needing to cut back on comfort.
Work started in January 2015 on the first tower block in Pimlico, with 150 flats being fitted with new smart meters connected by Ethernet so that bulk electricity can be bought at a single industrial meter. Tenants are expected to save around 15 per cent on their fuel bills because the community meters allow electricity suppliers to provide beneficial tariffs to CityWest Homes, thereby reducing energy charges to tenants.
CityWest Homes is also using Energy Assets’ Z-Lynk load-switching and energy-control technology. This will switch on storage heaters and hot water cylinders remotely when electricity is at its cheapest.
Tim Harris, chief executive, CityWest Homes, said, “Our priority is to reduce bills for our tenants, while ensuring there is no change to their comfort. Electric heating tends to be more expensive and we expect to change that.
“By using new technology to bulk-buy electricity, we can optimise the use of intermittent sources such as offshore wind, as well as earn an income by helping to stabilise the grid. This will help to reduce the cost of heating and provide the best value for money for our tenants.”