The development of energy-efficient, net zero carbon emission housing using smart energy technology has already begun. Tucked away among pipes and steel girders at the University of Salford is the Energy House. The house was built in 2011 as part of a research facility focused on energy use in the UK. Its development was key in understanding how smart energy technology could impact homes and businesses of the future.
Research undertaken through the Energy House project has helped gather the data needed to make informed green energy decisions with regards to home and business gas and electricity. It is shaping our approach to technology and the Internet of Things (IoT).
Building the ‘Energy House 2.0’
Construction has begun on Energy House’s £16 million replacement. It is being built with the focus set on reaching net zero emissions in the UK by 2050. The team behind Energy House 2.0 have broken ground on their new research facility, complete with four furnished houses and a state-of-the-art heating, ventilating and air conditioning system. The houses will sit between two chambers capable of simulating extreme variations in weather from -20°C to 40°C.
The Energy House 2.0 project is the largest of its kind in Europe, and will help shape the homes of the future. Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, it aims to help the UK reach net zero carbon emissions and alleviate fuel poverty.
Their 1000 square meter weather simulator will be able to create snow, rain, wind and solar exposure. This allows researchers to better understand how smart energy products, modern insulation materials and batteries will respond to climate conditions which affect 95% of the world’s population.
Improving smart energy technology through accurate testing
Each house will be fitted with smart energy technology, which includes:
- smart meters
- in-home displays
- vehicle-to-grid (V2G) solutions
- being powered by 100% renewable energy
Aside from the obvious benefits of smart meters providing real-time energy data, prompting better decision making, projects such as Energy House 2.0 will tap into the potential for smart meters to do so much more.
With over 21.5 million smart meters already in the United Kingdom, there is hope that the Energy House project can help un-tap their potential for green energy practices. Through Energy House 2.0, researchers will be able to identify how smart meters can contribute to establishing smart grids.
Smart grids will use the data provided by smart meters to accurately predict how much electricity is needed at any given time so that supply can better match demand. This will help reduce reliance on coal and nuclear energy, and funnel future energy solutions towards solar and wind energy options instead.
Understanding vehicle-to-grid solutions
Research undertaken at Salford University’s previous Energy House found that V2G solutions could save UK households up to £300 per year.
The Energy House 2.0 will incorporate car parking spaces for electric vehicles, allowing them to be connected to the homes in order to build on this research, as V2G technology evolves to cater to increasing demand.
Improving test conditions
A massive benefit to the Energy House 2.0 project is the impact it will have on testing products.
Controlled conditions at the Energy House Laboratories allow researchers to repeat experiments in a way that could not be done conventionally. This cuts study times from years to a matter of weeks.
Stimulating a new economy
There is hope that projects such as these can help stimulate the green economy.
With green energy becoming an important consideration for businesses globally, there are growing opportunities in the industry.
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng, former UK Minister of State for Business, Energy and Clean Growth said:
“As we look to build back better from COVID-19, I look forward to seeing how Energy House 2.0 will support businesses regionally, nationally and internationally to deliver a step change in energy efficiency in buildings and create growth and jobs in the green economy.”
Using smart energy technology today
Through energy monitoring software, businesses can manage and monitor energy usage in real-time. This can play a massive role in identifying cost-saving opportunities, improving your business’ profitability and competitiveness.
With so much focus placed on a net zero carbon emission future, businesses should start adapting their energy solutions now to reap the potential savings of green technology initiatives.
At Smarter Business, our team of experts has a finger on the pulse of smart energy technology. In addition to finding the best business gas and business electricity prices in the UK, we’ll help you phase in energy-saving efforts or overhaul your energy portfolio to help achieve net zero status.