Axis has partnered with Swan Housing Association and CoControl to pilot a new energy-saving device known as CoControl. This is a device that “learns” the comfort and behavioural patterns of a household, helping residents control their heating more easily and efficiently, saving money on bills in the long term.
50 residents volunteered to trial the device over a 9 month period with Axis installing the devices in the residents’ homes and then removing them at the end of the trial. This is in addition to the Gas maintenance service we already provide for Swan residents. “Axis is always looking at ways to improve the lives of residents through the use of new sustainable technologies. We are therefore really excited about helping Swan to carry out this CoControl pilot and are very much looking forward to seeing the results,” explained Helen Craig, Head of Sustainability & Facilities at Axis.
The device connects via broadband to measure conditions such as humidity and temperature. There is an easy to use remote control, which has a blue button and a red button; residents click the blue button if they are too cold and the red button if they are too hot. The more a resident uses the device, the more it tailors itself to their homes and to their needs. This information will help to update and improve the algorithm so the system “learns” how the household operates and uses heating.
Jill Marks, a participant in the trial, spent around £16-£20 a week on gas last year and this is expected to decrease to just £7-£10 a week. Jill told us: “I’m very happy with it because it will work out so much cheaper for me. It’s also really easy to use and we don’t have to do much. With the thermostat we always had to alter the temperature but the CoControl device turns the heating on when it’s needed and off when it’s not.”
Dr Tim Lunel, MD of CoControl, said: “The winter is all about seeing how people interact with their heating system in a way that’s more than just about how warm they feel in their home. This is opposed to the traditional focus on thermostat settings which can feel, at times, a little arbitrary. The device will deliver different levels of savings to different households depending on how they used their heating systems before the device was installed.”
Frances Bowen, Sustainability Coordinator at Swan, said: “This is a very exciting project for all partners involved and gives us as a landlord the opportunity to look at how we may be able to save our residents money and increase the comfort in their own home in the future. Residents have been engaging and we look forward to seeing the final results at the end of the trial – watch this space!”