CharIoT on course to deliver healthier homes and lower energy bills
Successful trials of CharIoT, a unique new system that simultaneously records temperature, humidity and energy use in the home, have opened the way for low-income households to save money while reducing risks to their health.
Harnessing Internet of Things technology, the system generates easy-to-use data that can help local authorities, housing associations, energy suppliers, health authorities and others to target and tailor the energy advice they give to vulnerable people.
As well as revealing under- or over-heated parts of a home, CharIoT enables energy advisors to pinpoint where and why damp or mould may pose a problem. They can then suggest, for example, ways of using heaters more efficiently and cost-effectively, blocking draughts and eliminating dampness through better ventilation.
The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has funded the development of CharIoT by Southampton and Nottingham universities and the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE).
Each CharIoT kit includes three small wireless sensors that regularly record the temperature and humidity in the rooms they are placed in, and wireless devices that monitor gas and electricity consumption. Data is forwarded to and kept securely on a remote computer server accessed via the internet (i.e. it is stored in 'the cloud'), and later analysed via tablet or computer using a simple-to-use web-based interface.
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