The University of Salford has launched the UK’s first smart meters research facility to provide a base for industry and manufacturers working on smart home technologies.
The Smart Meters>Smart Home lab will allow researchers to work in partnership with industry to explore how smart meters best work in tandem with the growing array of home technologies like energy saving and storage devices, electric vehicle chargers, bots, smart speakers, sensors and wearable technologies.
The new facility is based at The University of Salford's Joule House, which has a global reputation in domestic energy research centred on Energy House - the world’s first whole building test facility in a controlled environment - and the recently-unveiled Energy House 2.0.
‘Explosion of tech’
Lead researcher at the university, Prof Will Swan, said: “Domestic energy systems are becoming more complex due to the advent of renewables, time-of-use tariffs, energy storage and a greater fluidity in the customer-supplier relationship.
“What we currently have is an explosion of tech – but little impact on common objectives like lowering bills, cutting carbon and customer satisfaction.”
The government is convinced that smart meters have the potential to save huge amounts of energy and plans to install 30 million in homes and small businesses by 2020, despite controversy over delays and the rising cost of the rollout.
Robert Cheesewright, director of corporate affairs at Smart Energy GB, the independent company established to support the national rollout, described the new lab as “a fantastic resource for helping everyone get the best from smart meters.”