Renfrewshire Council gets to grips with fuel poverty in IoT pilot
Renfrewshire Council gets to grips with fuel poverty in IoT pilot

Renfrewshire Council gets to grips with fuel poverty in IoT pilot

Renfrewshire Council has seen a 600 percent return on investment from a project that uses IoT sensors to tackle health and heating problems experienced by tenants in social housing. 

A pilot project carried out by local authority Renfrewshire Council in Scotland has helped to tackled fuel poverty in social housing using IoT sensors, according to a report from Scottish Housing News.

The pilot has been underway since July 2016 and collects real-time data on temperature, humidity and carbon dioxide levels at 50 homes in and around Paisley. The sensors enable the council to flag up problems and take measures to alleviate them.

For example, high levels of carbon dioxide could signal that there are issues with air quality and ventilation, while low temperatures and high humidity could be an indication that a tenant is unable to adequately heat their homes and thus represents a case of fuel poverty.

The project, which saw tenants in terraced housing, high rises and cottages opt into the programme, has uncovered a number of problems with their homes, such as damp, heating systems issues and fuel poverty.

Read more: Smart thermostats gain traction in Europe and North America

Big ROI for project

The IoT network has already delivered an estimated 600 percent return on investment to the council, by preventing costs associated with property damage caused by problems going unfixed. The network was installed by a consortium of organisations, including CENSIS (the Scottish Innovation Centre for Sensor and Imaging Systems) and technology suppliers Stream Technologies and Boston Networks. Smart asset management company iOpt Assets is collecting and managing the data.

David Amos, head of policy and commissioning at Renfrewshire Council, said: “The health of our tenants is of paramount concern. iOpt Assets’ easy to install technology gives us the ability to spot problems they have with energy or any issues with their housing that might affect their health. It will also help us take preventative action, where necessary, to protect, manage, or even improve our homes – from damp and moisture detection, to issues with air quality.

“The council is working with partners to create an environment in Renfrewshire that supports the testing and deployment of innovative Internet of Things technology and we were delighted to have facilitated this successful test with iOpt Assets.”

By the end of the year, IOpt Assets hope to roll out the IoT network to 2000 homes around Scotland.

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