Stirling Council is introducing Internet of Things technology to 50,000 homes in what is described as the largest roll-out of its kind.
Following a working trial with IoT devices from Aico (HomeLink), the council will install 50,000 of the same devices over the next eight-to-10 years in homes managed by Stirling Council Housing Service.
Collected data will include temperature, humidity and CO2 gas levels. Combined with smoke detection sensors this “will dramatically improve the health, safety and wellbeing of residents”, according to the council. Tenants will be able to take actionable measures from insights via a free mobile app and analytics portal.
The environmental sensors in the properties will alert the council in real-time, providing early warning of damp, mould, ventilation and other potential issues.
The ability to identify the least thermally-efficient homes means the council, as landlord, can take intelligence-led decisions to target capital investment programmes at those properties. The Fuel Poverty Act (Scotland) seeks to protect residents, particularly those in rural, highland and island communities, from fuel poverty. About a fifth of Stirling Council’s housing portfolio is in rural areas.
IoT tech demand set to surge
According to Aico (HomeLink), “across the UK more than 150,000 IoT devices are connected in tenants’ homes and in use by social landlords”. Based on current demand, Aico (HomeLink) expects this to increase to 1 million devices by the end of 2024. This will bring “a paradigm shift in landlords’ efforts to comply both with regulations, but also in offering tenants a better understanding of their home’s environment”.
Stirling tenant Robert Cairney said: “I was initially sceptical about what the sensors and technology in my home would bring in terms of financial or health benefits. However, by recording moisture in the air, I can be alerted to the risk of damp and mould. Rather than having to keep an eye out for these things myself, my landlord also better knows when it is time to come and do repairs or maintenance work on the property.
“This IoT technology for homes like mine helps me to feel safer, live in a healthier environment, and reduce costs. I’m more aware of how my home is behaving, and alerted to ways I can save money by using this free connected home kit. For example, wasting money trying to heat a home that has gaps in the doors and windows letting heat out, or an inefficient boiler and room heaters that need bleeding. Everyone is concerned about the rising costs of energy but, thanks to these improvements, it’s not a question of eat or heat for me now.”
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