Build Test Solutions’ (BTS) SmartHTC product, the company’s market-leading thermal performance rating system that delivers accurate and reliable measurement of whole building fabric heat loss (also known as a Heat Transfer Coefficient), recently emerged as the top performer in the UK Government’s Technical Evaluation of the Smart Meter Enabled Thermal Efficiency Ratings (SMETER) technologies project.
In recent years, the UK has been focusing on improving the energy efficiency of every building through such technologies as the Government’s £16 billion smart meter programme. Alongside this, the UK is also faced with a £65 billion opportunity to invest in upgrading the nation’s housing stock to an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of C or above by 2030. However, for homeowners, tenants and landlords to make informed decisions about what to invest in to improve energy performances, home energy efficiency assessment tools are required to provide an accurate and reliable picture of where their property is now and what the solution is to make improvements.
Thanks to the SMETER project, practical evidence that there is a cost-effective way to measure and validate investment in buildings’ energy efficiencies through smart meters has been brought to the fore. The outputs stand not only to provide added value for households in receipt of smart meters but also to stimulate and unlock investment in the mammoth home insulation programme that is so desperately needed. Scalable, accurate and affordable measurement would allow quality assurance for the first time on building works, learning what products and processes really work and building consumer confidence in a much-maligned industry.
Richard Jack, BTS’ SmartHTC Product Manager, explains:
Through the SMETER programme, we have proven that using smart meters and low-cost temperature sensors like our SmartHTC solution can provide a very accurate assessment of the thermal performance of buildings, where otherwise an EPC would rely on assumptions or worse still, destructive testing. This is not only great in helping homeowners and landlords to make more informed decisions, but also paves the way for Government, mortgage providers and lenders to all develop funding models based on measured performance, allowing them to very clearly see their return on investment.
SmartHTC delivers an accurate and reliable measurement of whole building fabric heat loss (also known as a Heat Transfer Coefficient or HTC). Whereas SAP and EPC assessments make assumptions about the building, SmartHTC uses actual temperature and energy data from the property to derive an energy performance rating.
Thanks to SmartHTC’s ability to not disrupt occupants in their day-to-day activities, 100% of residents involved in the SMETER project reported that they would be happy to have the equipment installed for at least six months and 93% reported that they would be happy to have it installed forever. This is a remarkable milestone for understanding how buildings really work to drive improved retrofits to deliver sustainable energy consumption and cost savings in household heating. In addition, the SmartHTC solution proved to be a particularly non-invasive, cost-effective and flexible method, able to measure across all 30 houses in the trial with accuracy; something that no other method achieved.
We are very pleased with the results that have come out of this programme.
In addition to our SmartHTC product outperforming all competitor products on the measurement side, we were also able to integrate our intelligence into Switchee’s smart thermostat offering. This proves that our products can be used effectively alongside smart meter technologies that are already in the home. This is a game changer and something we’re keen to discuss further with other smart home IoT technology providers, as well as energy suppliers and mortgage lenders.
Presently, major stakeholders like installers, building assessors, landlords and surveyors currently rely on visual inspections undertaken by assessors. BTS is pioneering the next generation of performance testing that will deploy technologies that provide a digital measurement. The assessment is proof that this next leap in digital testing is inevitable.