Smart Meter Enabled Thermal Efficiency Ratings (SMETER)

Smart Meter Enabled Thermal Efficiency Ratings (SMETER)

The Smart Meter Enabled Thermal Efficiency Ratings (SMETER) innovation programme was a Government-funded scheme to develop, test and demonstrate technologies that measure the thermal performance of homes using smart meters and other data.

What was the SMETER project?

The SMETER programme gave an opportunity for new providers to develop methods to measure the thermal performance of occupied buildings using data from smart meters and other sensors. The project was part of the Government's plans to use performance measurement in policy to address the performance gap and to add value to the UK's smart meter infrastructure.

Alongside research and development funding, the project included independent testing of all technologies against baseline co-heating test measurements in 30 occupied houses in NW England. The SMETER assessment panel comprised of a team of universities including Leeds Beckett University, Loughborough University and University College London.

How was BTS involved?

Through SMETER, the BTS-led project integrated our SmartHTC technology into market-ready products offered in partnership with Elmhurst Energy, Hildebrand Technology and the University of Salford. The project's outputs included a new Measured Energy Performance service to use SmartHTC metrics within SAP calculations offered by Elmhurst Energy and integration with Hildebrand's smart meter infrastructure to enable huge scalability of SmartHTC measurements.

The project also delivered further fundamental research and validation of the SmartHTC algorithm through a partnership with the University of Salford and testing in the unique Energy House laboratory.

SMETER project statistics

Facts and statistics about this research project:

Field trial homes
Success rate
Best performing solution

Results of the SMETER project

SmartHTC technology was used by two separate SMETER project teams: by BTS directly and through third-party integration in a project led by smart thermostat manufacturer Switchee. The results showed that SmartHTC performed particularly well in both cases, providing the most accurate and repeatable results of all 7 participant teams in a cost-effective and non-disruptive manner.

The SMETER assessment panel, comprised of leading universities said:

The projects delivered by BTS (SMETER B) and Switchee (SMETER H) were the two best-performing SMETER technologies.

The results from the SMETER project add to the comparisons with co-heating tests previously carried out by BTS and allowed for an open book of the collected data and SmartHTC algorithm by experts from the University of Salford. This creates a library of comparisons including buildings of different built forms and energy performance levels. This is important as the 30 buildings tested in the SMETER project itself were all rather similar and with relatively poor thermal performance.

Seamless integration

The SmartHTC measurements provided by BTS to the Switchee project team demonstrates the truly seamless integration possibilities of the technology. In the Switchee project, SmartHTC was integrated into their smart thermostat system using APIs. When combined with the temperature data collected by the smart thermostat devices, SmartHTC calculations were instantaneously performed and presented to the user. This is an excellent example of how accurate SmartHTC measurements can be provided efficiently and remotely through integration with existing in-home devices and systems.

Building performance measurement made simple

Unique products and smart technologies designed for energy assessors, building surveyors, the construction industry, utility suppliers and other built environment experts.

Temperature sensors

SmartHTC Measured Thermal Performance

A low-cost and non-invasive way of measuring the true thermal performance of a house. It requires temperature and meter data to calculate an accurate heat loss rating over a 3-week period.

Learn more about SmartHTC Measured Thermal Performance

Occupant satisfaction

Interviews with the residents of the 30 SMETER field trial houses showed that they weren't disrupted by the SmartHTC monitoring. Even with several measurements carried out in each house, 100% of residents reported that they'd be happy to have the equipment installed for at least 6 months and 93% reported that they'd be happy to have it installed forever.

Quick and accurate Pulse testing

As part of the testing in 30 houses carried out with university collaboration, airtightness measurements were carried out using both Pulse and a blower door demonstrating accurate and repeatable results.

The SMETER assessment panel added that:

Both Pulse and Blower Door methodologies were observed to provide reliable and repeatable results in the more airtight dwellings tested under favourable environmental conditions.

In addition, they found that Pulse testing was quicker than testing air permeability with a blower door fan:

The Pulse test takes under ½ hour with 1 person, whilst the Blower Door test takes ¾~1 hour with 1 person, or ½~¾ hour with 2 people.