Coming up in August and September

Using a tablet

In August we’ll be setting up the Energy Dashboard app for each of the houses we have already installed equipment in. We’ll then be delivering a tablet to each of these properties so that they can view their energy use and indoor environment data.


From mid August to early September we will be installing in the remainder of our properties in Rugby and Coventry, as well as Leamington Spa and Warwick.

Stratford-upon-Avon and Hinckley homes will have installation visits in mid to late September.

We realise that our households may have holidays and other commitments, so this is just a guideline as to when you can expect to hear from us. Please get in touch if you have any queries, or if you need to request an earlier or later installation.


In-home interviews

If you are a participant in the Smarter Households trial, you’ll know that you’ll be taking part in two interviews in your home. The first will be carried out in Winter 2016/17 (depending on when your installation happens). However, these are nothing to worry about!



Why  am I being interviewed?

Interviews help us to understand a bit more about you and your household, so we can see the context in which our technology is being used.

What will happen?

One or two members of our team will come to your home for about 90 minutes to chat to you.

What will we talk about?

We’ll ask a few questions about your daily or weekly routine, and the things you do to stay comfortable at home. We’ll also talk about technology in the home (including the equipment we’ve installed). There shouldn’t be any personal or sensitive questions, but if there are any questions you don’t wish to answer, just let us know.

Do I need to prepare in any way?

No. Unless we ask you to, you don’t need to find out any information or do anything differently to normal!

Will the interview be audio recorded?

Yes, we’ll record the interview, just to help us remember what you have said.


If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Installation begins!

Gas installation


In July we have started installing equipment in some of the houses we recruited last winter.

This has involved attaching a clamp meter to the live cable from the electricity meter to the house, and affixing a reader to the gas meter. The technology we are using is made by Invisible Systems and Loop Energy. As we are also monitoring indoor environmental conditions, we are fixing a 3-in-1 sensor in the living room and kitchen of each trial home. These sensors measure temperature, relative humidity, and carbon dioxide.

Data is flowing into our server at Coventry University, and we are finalising the ‘Energy Dashboard’ app for each household. In August we will be delivering a tablet to each of these first homes for them to see their electricity and gas consumption over the course of the day, week and month.

Don’t worry if you haven’t yet had a call or email from us to arrange your installation. We’re doing this in stages, and we’ll be in touch very soon.

Profile: Shuli Liu

Each newsletter, we’ll introduce you to a different member of the team. First up is Shuli, the project lead.

Professor Shuli Liu

Name: Shuli Liu

Specialist area: 

Low carbon building technology, renewable energy applications for buildings, Building retrofit/energy performance, human behaviours in buildings (energy)

Where do you work? 

The School of Energy, Construction and Environment at Coventry University

How did you get the idea for Smarter Households?

I was working on a 3 year building retrofit project with Orbit Housing Group when I noticed that many people don’t know much about their home’s energy performance, or the new technologies that might have been installed in their property. There is a gap between householders and new technologies, and as the energy smart metering scheme is rolled out by the UK government, this gap has been noticed again: these schemes benefit utility suppliers rather than end users. This is the reason the Smarter Households project was developed, as it is up to end users to live a low carbon lifestyle, not utility suppliers. Customers are the core driver and also the key to achieving energy reduction targets.

What excites you most about the project?

This project will focus on end users and also the next generation through new communication technologies- Play, Learn and Save are the central messages. Our new 3D dashboard, serious game, and also the energy engagement aspects are the novel parts of the project, and we hope to bring to people a new view of energy technology: we are not just boring engineers, we can be fun as well!