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Is remote technology the key to energy bill savings?

By Katie Anderson on May 9, 2013

Research carried out by Future Foundation has revealed that UK households could shave up to £300 million off their annual energy bills by 2030. Working in association with British Gas, the ‘consumer trends and insight enterprise’ believes remote technology lies at the heart of future savings.

Statistics on domestic energy wastage in the UK are truly shocking. According to British Gas, the lights are left on in 2.5 million unoccupied properties every day, whilst televisions are not turned off in 2.2 million unoccupied homes. During the coldest months of the year, approximately 7.8 million households leave their central heating systems on when they leave the house, although this may be necessary to a certain extent during periods of exceptional cold.

Future Foundation is adamant that significant savings can be made by relying on remote technology. The company supports the development of remote systems that enable householders to control lighting and heating via smartphones. Such systems would allow people to turn lights on or off remotely and adjust thermostatic settings from afar.

A more revolutionary idea supported by Future Foundation is the deployment of biometric sensors around the home that change central heating settings automatically as occupiers become warmer or colder.

British Gas estimates the cost of leaving electrical appliances on in unoccupied homes to be around £1.6 billion. If remote technologies are embraced, the energy supplier believes energy wastage could be reduced by almost 20 per cent over the next seventeen years.

Writing on the British Gas website, Technology Director Kassir Hussain commented: “People are already benefiting from home technologies such as Remote Heating Controll to manage energy bills and have a home that’s easy to run.

“We see enormous potential in solutions that will help people shift away from 9-to-5 lifestyles. By connecting household devices to the internet people will gain greater control, making life more convenient, comfortable and cheaper”.

Future Foundation associate, William Nelson, added: “With an average of 51 gadgets in the home by 2030, technology will be integral to running a family home”.

Available only to British Gas customers, Remote Heating Control enables people to control their central heating systems remotely via a smartphone or web-based console.