The UK’s first smart home energy research lab has opened up in Salford. 

The aim of the lab is to help people understand how to use energy efficiently and to supply government with data and advice on smart meter performance.

The University of Salford has partnered with industry experts, to explore how smart meters work best with home technology such as energy savers, storage devices, EV chargers and smart speakers.

Professor Will Swan, head of the Applied Buildings and Energy Research Group at the University of Salford, said that a test bed has been built, to look at how smart meters can drive the future of energy consumption in the home.

He also talks about what this means for Salford.

Mr Swan said: “This is really about what individual consumers energy futures are gonna look like.”

The future of energy is a lot more complicated and the smart meter provides the infrastructure to provide information and control because as we know energy changes price during the day, the smart meter and the supporting technology allows us to maybe think about charging our battery when energy is cheap and selling is back to the grid when its expensive.

Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Rebecca Long-Bailey, who is also Salford’s MP said:

This lab is advancing the technology and will be leading the market essentially. It fits into a wider policy package which talks about not just dealing with climate change and making sure we have more fuel efficient homes both in terms of gas and electricity but it’s also a key driver in eliminating fuel poverty.

Nearly 11 per cent of people living in Salford are in fuel poverty and the energy lab can be a critical part of making sure that people are aware of the cheapest time to use their energy within their homes. For every 2,000 households lifted out of fuel poverty, the saving to the NHS would be £1 million per year.

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