UK’s Biggest Deployment of IoT Sensors in Social Housing
Stirling Council is to carry out what is claimed to be the UK’s biggest deployment of internet of things (IoT) sensors in its social housing. Housing Industry Leaders looks at how this will support social housing residents.

The council has revealed plans to work with sensor suppliers Aico and HomeLink over the next 8-10 years in installing 50,000 smart devices. The aim is to release a free app for social housing residents to understand their home environments and energy consumption levels.

Currently, this is the largest UK social housing sector rollout and is the first full rollout of a multi-technology and sensor-connected home.

Guidance On How Residents Can Save Money On Energy Bills Will Be Given

It follows a pilot project with Aico, in which sensors have monitored factors such as damp, mould, ventilation, and other issues. In a time of fuel poverty, connected devices more often seen in private dwellings are emerging as a powerful tool ensuring social homes are healthy to live in and used in an energy-efficient manner.

Homes will also benefit from a significant fire safety upgrade and be equipped with connected smoke, heat and carbon monoxide alarms.

Aico has said that Stirling Council will obtain the ability to identify the least thermally efficient homes and take intelligent decisions on how to target its capital investment in housing. The Fuel Poverty Act (Scotland), also seeks to protect residents of all households but particularly those in rural, highland and island communities from facing fuel poverty. Stirling council have around 20 per cent of its housing portfolio in rural areas.

Residents that use the app will be able to view the conditions of their homes. In addition, the app will provide guidance on improving living conditions, reducing carbon footprint, and saving money on energy bills.

Insight Will Be Provided On The Performance Of Retrofitted Properties

A council spokesperson has said that: “This technology helps us manage our housing stock through reliable data-driven intelligence, take prioritised investment decisions and improve customer satisfaction.

“When considering our sustainability goals, the data generated will help us identify the least energy-efficient homes and take action.”

It will also provide insight into the performance of properties that have been recently retrofitted to ensure they remain healthy environments to live in.

About the pilot project, the spokesperson added: “We’ve seen some interesting insights on these trials properties with several high-risk indications of condensation-caused damp and mould.

“This has really got us thinking about how we help the resident manage their environment better and discern if it is actually something inherent with the building performance.

“Since the CivTech trial programme we have been working closely with our residents and HomeLINK to design and develop this technology and service so solutions to the many challenges associated to tenant’s wellbeing, property disrepair and carbon reduction can be holistically improved”.

Aico and HomeLINK state that across the UK more than 150,000 IoT devices are connected in tenants’ homes and in use by social landlords. Based on current demand this number is expected to hit 1 million devices by the end of 2024.