smart home
Image credit: E.ON

The smart home ‘Smarter Living Challenge’ has been launched by the UK telco provider BT and green campaigner Hubbub.

The Challenge will pilot a campaign with an initial 60 households spread across the country over the next three months to investigate how digital technology can be used to reduce carbon emissions.

The aim is to support the drive to meet climate targets and forms part of BT’s wider commitment to a greener, sustainable future, according to a statement.

The initiative follows an earlier survey by Hubbub which found that almost two-thirds were not using any technology to run their homes but almost a quarter would consider doing so if it reduced their impact on the environment.

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The project intends to investigate attitudes, perceptions and behaviours around home energy use and to explore some of the barriers that exist and how these can be overcome.

Cost and complexity could be two areas that need addressing the polling has suggested, with almost half of people believing that leading a greener lifestyle is expensive and a sixth saying that they find technology too complicated and confusing to install and run.

Nevertheless, almost half indicated they would be willing to use technology as a way to reduce bills.

The polling also indicated that there could be some fairly quick and easy ways to help people save money and cut emissions with one in ten confirming they have no idea how much they spend on energy bills.

The challenge will introduce a range of smart home devices, apps and tips to the households. These will include smart thermostats and radiator valves; smart lighting and plugs; apps to manage energy, food and water use and websites to compare usage and learn how to save money on bills. 

The intention is to bring together the participants as a digital group to share experiences and provide inspiration to others.

The results from this first phase are due to be published during Spring of 2021 with the ambition to use them for a subsequent wider campaign. As smart meters so far appear to have had limited impact on energy use and the smart home concept has not yet taken off in much more than a piecemeal fashion, the results will be awaited with interest.