Smart energy: UK’s E.ON extends smart home pilot in Milton Keynes


E.ON, one of the UK’s big six energy suppliers, has extended a pilot of smart home technologies in Milton Keynes, in Southeast England.

E.ON and Milton Keynes council have announced a one-year extension to their joint interactive trial Thinking Energy until summer 2015.

Launched in 2011, Thinking Energy involves 75 family homes in Milton Keynes and aims to road test technology that connects mobile and Internet of Things with home energy management.

David Hopkins, deputy leader and cabinet member responsible for economic development and enterprise at Milton Keynes council, said: “This project is crucial in enabling people in Milton Keynes to use their energy smartly and significantly cut their associated costs.

“In times where people are managing on tight budgets and reducing the carbon footprint is a priority, this is clearly a ‘win-win’ situation.”

Trial participants are currently able to view their energy data via a web browser, tablet or smartphone app on the go.

Internet of things

With the extension of the trial, homes are being fitted with internet-connected technologies such as connected lighting, intelligent boiler controls and room-by-room heating.

Participants will be able to control lighting throughout their homes via a mobile device and activate an ‘out’ smart control to turn off all the lights in their home when they go out, rather than having to go from room to room.

Smart controls will also allow people to customise their lighting so they can set lights to come on automatically at dusk and go off at dawn.

Households under the trial will also try out a remote control that allows them to adjust boiler settings to avoid waste when they change plans for the day.

In addition, the Thinking Energy trial will explore room-by-room heating controls, to allow participants to ensure that each room is heated according to need.

The smart home technologies are based on Greenwave Reality’s Home2Cloud platform, which monitors electricity and gas consumption by using smart meters and smart plugs that control appliances such as TVs, PCs, washing machines and fridges.

This follow’s E.ON’s announcement that it has extended its European partnership with GreenWave Reality for smart home solutions.

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