Smart technology is to be built into every new One Housing home, including homes for affordable rent and Shared Ownership.
The move makes One Housing the first housing association to give residents in its affordable new homes access to the energy saving systems that have, until now, only been associated with luxury private homes.
The move is projected to save residents up to 12% on their energy bills, which could be hundreds of pounds a year, across all of One Housing’s new homes.
Alan Williams, group director of development at One Housing, said: “We have installed smart technology in our private homes for some time but we have always been conscious that residents in our affordable homes are the least able to absorb the rising cost of energy. By giving our residents more control over their energy bills we are helping them save money, making their homes more affordable and protecting the environment.”
Fuel poverty has been rising across England and the fuel poverty gap stood at £882m across at 2.38m households in 2014, the last year in that figures are available for. The increase in fuel poverty was particularly marked in London, which has seen the biggest rise in the proportion of households in fuel poverty since 2003 and now stands over 10%.
The first One Housing affordable homes with smart technology installed are at Brackenbury Grove in Hammersmith and completed at the end of last year. With 3,500 homes in One Housing’s development pipeline, of which 1,500 are affordable homes, this initiative will have a big impact over the next four years. Smart thermostats allow heating and energy to be more efficiently programmed and to be controlled from a mobile phone giving residents instant control so no energy is wasted.
One Housing helps people to ‘live better’ by providing high quality homes and care across London and the south east. It manages over 15,000 homes and have plans to build 3,500 more by 2020. The housing association also cares for over 11,500 people to help them live independently