Opinion

Pollard’s Patter

Plumb Center's head of sustainability Tim Pollard
Plumb Center’s head of sustainability Tim Pollard

As the world of technology continues to accelerate at pace we are constantly bombarded by new developments, even in terms of language. The latest concept to excite some people is the ‘Smart’ or ‘Connected Home’.

We continue to fill our homes with more and more devices and yet our busy lives mean that we spend less and less time in the house. The ability to control devices remotely becomes more interesting especially when considering our energy-sensitive devices. One of the constant moans about PV is the inability to use our home-generated electricity during the day when our panels are most productive. We can fit time switches, but predicting the UK weather is not a reliable activity.

Heating controls is a particularly interesting issue since the evidence shows that massive savings can be made by installing and using them correctly.

Some of us have already received ‘Smart Meters’ from energy suppliers collecting more data and potentially providing more control. The issue before long may well be joining all these systems together on a common ‘platform’, rather than creating multiple networks which may even end up in conflict. However, there is a really poor record of standardisation even in relatively simple issues. A variety of connections at charge points for electric vehicles springs to mind.

One thing is clear. Many people really enjoy mobile applications and using their mobile devices in ever more ambitious ways and where there is demand then someone will grasp the opportunity.