Today the UK’s first ‘smart meters’ research facility was launched at Salford University, Manchester.

The Smart Meters – Smart Homes laboratory aims to supply government and consumers with data and advice on smart meter performance and usage and provide a research base for industry and manufacturers.

University researchers, working in partnership with industry, will explore how smart meters best work in tandem with the growing array of home technology like energy savers and storage devices, EV chargers, bots, smart speakers, sensors and wearables.

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy is convinced that the use of smart metering has the potential to not only help consumers, but to open up new opportunities for innovation in British industry in products and services.

Mike Woodhall, Managing Director at Chameleon Technology, echoed this statement, “We are on the cusp of a huge change in how we produce and use energy. Digitalisation and electrification of our energy supply and the growing use of, and requirement for, renewables will bring unprecedented change, and transform how we all buy, use and interact with energy. Smart meters, and real-time data they generate, are the key to unlocking the benefits of these changes for consumers and businesses.”

Two of Chameleon’s smart technology solutions were demonstrated at the Smart Meter – Smart Home launch to media, industry and business representatives. Chameleon’s I•VIE cloud platform uses voice technology to make changes to the home thermostat, adjust the home’s energy budget or top up the available smart meter credit. A Home Automation demonstration shows how households can see changes within their home via their in-home display – such as a front door opening or a window not closing.

The Smart Meter – Smart Home project will explore how business, industry and government can get the best from smart meters in the future.

Dr Richard Fitton, lecturer in energy efficiency who advises the Parliament on home energy management, said: “We see the smart meter infrastructure as presenting a major new opportunity for innovation in the UK. We could see whole new categories of products and services that change the way we consume, produce and store energy, bringing potential benefits to consumers.”

Chameleon’s smart home enabling technology already works with numerous other pieces of smart-tech such as Alexa, Google Home, Samsung Smart Things and Honeywell thermostats. The team at Chameleon Technology will be working with Salford University to further develop its products and platform to help create more useful customer offerings.

Mike Woodhall said, “Chameleon is very keen to work alongside the researchers at the Salford University Smart Meters – Smart Home project and collaborate with other leading innovators in smart technology to explore how these new technologies can work together and bring knowledge and benefits to innovators, suppliers, policy makers and consumers.”

For more information on the Salford University Smart Home lab, 
please click here.