Platform seeing early positive from initial rollout of Switchee smart thermostats

18 April 2023
3 mins

Above: Jen Arnold, Retrofit Customer Advisor for Platform with Martin Claridge from Project Heating Solutions installing the new Switchee Device at a customer’s home. 


Platform has reported a positive start to a​ project​ using new smart thermostats to monitor some of their homes. 

The group ​is​ in the process of installing ​​300 of the Switchee devices in selected homes in our stock with the aim of gathering data to help ​​improve energy efficiency and indoor air quality for customers. 

The devices​​ control central heating but can also monitor humidity levels and heat usage within the homes. ​Furthermore we can also communicate with the residents with messages via the devices smart touch screen. ​Since the start of the year, the installations, carried out by Project Heating Solutions, have seen many benefits in a short space of time. 

Joan Tyler​,​ who lives in Worcestershire was one of our residents to get the device installed in her property as part of a raft of measures to improve the energy efficiency of her home. It will monitor the humidity levels in her home and eventually help with controlling the temperature when she gets an air source heat pump installed.


“We’ve never had gas here and I have lived with a coal fired system up to now​,​ which is expensive and hard to maintain. I’ve never had this kind of central heating before, so I’m really looking forward to pressing that button.” 


In another instance, a customer’s device reported to the Platform team that the average temperature was not rising above 12 degrees​ in their home​. They were able to trigger an alert of potential fuel poverty and send a neighbourhood officer to the resident to investigate. 


Lisa Fairlie, Director of Housing Operations said, 

“The Switchee dashboard highlighted to us a customer's home that was not rising above 12 degrees, so at high risk of potential fuel poverty. We sent a neighbourhood officer out to speak with the resident and found out why this was the case - they worked shifts and didn't require heating at the usual times. Being able to monitor this data and respond quickly means we can make really well-informed decisions about how to help customers and cases like this are one of the main reasons the Switchee rollout has been great for our customers already.” 


The group has received funding from the first wave of grants from the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund which in turn has meant the p​roject​ and other retrofit measures can be realised. A second wave of funding has recently been released which will see more opportunities for us to continue improving homes. 


Jen Arnold, Retrofit Customer Advisor at Platform said, 

“Monitoring the thermal quality of our homes is vital as we progress through improving their efficiency. ​Switchee​ devices can tell us how long it takes for a home to heat up and how quickly it disappears. They will also tell us about humidity levels and help us identify the risk o​​f damp and condensation mould. That insight will mean we can be proactive about applying different measures to keep homes ​​warm and energy efficient for our customers.” 


As the project continues, Platform will be able to monitor the thermal efficiency of a home following any kind of work that has been done to monitor the effectiveness and provide residents with information and advice.