Earlier this month NIBE was delighted to be invited to the launch of the Smart Meters research facility at Salford University.

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

Physicists and building engineers 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, wearables and heat pumps.

Lead researcher Professor Will Swan said: “Domestic energy systems are becoming more complex due to the advent of time-of-use tariffs, energy storage, renewables and a greater fluidity in the customer-supplier relationship.

“What we currently have is an explosion of tech – but little impact on common objectives like lowering bills, cutting carbon and customer satisfaction.

“It is vital that science provides some clarity around the benefits, possibilities and pitfalls of this new home energy technology for consumers, regulators and innovators.”

A NIBE F2040 compact Air Source Heat Pump, including invertor control along with NIBE VVM 320 indoor module have been installed and, will be tested along with a range of other home technologies to see how they interconnect with each other and provide the opportunity for a cleaner, greener and more energy efficient country.

Dr Richard Fitton, lecturer in energy efficiency who advises Parliament on home energy measurement, 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.”

Robin Adderley, NIBE Sales and Marketing Director concluded: “This is an exciting project and we’re delighted that NIBE has been asked to be a part of it. Time of use electricity tariffs are already common place in Scandinavia helping consumers to further benefit from heat pump technology. It was therefore only natural that the University install our products to understand how all these technologies can work together to help transition the UK towards a more flexible energy market.”