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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number EP/L02392X/1
Title CharIoT: Leveraging the Internet of Things to Reduce Fuel Poverty
Status Completed
Energy Categories Energy Efficiency(Residential and commercial) 100%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields SOCIAL SCIENCES (Sociology) 25%;
PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Computer Science and Informatics) 75%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Policy and regulation) 13%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Consumer attitudes and behaviour) 50%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Other sociological economical and environmental impact of energy) 25%;
Other (Energy technology information dissemination) 12%;
Principal Investigator Dr E Costanza
No email address given
Electronics and Computer Science
University of Southampton
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 October 2014
End Date 31 March 2016
Duration 18 months
Total Grant Value £277,067
Industrial Sectors Energy; Information Technologies
Region South East
Programme Digital Economy : Digital Economy
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr E Costanza , Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton (99.998%)
  Other Investigator Dr S D Ramchurn , Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton (0.001%)
Professor T Rodden , Computer Science, University of Nottingham (0.001%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , Horstmann Group Ltd (0.000%)
Web Site
Abstract The Internet of Things has already started to leave the lab and reach into the world with Internet enabled devices and products making it possible to capture and share our physical activities, our weight, our energy consumption, and our movement habits among many others. To paraphrase William Gibson, the Internet of Things is already here, it's just not very evenly distributed (2), it predominantly resides in the homes of those with sufficient disposable income to purchase new digital gadgets. This "in the wild" project focuses on how the Internet of Things (IoT) might avoid an emphasis on technologies that support a few digitally privileged households to consider how it may be beneficial to all elements of society. We are particularly interested in involving users at the edges of digital society, the low-income vulnerable households that are typically left behind by technological development. To achieve this broad aim we will work with low-income households currently in fuel poverty who are subject to ever increasing energy costs that they feel powerless to mitigate.Fuel poverty is a key societal concern in the UK, with 4.5 millions of affected households in 2011 (1) exposed to associated financial, physical and emotional effects (3). In addition to financial support and benefits, a key resource to help people in fuel poverty is energy advice to encourage wise energy use while keeping people warm and healthy. This is often provided by charities over the phone, in community centres and through home visits. The Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE, the "user partner" in this project) is a national charity with over 30 years of experience in providing energy advice to people in fuel poverty. The advisors frequently face challenges involved in assessing the extent and effects of fuel poverty on a case-by-case basis. Many of these challenges arise from a paucity of information about energy use in the households they advise. Brief home visits and incomplete information gleaned through phone interviews often have to suffice to infer the causes of problems of properties often associated with health risks (e.g.damp and mold), to recommend both material and behavioural improvements to the affected, and to liaise with third parties to make the case for adjustments on their client's behalf (e.g. landlords, councils, and power companies). We seek to address these challenges by building applications and services on IoT technologies in support of energy advice by providing a richer picture of use and more evidence to drive change on behalf of these households.1. Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) (2013): Annual Fuel Poverty Statistics. 2013.2. Gibson, W. (1999): Interview on NPR's ''Talk of the Nation,'' 30 November3. Marmot Review Team (2011): The health impacts of cold homes and fuel poverty. Friends of the Earth. Department of Epidemology & Public Health, UCL.

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Added to Database 10/04/14