An increasing number of social housing providers are unveiling innovative and ambitious projects that use internet of things (IoT) networks to improve the lives of tenants.
Digital technology, such as smart meters, have been rapidly rolled out in recent years in a bid to lower both domestic energy bills and carbon emissions. Now the social housing sector is adopting the next generation of connectivity with IoT networks capable of hosting multiple applications to benefit the welfare of vulnerable tenants.
From building security to optimising utility usage, the potential applications for IoT technology have become apparent to councils, housing associations and other social housing providers.
So how can this smart housing tech help both tenants and social landlords?
Heating and utilities management
Individual gas boilers and electric storage heaters are being replaced with energy-efficient heating systems which provide accurate, real-time consumption data via an IoT network. When combined with a range of flexible payment options, these systems can have a positive impact on fuel poverty.
By adopting smarter systems, heat will be generated only when and where it’s required to the exact temperature that is optimal for every square foot. This will have a huge benefit for social housing tenants who can hopefully enjoy comfort, convenience and lower energy bills.
By installing compatible technology, which meets recognised industry standards, the IoT network can be also used by a variety of partners who can work collaboratively to improve the quality of living for social housing tenants.
Uses for IoT networks
Social housing providers are using IoT devices for much more than just heating. The technology can also be employed for a number of other services which can improve the welfare and safety of residents.
IoT networks can support devices which monitor conditions inside each dwelling. For example, temperature sensors can alert building managers to homes which are under heated, potentially due to tenants being in fuel poverty. Alternatively, tenants in over-heated dwellings can be advised on optimising energy usage.
Humidity, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide meters are vitally important as they can highlight safety issues with the building, and potential dangers to the health of tenants. Fire alarms, lighting, security and remote entry systems can all utilise an IoT network.
Once an IoT network is up and running it can provide free or subsidised, high-speed fibre-optic broadband to residents. This can help to eliminate the digital divide and provide residents with the opportunity to improve their employability through digital skills classes.
Another benefit of IoT technology is the ability to future-proof the network so the system can be easily upgraded to cope with future demands.
Choosing smart technology
There is more to IoT implementation than simply plugging in some new software or hardware. The choice of technology is just as important as your chosen applications.
Certain IoT frameworks, called application enablement platforms or AEPs, enable the construction of interconnected or independent IoT solutions for customers. An AEP allows partners to build custom IoT applications on the platform for customers.
AEPs with supervisory tools are even able to monitor their own performance, reducing the need for day-to-day management. However, all IoT systems need robust risk analysis and privacy governance procedures.
Here at ista, we’re experts in ensuring heating costs are distributed fairly with everyone only paying for what they consume. Our systems deliver flexibility to match your organisation and allow your tenants to receive their utility bills in a number of convenient forms.
We give you confidence and transparency in the full settlement of your community or district heating across your buildings and whole estate.