In-use whole house monitoring installed in EVALOC households
As a part of the EVALOC project, we have installed sophisticated whole house monitoring system in 30 households across the 6 case study low carbon communities to monitor the energy use, internal environment, external environment, user interaction with the building (opening and closing of windows), occupancy levels in the house and the performance of any micro generation or low carbon technologies in these houses.
The purpose of household-level monitoring is to establish the actual energy and environmental performance of a house in relation to user behaviour patterns, comfort and perceptions. The findings will help the EVALOC researchers in gaining a better understanding of the energy and environmental performance of houses that have been refurbished in a variety of ways to enhanced carbon and energy standards. In addition, data gathered will provide users insights into interaction between user behaviour and energy consumption, enabling them to optimise energy use and running costs.
The installation of the whole house monitoring equipment began in September 2012 and was completed by the end of December 2012. The different levels of physical and low carbon interventions in households required 7 different monitoring protocols. This, and the need to ensure accuracy in the data received while minimising disruption has proved to be very challenging. The two other agencies that have been involved in the installations are BSRIA Instrument Solutions and Solar Electrical Connections Ltd. BSRIA is one of the UK’s leading monitoring and testing companies. Whilst they supplied and installed the Wi5 systems into these homes, Solar Electrical Connections carried out the specialist electrical and plumbing works for the monitoring installations. The co-operation and support of the entire team and householders is undoubtedly vital in facilitating the timely completion of works in the least disruptive manner possible.
The installed monitoring systems will provide the EVALOC team with continuous data for the next eighteen months to two years. The larger aim is to use the findings to promote learning within communities and households, provide households and communities with evidence about impacts and effectiveness of energy saving improvements to further stimulate energy reductions and to generate evidence to help influence policy e.g. to help remove barriers to household and community action on energy issues.
We thank the householders for their continued participation and help during the installation period.