A new trial uses artificial intelligence (AI) to control electric storage heaters in a bid to heat homes using electricity that is cheaper and less carbon intensive.
The trial brings together energy group EDF and OVO Group’s intelligent energy platform, Kaluza.
Storage heaters can heat homes more cost effectively by charging overnight on off-peak electricity which they use to release heat throughout the day.
The heaters used in the trial, provided by Glen Dimplex Heating & Ventilation, are able to monitor the weather and home heating habits, automatically adjusting to deliver a comfortable temperature 24 hours a day.
In the trial, over 100 of the internet-connected storage heaters are being intelligently controlled by Kaluza based on electricity price data from EDF, along with live information from the heaters, to optimise their electricity use.
It’s thought that such technology could support the transition to cleaner fuels and help future-proof the UK energy system.
Jean-Benoit Ritz, director of Innovation and Blue Lab at EDF in the UK, said: “Switching heating in homes from carbon-intensive fossil fuels to lower carbon electricity is one of the most important things Britain will need to do to cut its emissions. At the same time, households with storage heaters can struggle to access efficient, cost-effective heat.
“We have to get smarter and make the most of the digital, data-driven solutions out there that can power homes with low carbon energy when it is needed.”
Conor Maher-McWilliams, head of Flexibility at Kaluza, added: “Heating our homes with gas is going to have to end for the UK to hit net zero. Mass electrification offers great promise, but it also introduces fresh complexity into the energy system.
“The only way to create an efficient and resilient grid able to handle this new demand will be through smart technologies in people’s homes. This way we can intelligently spread demand throughout the day, helping to reduce grid stress, carbon emissions and energy costs.”
Download our Next-generation connectivity report to read more about how AI and other advanced technologies are set to transform energy & utilities and other key sectors.