Flagship Group has revealed plans to install ‘smart thermostats’ within 20,000 of its 31,000 homes, in what it claims is the largest ever deal of its kind by a UK social landlord.
The provider, based in the east of England, will begin installing the devices in the bulk of its stock from April as part of its routine boiler replacement programme – with plans to connect its entire stock in the future.
The move follows a two-year pilot of the technology in 500 Flagship homes, which found that for every £1 invested in the technology, £2 was generated in efficiencies and savings for residents.
Smart thermostats are intended to give residents greater control over their heating systems, helping to save up to 17% on bills, and can be controlled remotely via a smartphone app.
David Armstrong, chief financial officer of Flagship, said: “The evidence on savings and customer satisfaction has convinced us that this is a very worthwhile investment for the group, offering true value for money.”
Data will be transmitted from the device to Flagship’s maintenance and support teams in real time, providing an early warning system for potential repairs.
The association’s in-house heating services provider, Gasway, will use the Switchee system to test boilers in order to identify those requiring fixes before the winter peak.
Matt Brazier, director of IT and Services at Flagship, said: “The data that we receive from Switchee has allowed us to rethink how we run our services in the future.
“Switchee helps understand which properties need attention in real time.
“We can fix damp and mould issues and book visits with the residents via the system.”
Residents will also be able to contact Flagship directly through the smart thermostat display, with the pilot showing a 92% response rate within 24 hours.
Flagship says it will use the system to run surveys, book gas safety checks, and send appointment reminders to residents.
The rollout forms part of Flagship’s wider digital transformation strategy, which aims to deliver efficiency savings while improving services.
Flagship has selected Internet of Things (IoT) provider Switchee to lead the rollout.
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