Case Study 1: Homely Energy Ltd

Homely Energy Ltd is a start-up business based in Manchester and has developed a control algorithm for heat pumps, which allows consumers to fully benefit from dynamic electricity tariffs. Homely supply a specially designed thermostat that is controlled via an app with the aim of reducing the running costs of the heat pump without impacting on the thermal comfort of the householder. Taking into account time of day, consumer energy use patterns, consumer comfort preferences, external temperatures, and the electricity tariff, the algorithm automatically adjusts the room temperature set points.

 As part of the ERDF- supported Energy House 2.0 project, the Homely system was tested in the Smart Meters>Smart Homes Laboratory at the University of Salford which has a choice of heating systems available, including an Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP). A test compared two 24-hour periods with and without the Homely control system. With electricity priced according to the Octopus Energy dynamic tariff, the external temperature, room temperature, electricity demand, and cost were recorded.  During the test period external temperatures were between 5 and 10⁰C and comparison of the two test periods showed that approximately 20% cost savings were achieved with the Homely system. This was despite the fact that external temperatures were lower during the 24-hour period where the Homely control app was used.

Karolis Petruskevicius, Managing Director, Homely Energy commented, “The Smart Meters>Smart Homes laboratory provided the ideal test bed for the Homely system and has provided us with extremely valuable data which we used to further refine and develop our product. The support of the Salford academics, in particular Dr Ioannis Paraskevas, was also crucial to the success of this trial.  Subsequently, we have been able to start conversations with a number of potential partners, such as heat pump manufacturers and installers, to launch our product with the expectation that a number of householders will benefit from lower energy costs.”