Walsall, North of Birmingham


WHG is a Housing Association in the West Midlands with a large number of electrically heated tower blocks, serving communities typically with very low incomes. WHG has a full-time energy manager.

What is the challenge?

Many residents in WHG’s tower blocks have challenges paying for their energy use. A key element of energy use is heating, which is provided by electric storage heaters. Having a better understanding about how residents are using their storage heaters would allow the housing association to help the community use energy more efficiently and manage their expenditure.

What is the proposed solution and how is OpenLV enabling it?

The tower block taking part in the project is currently undergoing a refurbishment programme, including an electric heating retrofit, coinciding with the installation of a smart heating solution. The OpenLV project is monitoring the substation that feeds this tower block. The app will use the data provided to help the residents make the most of an Economy 10-type tariff by alerting customers when peak and off-peak tariffs are in operation, as well as illustrating patterns of electricity use to help people alter their behaviour.

The project will explore how communication with residents via mobile phone texts influences behaviour, particularly with regard to shifting electricity use away from peak times. The overall aim is to raise awareness about energy use and help residents control their expenditure on electricity.

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