BRE Innovation Park

I’ve been trying for some time to get a pilot off the ground to see if others can obtain the same energy savings, particularly gas, that we have achieved using detailed monitoring. The Innovation Park at the Buildings Research Establishment was suggested to me and I was fortunate to meet Mike Perry who has been very much involved with this initiative.

The park is well work a visit anyway, especially if you plan to get involved in a new build or major rennovation project. However, I’m going to pick up on just two points here:

1. Monitoring is part of a much bigger picture that includes energy management, telecare, home entertainment etc. MP stressed the need for standards in this area. Widescale adoption of proprietary protocols around the home and community will make it very hard to get the full range of benefits economically. As with mainstream IT, good standards will permit the involvement of many innovators. Whilst it did happen in IT, it is unliikely that a single vendor’s proprietary will become sufficiently dominant to be considered “open”.

2. Gas, though important now, is not in most people’s thinking because it is expected to run out in the not-too-distant future. I wonder about this prediction given recent investment in pipelines from Norway and Russia. I don’t know the figures but I reckon there are millions of UK homes that will use gas until the price really does go through the roof. Solar hot water would have the effect of prolonging this.

OK, so I did not advance my grail quest but it certainly was interesting. I’m getting more and more interested in new build and this throws up a lot of ideas worth thinking about even if some of them, like complete airtightness, do not appeal at this time.

The quest continues: how can we get pulse outputs on existing gas meter installations? A second private meter in series seems to be the only solution.

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