The Hot Water Association (HWA) and Energy and Utilities Alliance (EUA) were hosted by Pauline Latham MP at the Houses of Parliament on 5th December to launch the HWA’s new report on Connected Homes

The Connected Homes report was commissioned by HWA to demonstrate the opportunities for stored hot water cylinders in decarbonisation and renewable energy in the electricity grid and the home.

HWA Connected Homes report

The report outlines the principle of “Demand Side Response” (DSR) where hot water cylinders with smart connection to the electricity grid can be remotely switched on or off to take advantage of cheap electricity or avoid the use of more expensive peak time energy.

Demand for energy fluctuates significantly according to many factors such as the weather, industrial production and domestic requirements. Similarly, renewable energy production, now a major part of the UK electricity mix, varies, mainly according to the weather. Sunny and windy days can produce a surplus of energy production which needs to be used. So much so that the UK has spent over a billion pounds in the last 2 years switching off renewable energy production due to insufficient demand for electricity at the time.

Connected cylinders across the country would have the capability of absorbing 23GWh of energy from the electricity grid to bank this energy at nearly zero cost. Using the clean and free energy when it is available would also reduce demand at a later time because the cylinders are already hot and do not need to either fire up a gas boiler in a home or use expensive peak time electricity. The adoption of green forms of home heating, such as heat pumps, will increase the UK current population of 9 million hot water cylinders and grow the energy capacity to 40GWh in future years.

The HWA projects that UK households would save £200 per year in energy bills by adopting demand side response. This figure is confirmed by actual energy savings made in Norwegian households using the OSO Charge product, a DSR enabled electric water heater already in use in Scandinavia and being prepared for launch in the UK.

The HWA report launch received substantial coverage in the trade press and has raised awareness in the industy and government of the potential for grid balancing and carbon reduction as a result of DSR enable smart water heaters.

HWA report launch in the Churchill room, Houses of Parliament