How to mitigate the risk of conventional heating systems wasting energy by heating empty rooms, using smart technology that is easy to install and retrofit across buildings at scale.
This solution was sourced in response to one of UKGBC’s past challenges on ‘Making Existing Buildings Net Zero Operational Carbon’.
Radbot is a ‘smart’ thermostatic radiator heating control using artificial intelligence to manage home radiators to save up to 30% off the heating bill. Radbot takes minutes to install with no specialist skills required, resulting in a low cost product that has the potential to be retrofitted to existing UK homes at scale. To achieve net zero this solution would need to be considered as part of a suite of solutions, but as a standalone product it can be installed quickly with minimal physical intervention and substantial energy and carbon savings.
Radbot uses a combination of sensors and an embedded learning algorithm to detect and predict room occupancy. It then heats each room to a set temperature when it is in use and automatically reduces the temperature when it is empty. This enables automated room-by-room zoning that reduces unnecessary overheating and saves energy in unoccupied zones without impacting occupant comfort. Radbot does not require scheduling via an app or WiFi connectivity.
Radbot costs £25+VAT per unit. The average home requires 4 or 5 Radbot units. No maintenance is required except for battery replacements (2 AA with 2-year lifetime) over an anticipated 12-year lifetime. Average savings based on Radbot’s field trial results are 10-15% of space heating cost per annum with some homes saving as much as 25-30%, giving a typical return on investment of 1-2 years.
An installation was undertaken on a three storey, three-bedroom new build house that had issues with maintaining consistent comfortable temperatures. After installing Radbot the occupants found the temperature much more consistent across the home, and improved energy efficiency. In April 2018 they owed the utility company £23.57, but by March 2019, six months after installing Radbot, they were in credit to the sum of £182.95.