The FLATLINE project which aims to demonstrate a demand-side approach to energy management at a domestic level has reached a major milestone as residents move into three pilot homes at The Mill site in Cardiff
‘Fixed Level Affordable Tariffs Led by Intelligently Networked Energy’ (FLATLINE) has been backed by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
The specially built pilot homes at The Mill development site in Cardiff, provided by Tirion Homes for the trial, will be closely followed by a further 46 homes at a separate site, Parc Eirin in Tonyrefail.
The first residents move in this autumn as the first phase of the 225 new home scheme is complete.
Sero will manage the energy systems of the homes flexibly, through a combination of buying energy at cheaper times and opening up the benefits of grid balancing payments. This will enable energy demands to be effectively matched to grid generation, reducing both carbon emissions and the cost of energy to occupants.
Reducing the impact the environment
James Williams, managing director of Sero, said: “Hitting zero-carbon requires a dramatic change in our approach to energy and housing.
“The homes at both The Mill, and then Parc Eirin, will provide a demonstrable blueprint for this agenda – leading the way in showing, at scale, how we can better complement the electricity network as it moves to more intermittent, low carbon energy sources such as wind and solar. It’s an exciting time for us and we’re grateful for Tiron to provide the first homes.
“The FLATLINE concept proposes a win-win-win scenario: flexible and intelligently-managed energy use resulting in significantly lower bills to home occupant, practically eliminating the risk of fuel poverty; electrical demands on the National Grid being shifted entirely off-peak to help support renewables on the grid; all whilst delivering lower carbon emissions in a new UK business model that can lead to growth at home and abroad.
“This demonstration phase of FLATLINE will show the world what we can achieve using the technology we have today, providing a springboard to evidence the viability of this future ‘comfort as a service’ business model.”
Colin Calder, CEO of PassivSystems, added: “Having the opportunity through FLATLINE to demonstrate a whole-home energy management solution, bespoke for new build homes, has been a great opportunity for us.
“Seeing first residents beginning to use the intelligent control systems installed at The Mill is a real highlight in our journey to help decarbonisation, and a culmination of many months of hard work. It draws on our extensive expertise of delivering optimum comfort at minimal costs for residents, while reducing the impact on the grid and the environment.
“The government has been challenging home builders to put the environmental credentials of homes at the heart of the design, and FLATLINE provides a real-world blueprint for how this could be done.”
The project is being coordinated by Sero which will provide its intelligent home comfort service to the residents, working collaboratively with energy optimisation software developer PassivSystems.
As well as the close relationship with Tirion Homes during the first part of the trial, a number of other industry partners are involved in the project including Pobl Group, Western Power Distribution, Sonnen and Mixergy. The energy supply partner will be Octopus Energy, facilitating half hourly tariffs through their Agile API.