Just like hybrid cars, the hybrid home blends traditional and novel ways of managing energy to maximise efficiency – and enjoyment. The Hybrid Home’s purpose is to let homeowners enjoy greater comfort and convenience whilst worrying less about their energy bill.
Bringing together data from in-home and third party energy management sources to make energy smarter will be key in the coming years. Our vision is the Hybrid Home: a combination of both traditional and new ways of powering the home. Styled with the hybrid car in mind (which doubles fuel efficiency whilst delivering a better driving experience) our Hybrid Home will double homes’ fuel efficiency whilst improving homeowners’ living experience. How? By bringing together metering, solar, storage and appliance control – and making it visible through an engaging display interface – to make this technology both accessible and desirable.
One of the biggest attractions of the Hybrid Home is that the benefits it delivers are both significant and evenly spread across all stakeholders: the consumer, government, property market and energy industry.
If we start with a new home, why shouldn’t it be built like a hybrid car – integrated right from the start. The technology to do this is available, there are multiple benefits from doing so and what is more, there is a simple way to monetise these benefits so that it is immediately a positive financial proposition not a pay-back calculation.
At the heart of our Hybrid Home vision is the IoE: a specialist element of the Internet of Things (IoT).
In contrast to more standard IoT products – that users fit themselves and take with them when they move home – these IoE products will primarily be fixtures and fittings (think smart thermostats and battery storage) which require a different type of installation and support. Work on our IoE portfolio is already underway – take our Trio ll IHD for instance, which can also double up as a CAD and a smart thermostat.
At its simplest, a hybrid home has a large battery – large enough to store enough off-peak electricity to run the home at peak periods. From the data we hold, this is two-thirds of the consumption of an average home – something like 10KWh. As off-peak electricity is half the price of peak electricity this immediately delivers a saving of about 30 per cent. Add to this heat storage, solar panels and other forms of energy efficiency and you can easily get more than 50 per cent savings. What is more, it all runs in the background so, like a hybrid car, the user does not need to change their habits – although it helps!
By starting with new homes several costs such as installation, procurement, sales and site electrical infrastructure costs (substations etc.) will be minimised. If incentives, similar to those that a hybrid car attracts, are provided then a Hybrid Home could be purchased for the same cost as an ordinary home – making it an appealing option for prospective homeowners. There are a number of possibilities for incentives, such as green mortgages, evolving the ‘help to buy’ scheme to help buy energy efficient homes, reducing Stamp Duty by two per cent for a Hybrid Home and looking at the next iteration of the ECO Supplier Obligation.