A London start-up has launched the UK’s first smart home energy management platform that manages heating and electricity via an online box independent of any single energy provider.
Shocking government figures show that 75% of UK homes with energy performance certificates are rated D or worse. This is unsurprising given that more than half of properties were built before 1975.
Soaring energy prices have made home energy monitors must haves, with Hive from British Gas and Google’s £2bn purchase of Nest by Google highlighting the growing market place.
But there are currently no products that control heating, energy, lighting and appliances.
But the self install, Web-enabled box from nCube not only controls everything but works independently of energy providers – meaning consumers can ensure they’re getting the best deal by not being tied to one supplier.
nCube allows users to control every aspect of a households energy consumption; lighting, heating, white goods and even single appliances, all through a Web-enabled box controlled from a phone or tablet.
It works through special controllers which plug into boilers, radiators, light switches and plug sockets, allowing nCube to work with any form of ‘smart tech’ that uses z-wave technology to communicate.
These remote connectors are then controlled remotely by nCube, allowing users to schedule which rooms they heat and find out how much energy they are consuming in real time.
The company’s founder Philip Steele believes nCube has the potential to save consumers hundreds of pounds each year in energy bills, by encouraging intelligent schedules that massively reduce waste.
The average UK household wastes £85 each year through devices left idle and around £150 through inefficient heating schedules.
Tests have shown that nCube users can save over £200 each year through smart energy monitoring — or 18% of the average dual-fuel energy bill of £1,320 (Ofgem). Using the remote zoned heating devices (which plug into each radiator) can increase savings.
However, based on one year’s cash savings, 50,000 homes would need to use nCube to cover recent 2013 bonuses and salary increases shared by the big six energy firms’ CEOs and director.
It works across a variety of other products now available that can remotely switch on lights, heating appliances and even computers.
Philip Steele, CEO of nCube, said:
“The aim of nCube is to allow homeowners not just to control, but understand their energy consumption, reducing their bills but also increasing sustainability.
“Consumers can already control lights, heating or electrical appliances through a single device, though no provider has yet made a single integrated system to control everything. nCube has been designed specifically to allow people to monitor their energy consumption, giving them back control over their bills.
“There are a few offers from the energy companies, but with trust at an all time low, (38%, lower even than car salesmen and banking according to Ofgem), do you trust the utilities to sell you a reasonable energy saving product?”
nCube is one of a growing number of tech start-ups riding the technology boom in London. They are based in the Innovation Warehouse, an accelerator space that provides mentoring and funding for startups.
Ami Shpiro, founder of Innovation Warehouse, said:
“nCube is a perfect example of what the booming London tech start-up scene is producing – a simple idea and system that takes what is already available in the market to the next level – for the benefit of consumers and energy providers.
“They are one of the brightest companies to come out of the Accelerator Academy – which has already helped dozens of start ups refine their ideas, obtain funding, and bring their product to the open market.”
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nCube is a next generation Smart Home platform that gives you control of lighting, heating, hot water, anything that you plug in and even security & safety devices in a single integrated consistent experience. But that’s not all – the real advantage is using nCube to save energy costs: why do we heat the whole house when the bedrooms aren’t used during the daytime, do you know which lights are costing the most, how can you easily save energy used by devices left on idle, how can you incentivise your children to save energy?
nCube combines control, automation and energy information about almost any device connected and even per household member so you can easily make energy savings decisions.
Unlike other systems nCube does not need to be installed by an expensive installer and better still, as nCube is so flexible, you can choose to start with any of the devices and simply buy more at a later date. The flexibility of nCube even means you’re not locked into a single manufacturer in the way other systems lock you in – nCube supports a wide, and growing, range of Z-Wave devices from leading manufacturers.
About Innnovation Warehouse
Innovation Warehouse brings together entrepreneurs, investors and innovators. Their space in London provides co-working, shared office space and access to growth accelerator programmes such as seed funding, angel investing, mentoring, and events. Innovation Warehouse also host “pitch days” where startups get the opportunity to present to their network of angel investors.
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