Following the UK Government’s announcement and ambition to make households greener, warmer and more energy efficient as part of the new 10 Point Plan to tackle climate change, environmental charity and social enterprise Hubbub and BT Group have revealed plans to create the ‘Smarter Living Challenge’ aimed at helping households to reduce their carbon emissions by using technology to help run their home.
Over the next three months, what the pair describe as a “pioneering” pilot project will work with 60 diverse households across the country, looking closely at attitudes, perceptions and behaviours around running a home. It will investigate how digital technology can help make people’s lives easier and save them money in the process, before using these case studies to inspire the UK’s largest movement of households to make positive changes at home.
New consumer research which surveyed 3,000 UK adults shows that 63 per cent of people don’t currently use any technology to run their homes but almost a quarter (23 per cent) said they’d use technology more if it reduced their impact on the environment. Although 61 per cent of respondents said they are very concerned about the impact of climate change on the planet, there is a perception that leading a greener lifestyle costs money with 43 per cent saying they think that being environmentally-conscious is expensive.
“BT has led the way on climate action for over 28 years and we’ve pledged to become a net zero carbon emissions business by 2045,” stated Andy Wales, Chief Digital Impact and Sustainability Officer, BT Group. “We are keen to understand ways that our 22 million household customers can reduce their own carbon emissions through a smart and responsible use of tech inside and outside the home”
“Our research shows that 41 per cent of people said they’d use technology more to manage their homes if it saved them money on their bills, suggesting a need to explore exactly which technology can have a positive impact on household bills and how much money can be saved,” advised Gavin Ellis, Co-founder and Director of Hubbub. “By investigating what works for different types of households we hope to inspire the public to embrace technology in a way that works for them, helping to save money and cut carbon emissions in the home.”
The collaboration is part of BT Group’s commitment to a greener recovery and sustainable future and will combine the company’s technology expertise with Hubbub’s proven track record on nudging behaviours and supporting households in taking practical steps. The project will introduce smart home devices, apps and tips to a diverse range of households from across the UK, ranging from the tech-savvy to the technophobe. This will include smart thermostats and radiator valves; smart lighting and plugs; apps to manage energy, food and water use and websites to compare usage and learn how to save money on bills. The group will come together as a digital community to share their experiences and help inspire each other to try something new. Experiences and case studies from the project will be used as evidence and inspiration to show how technology can make running a home easier, cheaper and reduce household carbon emissions.