the delight of better control

People often find their heating controls confusing and hard to use. Most put up with problems like drafts or damp. We knew people liked better control. BEIS wanted to find out how they actually used it, so we used our Living Lab of 100 homes to find out.

Each household could control the temperature of each room. We monitored how they used their controls and ran research to understand why.  

We found consumers loved having better control, but used it in very different ways. They heated different numbers of rooms to different temperatures at different times.  

They used less heating, but did not sacrifice their comfort. Almost everyone heated fewer rooms. Most set rooms they used often to higher temperatures than those they used rarely.  

Their controls also gave us data we could use to improve their experiences of heat at home. We used it to find people who could not get their rooms as warm as they wanted on cold nights. Then we showed them how we could upgrade their home (e.g. with a larger radiator) to solve their problem. Our models showed this could improve comfort and reduce running costs in some cases. People were open to paying businesses to use their data to improve their heating. 

When given the choice, consumers prefer to heat their homes in very different ways. Yet, the energy sector often treats consumers as though they are all the same. Energy retailers could attract and keep more customers by offering them tailored services. Manufacturers could design better heating products with data about how consumers use them.


Get in touch to find out how to use our Living Lab to design energy products and services consumers will love.

Come and see us for a friendly

chat over a cuppa.


Cannon House, 18 The Priory Queensway

Birmingham B4 6BS8

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