Smart Electric Homes

Smart Electric Homes

Thu 7 Oct 2021, 7:30pm – 8:30pm

This was an inspirational and informative talk by Andy, Samin and Nicola giving real examples of their experiences of living in a smart home. See buttons below for slides and video.

What is a smart home? If you have solar panels and a battery, or an EV that needs charging, or any other kind of energy storage, then some ’smart’ controls can help you get the most out of them. This is especially true if you also have a time of use tariff, with different prices through the day. Optimising your use helps reduce your energy bills while minimising peak energy demand is kinder to the planet too. How can you do this, what does it involve?

Our speakers (both Open Eco Home owners) are at different ends of the complexity spectrum:

  • Andy Rankin, CEO of Midsummer Energy, has both professional knowledge and personal experience of a large solar array combined with an immersion controller and DIY controller for underfloor heating that makes efficient use of both surplus PV energy and a time-of-use electricity tariff.
  • Zoe Thorn and Samin Ishtiaq have a 4kW SunPower solar array whose surplus energy is stored in their 2kW AlphaESS battery, and in their hot water system via an immersion heater. The battery is supplied on trial from their electricity supplier Bulb, with an app for monitoring and control.

Andy will explore the issues and give us an overview of what options are available, and they will all describe how their smart homes work for them. Watch this talk to find out more about making your home smarter.

Video of talk

Andy’s slides

Samin’s slides

See the full programme of tours and talks here.


Makespace, 16 Mill Lane Cambridge CB2 1RX