Smart Technology Puts Nottingham Top of the Class in Energy Innovation
As Nottingham is named smartest energy city in the UK, Ashley Walters, Development Manager at Blueprint, takes a look at how the city is leading the way in innovative energy use and smart technology and how projects such as Trent Basin – Blueprint’s flagship development – are setting the sustainability bar high for other cities across the UK.
The rising cost of utility bills combined with the genuine need to tackle the impact of society’s carbon footprint has put energy at the forefront of consumers’ minds and at the top of many local authority agendas.
Nottingham City Council has been successful in the energy sector for some years now, introducing forward-thinking initiatives throughout the City and piloting exciting projects, including the UK’s first publicly owned car park to have a solar canopy and installing cutting edge fuel cell technology in its high energy consuming buildings. This pioneering approach to energy use has seen Nottingham recently crowned Britain’s smartest city for energy – something which, at Blueprint, we are extremely proud to have contributed to.
We’re driven by our commitment to protect the environment and enhance sustainability in homes and we’re keen to bring forward development that opens up new possibilities for change within the built environment. This is the same thinking that we’ve employed at our ground breaking Trent Basin development, part of Nottingham City Council’s £250m Waterside Regeneration scheme along the River Trent – a new and uniquely sustainable community where an energy revolution is attracting residents and national media coverage alike.
Trent Basin is a catalyst for change. The scheme includes one of the most exciting community energy initiatives in the UK (Project SCENe made possible with funding from Innovate UK), and we’re building a new neighbourhood with renewable energy and smart technology at the core. The development is not only home to Europe’s largest community energy battery, which will store energy generated by solar panels located across the development, but also a place where smart technology is commonplace in each home.
As well as installing smart technology in all homes that take part in the community energy project, we are aiming to offer a smart home package to residents who move into future phases of the development which, among other items, will include sophisticated heating controls and Amazon’s new Echo Spot. There’s already such a wide variety of smart technology on the market – many of which combine the benefits of energy saving with making life easier (although some emerging technologies are simply designed to make mundane tasks a thing of the past) – that incorporating them into our homes and everyday life is becoming more and more commonplace. By using the technology that is readily available, we are now able to see exactly how many units of heat we are using or how much our current electricity usage is costing at just the swipe of an app.
Pioneering smart technology and energy innovation, although wildly different in scale and scope, can work together to transform how we use and think about the energy we use in our homes. At Blueprint, we believe that we have the responsibility, as a developer of places for people, to design neighbourhoods which will be as fit for purpose in 100 years as they are today.