MakeSpace Blog

The world is changing, and we’re excited to be part of that change. Our latest offering is embedding the brains that make your hybrid car a more efficient, enjoyable way to drive, into your home.

For over ten years now, we have been doing clever things with your energy; helping you see how much your house is using and then helping you control your heating to improve your comfort and reduce your bills.

The natural next generation is to apply that intelligence to help you manage your electricity. This is where it can get really exciting, by combining our clever control with battery storage. And what’s in it for you? Well, very soon you’ll be able to cook dinner in the evening, at night-time electricity prices – or – charge your electric vehicle overnight from your left-over sunrays from the day.

Here at geo we call this smart, connected home – the Hybrid Home.

Thanks to Makespace, and their new Cambridge Sustainable Technology Meetup, we were able to present our concept to a well-informed and engaged audience.

For those who don’t know, Makespace provides a community workshop for technical creatives to make things, fix things, meet people and share skills. The audience comprised of vocal enthusiasts and sceptics alike, making for a lively mix! About half owned their own home, a different half had installed some smart home tech, but almost all wanted a smart home – if their concerns could be met.

Discussions kicked off around our ‘making energy visible’ concept, robustly challenged with, “why do I want to see how much energy I’m using?” Our justification – you can only manage what you measure – so to save money from your energy bill and enable the required behaviour change, we need to start with monitoring.

Through back and forth, and with parallels to driving, the speedometer and mpg figures, the room arrived at a common consensus that they want the smart home to be able to manage their energy use efficiently, effortlessly, behind the scenes, with minimal need to interface with the system for control. This way, at home, you receive the benefits of the Hybrid Home with minimal need to change behaviour.

In response, we did a pop-survey to establish the format of interface delegates would like to see. Most wanted no interface, for most of the time, with an app-like interface to check that the Hybrid Home is working well and providing the desired benefits.

One final finding of note, when asked how much cashback you’d expect on your monthly energy bill, in exchange for signing over some energy flexibility – an interesting parallel was drawn with how economy 7 tariffs influence behaviours. For one member in the audience in particular, not knowing exactly how much they’re saving, but knowing that they’re doing something ‘good’ has caused them to put appliances on overnight. Should they know how much they’re actually saving, there is a risk, that with such low energy costs, will dissuade households from opting for energy efficient behaviours. So, appropriately placed in-app rewards could provide better engagement.

At geo, we pride ourselves on producing engaging consumer smart home energy technologies. We are looking forward to working with households over the coming months to refine our Hybrid Home, ensuring your home will – one day soon – be energy efficient, effortlessly. 

We would love to hear from you, either to get involved or simply share your thoughts and opinions on the smart home, battery storage or the future of flexible energy usage, you can get in touch by:


Linkedin: Comment on our blog post

Twitter: @geomonitors