What would you do if your EPC rating was an “F”? This was the exact problem Gary Swandells faced, after purchasing his new property during lockdown. However, as a professional within the energy industry, he only saw this as a welcomed challenge. That’s how the Home Energy Lab project (Aka HELp) was born.
The Home Energy Lab Project
Last year, Gary along with his family moved into a large 5-bed home in the tiny village of Ickwell. Despite the house having double-glazed windows and full insulation, the EPC rating was an appalling “F”. With his partner having to wear layers of sweatshirts every day, Gary saw an opportunity.
With 25 radiators, and over 30 windows in the property, the road ahead was never going to be simple, or cheap. But for his family, just a 3 or 4-degree increase would be a huge win. The initial aim of the project was to see how much he could increase the EPC rating. Aiming for a middle-range C. Then to share this experience with other households, offering free and independent advice which he found all too lacking when he started his own research.
The Dexter's Laboratory Of Renewable Energy
Gary hopes that HELp will be a place of innovation. The guinea pig of smart technology. He wants HELp to be a safe place to test new products and emerging technologies. Constantly putting new things in and taking others out. And that’s why it is a Lab. It’s never going to be finished. It’s a place for experimenting and creativity.
Gary hopes the project will showcase the impact renewable energy can have in the home place. He wants to show homeowners how simple the process can be, when the right organisations are chosen. Making it easier for homeowners to understand the technologies and to make a change.
Who is Gary Swandells
How Does Deege Solar Fit In
However, he soon found the internet was full of bad advice, if any. Trying to search through the Green Home Grant, he quickly realised that any recommended installer through the grant had no reviews.
What Deege Solar Are Installing
After an initial consultation with Gary, we designed a Solar PV System fit for purpose, utilising the size of his roof. The installation includes a high-spec mono panel, with matching black-coated mounting. For the neatest-looking install possible. The Growatt 13kWh of Battery Storage will provide Gary with maximum storage, whilst their in-depth software will provide him with the data he requires to test the system and develop performance analysis. Perfect for both studying and experimenting.
As the installation covers 3 different arrays, having power optimisers on the solar panels was vital, as it meant that the panels could generate independently throughout the day. As well as allowing Gary to gain more data and analytics to study. While Gary was aware of the need for these in a multi-aspect installation, he found that the majority of the potential providers included in the invitation to quote failed to consider this, even as an optional extra. Myenergi’s Electric Vehicle Charger, the Zappi was then a no-brainer. Gary found after extensive research on the landscape of the current EV market, that the Zappi’s level of control and data on offer was beyond compare. The way it compliments Solar means that it was an easy decision and with Deege Solar being able to supply and install both the Solar PV System and EV Charger brought in the added convenience of a one-stop shop.
The Overall "HELp" Plan
Gary wanted to make sure the property was future proofed. Working together with the best organisations in their field to put together the perfect home energy system. That could then be showcased to the world as an example of how impactful modern technology truly is.
The Outcome Of The HELp Project
Gary intends to use the LAB to develop a smart hub for advice and as a trust mark for proven technology and tradespeople. You can think of it like a Trip Advisor resource on the web, which will have advice and recommendations around customer experience, suppliers and products. Customers will also be able to add information regarding their own experiences, to piece together a reliable picture. In addition, the website and social media accounts for HELp will incorporate advice and editorials from leading organisations.
Gary is also keen to overlap this with his existing Smart Consulting business and develop AI software to help customers manage their systems. Using all the available data alongside weather forecasts, wholesale energy prices and electric vehicle battery charge status to optimise the performance of their investment in low-carbon technologies.