Flagship Group has now completed 2,000 installations of Switchee devices into tenants’ homes, ahead of time, as part of its rollout of smart internet connected technology to 20,000 homes. The installation programme is the housing sector’s largest rollout of internet connected technology and part of a wider digital transformation strategy for the Group’s stock of homes across the East of England.
Since installation of Switchee’s Smart Thermostat began in April 2021, after a successful pilot in 500 homes, Flagship has seen significant efficiency gains. By having more insight into the performance of its stock it can identify issues in real-time, fixing them before they become problems and improving further the quality of service to its tenants. Tenants too can save up to 17 percent on their energy bills.
Charlie Conley, head of asset management said: “This is a significant milestone for us and our customers. Ten percent of our target homes now have a smart thermostat. The data that we receive from Switchee devices plays an important role in shaping and improving our services. Data sent from the Switchee device via the mobile phone network to our Cloud solution gives us real-time information that we can act on. The devices have helped us to identify which properties need attention, or tenants who may need support, for a range of matters including fuel unaffordability, damp and mould and boiler failure.
Customer feedback has been great too. Tenants find that Switchee is a simple and intuitive control for their heating systems.”
The device has a built-in display that offers an extra communication channel between Flagship and its tenants. The company has seen a 92 percent response rate to messages within 24 hours from tenants – an uplift of 75 percent compared to email and letters. Flagship is using the system to run surveys, book gas safety appointments and send helpful reminders.
Flagship is also using the technology to improve service levels and help reduce emergency call-outs. Andy Merrill, senior contracts manager at Gasway (the group’s in-house heating specialist) explains: “We’re able to use the devices to test boilers remotely, so can test pre-winter and get out and fix any problems before the winter peak and before they affect customers.”
Tom Robins, CEO at Switchee highlights how significant this milestone is for the social housing sector: “Flagship Group has been a visionary partner and the 2,000 Switchee installation milestone is a momentous achievement in social housing innovation. It demonstrates that, with ambition, large scale technology projects to improve the quality of life for people living in rented properties can be achieved on budget and ahead of time. We are excited for the future of the project and the accelerating rollout of Switchee devices across Flagship Group’s homes.”
Flagship Group aims to have completed all 20,000 installations by 2030. The move will help the Group achieve its strategic priorities of accelerating its digital agenda and achieving net-zero.