Why Smart Thermostats Are a Necessity for BTR Developments

By: Amelia Woolard

Resident uses smartphone to control a thermostat. Resident uses smartphone to control a thermostat. Resident uses smartphone to control a thermostat. Resident uses smartphone to control a thermostat.

It’s considered a must-have by 1.67 million British households.

If implemented, it could combat the 40% of total emissions that come from UK residences.

In fact, if every household in the United Kingdom had one, up to 18.3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide could be removed from the atmosphere every year.

Smart thermostats offer a cost-effective way to use property technology, or proptech, to reduce emissions and save money on energy spend.

While not the be-all, end-all of energy-saving strategies, smart thermostats are a worthy investment for Build-to-Rent (BTR) operators. Here, we’ll cover why an investment in smart thermostats is a wise choice, for reasons that extend beyond cutting energy bills.

Smart Thermostats Reduce Energy Spend

When it comes to reducing energy consumption with smart thermostats, small actions can add up to big savings. Reducing the heat of a home by just one degree reduces one’s carbon footprint by 310kg and can cut a resident’s energy bills by £60 per year. Upgrade your analogue thermostats to digital ones, and residents can save as much as 8 to 17% on their heating bills.

Cutting down on energy consumption is helpful now, and it will become even more important in the future. Consultancy firm Cornwall Insight recently warned that next year’s energy bills could rise from £164 to £355 a month as a result of rising fuel prices. There's no better time than now to consider smart thermostats as a way to lessen the impact of higher prices.

Comply with Net Zero

For any EU-based business or entity, compliance with net zero regulations is imperative. Net zero mandates that every ton of emissions produced must coincide with a ton of emissions removed from the atmosphere. By 2035, the UK government expects all residential homes to achieve a minimum "C" energy efficiency rating on a scale ranging from "A" (most efficient) to "G" (least efficient).

To get up to speed with net zero compliance, your BTR building must prioritise things like reducing emissions with smart thermostats. Smart thermostats may not check the box for all of your sustainability goals, but they are an excellent place to start.

Eco-Conscious Residents Love Smart Thermostats

Yes, it may be legally mandated to curb energy consumption. However, it's also a great way to showcase your values and appeal to residents who want to live in an environment that shares their standards.

Consider these stats, which speak to how eco-conscious modern Britons are today:

  • 88% of Britons feel a personal responsibility to better the environment.

  • 79% are prepared to alter their lifestyles to better promote sustainability.

  • When searching for a new home, 73% of Brits take into consideration a development’s sustainability credentials.

By offering residents tools that help them manage their energy consumption, BTR operators can clearly demonstrate their commitment to sustainability.

Smart Thermostats = Smart Investment

Did you know that BTR residents actively seek out smart technology? In a Samsung-led study of 2,000 UK residents, 75% reported that smart tech is an important piece of residential sustainability because smart technology can measure usage, save money and help people adopt more eco-friendly habits.

Smart thermostats are an essential item in your arsenal of smart home products. Because they can be programmed to run more efficiently, they are your secret weapon in combatting unnecessary energy spend.

Offer Remote Programming to Residents

Remote programming is one feature that smart tech-savvy residents will appreciate. Rather than having to stand near the thermostat to adjust it, residents can use the SmartRent app to program the device as desired.

Residents can also program their thermostats to function differently at different times. In many cases, residents find great success in programming their thermostats so that it decreases the temperature when they’re away from home and raises it when they return. This prevents unnecessary energy consumption when no one is inside the home.

Keep Tabs on Vacant Homes

What’s worse than unnecessary energy spend? Unnecessary spend on homes that are vacant. When residents fail to turn off their thermostats during move-out, operators end up paying the price, with energy bills that can far exceed reasonable amounts.

The idea of visiting vacant homes and shutting off the thermostat seemed logical a few years ago. However, if a BTR operator owns residences in different cities or lacks the workforce to do this routinely, the task can quickly become complicated and expensive.

The SmartRent platform turns this routine on its head by allowing operators to manage vacant homes using one application. By clicking a mouse or tapping a smartphone screen, you can control all thermostats remotely, toggling them on or off as needed.

SmartRent Powers Smart Thermostats

There are numerous benefits to smart thermostats. If you’re interested in decreasing your carbon footprint while offering BTR residents unparalleled convenience, reach out to us. We’ll be happy to show you how SmartRent’s smart thermostats work in your BTR property.