In theory, an intelligent heating system should be able to make similar decisions on a daily basis, with information from regional wind and solar farms. Consumption could be timed when there is the greenest energy mix forecast.
For those with gas boilers, a smart thermostat which learns which rooms you use and when could also help to reduce your carbon footprint some, says Caerts.
While truly intelligent, flexible systems that adapt to the energy mix might still be some years away, a change in mentality can start now. The National Grid, for example, launched an app earlier this year which allows users to work out when the greenest time to use electricity is. One website even offered those taking up baking during the pandemic lockdown to decide the best time to crank up their ovens in order to have the least environmental impact.
“We need to be thinking about how we can steer consumption to maximally coincide with times in the day when the carbon intensity is the lowest,” adds Caerts.
With many of us likely to be spending more time in our homes this winter, it could make a big difference.
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