Barnet Homes currently has over 3,000 homes connected to the Aico|HomeLINK IoT platform, accounting for 20% of its total stock. The technology has demonstrably saved people’s lives and generated net savings; a comprehensive business case identified cashable savings of £8.9m. Barnet Homes has confirmed it will complete a full roll-out of 15,000 homes by 2025.
Savings areas include:
- Increased asset lifetime
The industry average time an alarm spends on the ceiling is estimated to be six to eight years. This is short of the 10-year recommendations given by most reputable manufacturers because installers and asset managers err on the side of caution to decrease the risk that alarms go out of date. While this approach improves compliance, it can be more financially and environmentally costly. The Aico|HomeLINK platform provides transparency about average alarm replacement age and alarms that are out of date; reducing non-compliance risk whilst enabling a data-led, strategic approach to replacements.
- Reducing visits
Physical annual smoke and carbon monoxide alarm tests are often no longer required. While most of these checks were completed concurrently as part of gas servicing, there is still a cost associated with them.
- Improving safety and compliance
Savings areas include improved and more efficient compliance reporting, reduced risk of fines, reduced legal expenses, less and more efficient repairs/callouts, and lower probability of reputational costs associated with accidents resulting in near misses, injury, or death.
The business case is both conservative and strong, but the primary motivator for Barnet Homes is the potential to improve the safety and healthiness of their residents’ homes. For example, Barnet has already identified three homes that had low levels of carbon monoxide and one home that had high levels. In all cases, Barnet Homes sent an engineer immediately to rectify the problems, ranging from a faulty cooker to an unclean cooker. From a compliance perspective, these are very different scenarios, but the net result is the same for the resident: at best rapidly deteriorating physical and mental health; at worst, death.
Industry 4.0 refers to a new phase in the industrial revolution that focuses on interconnectivity, automation, machine learning, and real-time data. While Barnet Homes leads the way, many other social landlords are on the same IoT adoption trajectory as them. This is more evidence that Industry 4.0 has arrived for social landlords in the form of compliance.
To date, Aico|HomeLINK has already brought online IoT solutions for nearly 14,000 socially rented homes in the UK. Based on feedback from customers who are currently scaling this technology, Aico|HomeLINK will have at least 750,000 by the end of 2025.
Gavin Bass, Senior Compliance Manager of Barnet Homes comments, “We can see a huge amount of value in the environmental sensors. From improving resident health and wellbeing to ensuring we are compliant with things that are very difficult and expensive to measure, such as damp and mould locations and causes. It is clear from the Ombudsman’s report that landlords are expected to take a proactive approach to solve these problems, non-compliance will no longer be tolerated, and disrepair legal claims are likely to increase.”