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Green Resolutions for 2024

Green Resolutions for 2024

A recent study has shown 49% of people have pledged to save money for their New Years Resolutions…As we leap into the New Year, it’s a great time to reflect on the winter months and consider changes we can make to have a greener (and cheaper) 2024.

The UK is on an ambitious mission to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. To meet this ambitious target, the country must take a multidisciplinary approach, with energy efficiency at the forefront. Heating is one of the largest sources of carbon emissions, accounting for about one-third of the UK’s carbon footprint. Therefore, transitioning to cleaner and more sustainable heating systems is crucial for the UK’s net-zero goal.

Coincidentally, a recent survey conducted by YouGov noted that 49% of resolutions for the new year are pledges to save more money.  Considering that roughly 6% of individual monthly salaries are taken up by energy bills, therein lies a balance to save money whilst also improving individual energy efficiency.

Smart heating companies like Genius Hub are among the pioneers of environmental sustainability, and we have some tips for you to make 2024 your most (energy) efficient yet:

Green home improvement tips that are free:

Turn your room thermostat down by 1°C

Approximately every 1º you drop the temperature you save 7%. Our customers need only turn down unoccupied rooms by about 4-5º to save upwards of 30% on their energy bill.

Turn your hot water cylinder thermostat down

Every hot water cylinder has its own built-in thermostat which should ideally be set to 60°C. If you have a hot water tank and it's over this level, by reducing it to 60°C your boiler won't have to fire for as long to get your water up to temperature; if it's firing less, it's using less fuel.

Close your curtains

During the day, the sun helps warm rooms, however, when the sun goes down, so does the temperature. Closing your curtains in the evening will help keep the heat inside and reduce any draughts from your windows.

Close internal doors

If you already have individual room control using our Radiator Valves or Underfloor Heating Controls, you will undoubtedly be saving money by not heating unoccupied rooms. By closing internal doors, you will save more money as you will keep the heat in the rooms you're occupying and avoid heating unoccupied spaces.

Turn off lights

Why pay for electricity to light an unoccupied room? Turn the lights out when you leave a room. You could use Genius Smart Plugs for lamps, and Electric Switches for drive lights to improve automation and energy efficiency.

Move to a different energy supplier

By shopping around you could save significantly your bills - you could even switch to a greener supplier! Which? have collated a list of recommended suppliers, and you compare your energy usage with the national average with Switch-Plan.

More Ways To Save Money and Energy:

Insulation

A surprising amount of heat is wasted through your roof, walls, and floors every year if you don’t have adequate insulation. Your priority should be to insulate your roof first, then your walls, and finally your floor. Insulating cavity walls can cost around £500 and save you £105 per year.

Draught Proofing

As above, your house is less efficient due to drafts around doors and windows. Cheap and simple adjustments such as draught excluders or resealing windows could save you roughly £25 a year!

Fix dripping taps

Whilst not strictly energy, it is worth mentioning that dripping taps could fill around two baths with wasted water over the course of a year. By fixing dripping taps, you’re helping the environment, and your wallet!

Upgrading Your Boiler

New condensing boilers could be up to 95% efficient, and heat pumps are increasing in popularity year on year! Although upfront costs can be quite alarming, there are government-backed upgrade schemes available, provided you have completed EPC recommendations.

Smart Heating

No surprises here! By changing traditional heating to smart thermostats and zoning with smart TRVs, you could save upwards of 30% each year! You can also save money with Genius Occupancy Detection: Click Here to Find Out More

As you can see, there are many ways to save money on your energy bill which also help the environment, and don’t cost much (if at all!).
If you decide to give any of these ideas a go, let us know at enquiry@geniushub.co.uk or on our Forum.

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Changes to Support

Technical Phone Assistance
Technical Email Assistance

Changes to Support Services

We’ve had significant feedback over the last 12 months about our Support Packages, and we’re pleased to bring to you our new Support system. Going forward, we will no longer be billing you monthly for your support subscriptions – both email and phone.

Instead, we will have 2 support options:

Support Tickets: Taking inspiration from similar chat-based models used by many other technology companies, we now have a new portal on our website where you can log issues such as a device missing a temperature, hub access issues, or device communication queries. Our Support Team will be able to communicate with you via this portal until your issue is resolved.

Support One-2-One: An inclusive service which gives you an hour with one of our team, who will run through your entire system with you. Whether you are servicing your system in preparation for the coming winter, or there are multiple zones/rooms you need help with, this service is designed to get your system back to optimum efficiency.

There are also other options for Support, such as:

  • Calling a certified installer, found on our Installer Map.
  • Use our extensive free Knowledge Base and FAQs. Our Knowledge base is curated, updated and checked regularly by our team. All the support we provide you with via email or phone is on this site and, very often, it is what our Support Team use to assist you.
  • Using our Forum where customers like yourselves have solutions and interesting ways to use the system.

We want you to feel empowered to get the most out of your system and not to have to wait in queues overrun by customers bypassing support by incorrectly submitting a Bug Report via the app or calling our Sales Line, which is why we have made the decision to take our Support Team completely away from the previously monitored support@geniushub.co.uk email address, and use the services mentioned above exclusively – this means that customers can no longer call or email, taking time away from the services you pay for.

*Please note, if you are currently receiving support for an issue from support@geniushub.co.uk, we will continue to support you via email until your issue is resolved. If your support subscription has recently been renewed, we will continue to support you until your license runs out.*

For those customers currently paying for a support subscription, we will separately send out an email containing a free support ticket before the end of this week.

We are confident this service will greatly improve the support you receive and with the dedication you deserve.

Kind regards,
~ Genius Hub Team

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How do Thermal Environments affect our body clock

fields-morning
fields-morning

How do Thermal Environments affect our body clock?

The circadian rhythm serves an important purpose in preparing the body for changes in the environment, such as anticipating times for physical activity, sleep and meals. The strongest external queue is the light/dark cycle, however, other external factors such as temperature can have significant effects on our internal body clock.

Heat has a significant impact on the circadian rhythm of living organisms. Heat affects circadian rhythm by regulating the release of the hormone melatonin, which is responsible for regulating the sleep-wake cycle. Humans have a sleep-wake rhythm that is repeated in a 24-hour cycle. Research has shown that exposure to high temperatures can disrupt the normal functioning of the biological clock and can suppress melatonin release, leading to changes in sleep patterns.

During sleep, the core body temperature drops, signalling to the body that it is time to sleep. Exposure to heat can raise the core body temperature and make it harder to fall/stay asleep. Heat can disturb sleep more than cold, especially in young and elderly people. This is because heat makes people more awake and decreases the time they spend in deep sleep. One reason for this could be that, if sleep is disturbed at the beginning, the body tries to catch up later on. Heat-related sleep problems don’t go away, even after several days of being exposed to heat: Even if people are sleep-deprived, heat still affects the amount of time in deep sleep. Wakefulness is the only stage that can help the body deal with high temperatures and it replaces deep sleep and dreaming to help the body stay at a normal temperature.

Therefore, it is important to keep the temperature in mind when it comes to sleep and wakefulness. For sleeping, the ideal temperature is about 18 degrees Celsius, which helps the body get into the best state for sleeping. It can lower the body’s temperature and make for a deeper, more restful sleep. If it’s too hot or too cold, it can interfere with sleep quality and make it harder to fall or stay asleep.

To keep cool at night

  • Close curtains to limit light and heat
  • Drink cool water to stay hydrated
  • Wear loose and lightweight clothing
  • Use a Genius Smart Plug to schedule a fan to come on if the temperature exceeds 22 degrees, or using IFTTT, when the sun sets.

To keep warm at night

  • Schedule your electric blanket to turn on prior to you going to bed using a Genius Smart Plug
  • Remove materials such as furniture or clothing from blocking your radiator and absorbing the heat
  • Ensure your heating schedules are up-to-date to reflect the time of year
  • Close your curtains as soon as dusk falls to maximise your house’s potential to retain heat

Related - Sense Mode

How to optimize Sense Mode to adapt to your lifestyle with little thought...

On the other hand, when it comes to being awake and alert, the ideal temperature is a bit higher; around 21-22 degrees Celsius. This temperature range is generally comfortable for most people and helps keep cognitive function and alertness during the day. However, if it’s too hot or too cold, it can cause discomfort, fatigue and lower overall productivity.

It is important to note that individual comfort may vary and the optimal temperatures may be different for each person. Experimenting with different temperatures to find what works best for you is recommended.

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ECO+

ECO+

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Turning the Genius Hub off in the Summer

Turning the Genius Hub off in the Summer

As the Summer is heating up, you may not want to use your heating as much. If you are using the Genius Hub for controlling your hot water then you will obviously want to keep your Genius Hub plugged in during the summer, and you can turn off all of the rooms on the app which you do not want to be heated during the summer.

To turn off the rooms you are not using, the easiest way is:

  • Go to the ‘My House’ page by clicking on the house icon at the top left of the app.
  • In the bottom bar, click on ‘Turn Off’
    • This will turn all of the Radiator, Underfloor Heating and Hot Water Temperature zones off.
    • If you want to keep the Hot Water Temperature zone on, just navigate to the zone and change the mode to Timer
  • At the end of the Summer, just click ‘Restore’ from the ‘My House’ page for all of your zones to revert to their state before the Summer with their schedules ready to go.

Adjusting your lamps and lighting for longer days...

If you have a Genius Room Sensor that is not being used in a zone to control heating, you can use it to control the Smart Plugs. The Genius Hub system is primarily a heating control system, so there can be a delay of a number of seconds before the Smart Plug responds (about 2 – 30 seconds generally), this is acceptable for heating but note that this may not be acceptable for lighting.

Step-by-step guide:

  1. Create a new zone on the app which is a ‘On / Off’ type of zone
  2. Go to the Zone Setup and assign the Genius Smart Plug and Genius Room Sensor
  3. Set the ‘Heating Trigger On After’ to 0 minutes
  4. Set the ‘Heating Trigger Off After’ to as long as you want the Smart Plug to stay on for
  5. Leave the setup pages, and change the mode to ‘Sense Mode’ See here how to enable Sense Mode on your Genius Hub
    • Set up the times of the day where you want it to turn ‘ON’ when there is occupancy, the rest of the time it will ignore occupancy
    • Remember to turn on ‘React to Occupancy’ when setting up the times
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Working From Home

Working From Home with Genius Hub

As the government encourages people to return to the work place, companies are looking towards a post-Covid future. For many the idea is now a model that combines remote work and office time, which has lead to the relatively new term Hybrid Working. What does this mean for our heating?


Smart ways to get the best from your heating

Since the UK’s first descent into lockdown 18 months ago,  USwitch estimated that work from home households could have used 25% more electricity and 17% more gas per day, adding up to a yearly increase of up to almost £200 per household for those on Standard Variable Tariffs! For those of you who noticed this increase, going back into the office may be a welcome relief, however as we approach winter (and with the rise in wholesale energy pricing) it is important to make sure your system is adjusted to suit your new schedule.  The good news is that, with the Genius Hub system, you can set as many heating periods as you require for each room of your home throughout any given day, with a multitude of options which cater to different needs:


Modes of Control That Save You Energy

  • Timer Mode enables the user to heat a zone following a chosen schedule. You can change the schedule to suit your circumstances on a zone-by-zone and day-by-day basis. This is really useful for those who know when they will and won’t be in the office every day.

  • Sense Mode is our newest feature which builds on Timer mode by using our Genius Room Sensors The system will  follow a chosen schedule which you can edit at will. In Sense Mode, you can also select periods to only heat up if there is occupancy detected during the selected times which saves you from heating empty rooms! This is particularly useful for those who have to go into the office on different days each week, without your usual schedule being affected!

  • Footprint Mode is our most autonomous feature available to those with Genius Room Sensors or Genius Motion Sensors. In this mode the system will heat the zone based on whether the zone is normally used at this time, and if there is anyone currently using the zone. The timer bars are not clickable in this mode as the schedule is automatically created by your Genius Hub based on previous usage. This is particularly useful for those who would prefer the system to find the best solution for your heating without your input. 

Popping home for a meeting outside of your schedule? Use Override Mode to boost your heating for a set amount of time, without affecting your pre-designed heating schedule, no matter if you’re using any of the aforementioned modes.


Find Out More

Genius Hub Room Sensors are an increasingly popular temperature controlling device due to it’s ability to achieve high levels of energy efficiency as well as giving users access to exclusive areas of our app.

All devices are available from our Shop, if you have any questions about how Genius Hub could save you up to 40% on your energy bills contact our sales team.

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COP26

COP26 Glasgow

With the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow starting at the end of this month, we thought it would be a great time to tell you how Genius Hub can help make your home align with the aims of COP26.


What is COP26?

The primary goal of The 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) is to secure global net zero by the mid-century, with countries being asked to come forward with ambitious 2030 emissions reduction targets that align with this goal. Business and Energy Secretary, and COP26 President, Alok Sharma stated that “Tackling climate change is the one of the most urgent shared endeavours of our lifetimes, demanding bold action from every nation to prevent catastrophic global warming.” Therefore, this has been formulated into a plan by the UK Government by aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 68% by 2030. This was accompanied by the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, which would create jobs and sets targets of 40 billion of private investment to develop innovative technologies to cut emissions: in his press release, Johnsons states that by recovering cleaner and building greener we can “turn the tide on climate change”. Recent initiatives, including the Green Homes Grant and the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, show that tackling emissions from domestic heating is high on the governments agenda. So where does Genius Hub as a company fit in with this?


Our Alignment with Net Zero

Genius Hub aims to be a Net Carbon Negative business.  All of the packaging used from warehouse to recipient is either recyclable or carbon neutral; we have even chosen a Carbon Neutral delivery service to help keep within our ethos of sustainability. We expect the same from the companies we work with; with our largest supplier having committed to decarbonising their global operations by 2030. Our partners, Jigsaw and Castrads, are both companies like us, whose manufacturing processes happen here in the England.


Innovative Technologies and Renewables

We understand that retrofitting homes with low-carbon technologies, such as heat pumps, open therm and hydrogen boilers, will be key to meeting the 2050 Net Zero target. That’s why we are constantly developing and evolving our products and software to be compatible with emerging technology to bridge the gap between strategy, policy and control.


Reducing Emissions: Genius Hub Could Help You Save On Your Energy Bills By 40%

Whether you are one in the 87% of homes using natural gas to heat your home, or you have electric or low carbon heating, Genius Hub’s mission is to bring sustainable heating to homes across the UK. At Genius Hub, we have already developed and continue to build upon our innovative smart heating solutions which not only significantly reduce carbon emissions from your heating requirements, but also produce tangible cost savings: By turning every room in your house into it’s own temperature controlled zone (no matter what heating type you possess) you can make sure you’re only heating the rooms you need to at any given time, saving many customers around 22% on heating bills.

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Mansfield Baptist Church

MANSFIELD BAPTIST CHURCH

| CASE STUDY

NOTTINGHAM

Did you know there is no need to turn the heating on at lunchtime on a Saturday to ensure everyone is warm enough on a Sunday morning? Sometimes even longer! This appears to be a common problem for most religious buildings. Jigsaw and Genius Hub are approached frequently to help on ways to heat older buildings. The most requests we get are for support for churches. These are some of the more challenging buildings to work on due to the age, construction, wiring and delicacy needed to when planning and installing.

We are usually asked one simple question. Will Infrared work for our church? The answer is, YES! But, the challenge for Jigsaw staff is to find the best way of warming the building quickly, efficiently and with controls which make is easier for members of the church to use.

INITIAL ENQUIRY
The Jigsaw team recently completed a three week installation at Mansfield Baptist Church, Nottingham. We were originally approached along with five other companies to offer our solution for heating multiple rooms of various sizes. Ones of their main issues was that there are so many rooms that each would require different infrared solutions to work. The previous convection/gas system was taking too long to warm the rooms up. Some rooms never reached temperature in some large areas. This caused the congregation to feel uncomfortable in the colder months.

THE AREA FOR INSTALLATION ON THE FIRST PHASE:

  • Reception
  • Managers Office
  • Central Corridor
  • Nave (10m+ High Vaulted ceiling)
  • Balcony
  • Vestry Office
  • Parent and Baby Room
  • 3 x Large Meetings Rooms
  • 3 x Bathrooms
Jigsaw-2

HEATER SELECTION
The team on their first visit knew that the Mid Range of Infrared heaters would be required for the larger spaces. Jigsaw’s Made in Britain Infrared Panels would be used in the others. Their expertise were put in to use for calculating the requirements of the rooms, the heaters needed, control systems and the installation processes.

Jigsaw-1

COMFORTABLE WORKING ENVIRONMENT
Once an initial estimation had been made, the custodians of the church visited one of our previous church installations in the Midlands. This gave them the sense of what the IR heat feels like and how it can quickly warm the space up. This gave the group the confidence in their investment. Two demonstration heaters were loaned to the church to aid their decision. With Infrared you need to feel it,  know what it does and how far it reaches.

Modernize your home with Jigsaw Infrared Panels

The efficient, greener and comfortable heating system. Made in the UK. Install in homes, businesses and commercial properties. Making your home feel warm.
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Technology in Co-Living accommodation and HMOs (Houses of multiple Occupancy)​

Students Crib

Technology in Co-Living accommodation and HMOs (Houses of multiple Occupancy)

Student Accommodation

Our Director Alasdair has been invited onto the panel of a Co-Liv round table debate to discuss how technology is being used to help  the landlords of the 21st century.

You can register here for this round table discussion about how technology is changing the way that landlords are doing business and protecting their assets and revenue. Here is what our Director Alasdair has to say on what is driving the student accommodation markets of today:

“I remember a time when shared housing was something generally reserved to those going away to higher education, and ‘digs’ as they were known back then, would generally have been a shared house with a close group of friends (or at least close at the start). They’d be sharing a house and dividing the costs of running a house between them. Giving the benefits of companionship as well as keeping costs down, in return for this they’d have to deal with the repercussions of fall outs during the year of who’s not done the washing up and who has not remembered to put out.”

“Though of course there is still a market for such self managed properties, the students of today demand much more. University accommodation used to have shared rooms (that’s what I had any way) and also shared bathrooms, with small communal kitchens at the end of the corridors. Though the kitchens are still there, en-suites are becoming the norm and there are certainly very few shared rooms nowadays.

The change is when these students become young professionals, leaving home (possibly for the second or even third time) to take jobs in cities or towns, but they are still looking for accommodation, as they don’t yet have the means to buy a place. So, now the choice is live on one’s own or live with strangers in a shared house.

With people settling down and moving in with partners later, this is driving up the age and the number of people wanting to live with others, but now with a good salary and with the bar set pretty high at university or college when it comes to quality and amenities, this is opening up a new market of high end accommodation for the young professional tenants of today.”

“Add all of these trends together and you get an average tenant that is older, with more money, that has higher expectations and is happy to live with others, but may not already happen to have 3-4 friends to share a house with, so is looking for a shared home with like minded housemates and zero hassle with bills and house admin like cleaning.

This is where the Co-Live and HMO movement steps in. Generally providing high quality accommodation, often with en-suite, open and well equipped kitchens/living areas and even weekly cleaners all included into the price of the monthly rent.”

“From the landlord’s side this is generating a new opportunity and more tenants, but also a new set of challenges. ‘Bills Included’ is becoming the norm, which is removing the risk of having housemates not paying the bills and putting that burden onto the landlord. Arguably it’s easier for landlords to include bills as they own the property for a number of years and have more leverage over a housemate not paying their rent, than a fellow housemate has trying to extract the fare share of the broadband bill from that guy or girl who lives in room 3. This comes at a cost though… now with someone else paying the bills this means there is no reason to take care of the thermostat any more or turn lights off, apart from the thought of the environment of course.

LEDs solve the lights problem, using less than 10% of the energy of old fashioned lighting, but the heating is a real problem, with no real way to control the largest household bill. Luckily this is where smart systems like Genius Hub jump in, with their wireless radiator valves and room occupancy sensors. Rooms are always heated when they are used but never when they are not. Tenants can easily boost the temperature in their room when they want to, but it will never let them leave the heating on all weekend when they head home. Smart made simple.

Genius Hub offers average savings of around 25% on energy bills in HMOs, but more than that, it offers the risk mitigation that as a landlord you won’t end up with a bill 5 times higher than it should be because some careless tenants decide to turn the stat up to 30º, never put on more than a t-shirt and leave the windows open all winter. You won’t see windows open in a Genius Hub home.”

“Looking at the other things on the radar of the HMO landlord these will be things that improve the tenant experience as well as save the landlord time and money. Other such products I see HMOs investing in are digital door locks and tenant management software.

Digital Door locks; once reserved to Si-Fi movies showing their view of the future with a labyrinth of underground high security doors & corridors, in the 20th century they made it to hotels and now they are well established in the high end HMOs. Gone are the days of having to call out a landlord or locksmith in the middle of the night as a tenant has locked themselves out of their room for the umpteenth time.

Next are the Apps to help tenants communicate with each other and their landlord. Though Facebook and WhatsApp are great for a small number of properties, this quickly gets out of hand as the tenants take to them to organise things between themselves, making them difficult to manage. Take all the different situations such as registering a broken light fitting, to requesting a house meeting, to dealing with the legals of AST contracts these are all easier to manage online in a designated portal.

I’ll be discussing all of these as well as taking questions as part of the round table debate this Thursday. Hope to catch you there!”

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In the top 5 for 2020!

In the top 5 for 2020!

We’ve been listed in the top five best smart thermostats of 2020 on the highly reputable Techadvisor site

Dominic Preston the Deputy Editor has put together his pick of the top ten smart thermostats you can buy, and we’re pleased to be placed in the top five of those.

These are genuine reviews where you can see Matt Egan’s full review of the system here. Matt doesn’t just do a desktop review of the Genius Hub, he has it installed into his own home and he lives with it along with his family for many months if not years. You can read the full review here.

Like with the reviews from Trusted Reviews here, where we got 4.5 stars out of 5, we listen to what the tech journalists have to say and their feedback on the system. All the feedback goes into the review; both positive and negative, so you know you are getting an honest review of the system. You’ll have seen with the launch of Alexa in April this year that we listened and agreed to the feedback from Trusted Reviews, and it was important for us to make your Genius Hub as connected as possible to other smart things in your home.