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  • Zach Cook

Are your tenants in fuel poverty?

As the temperature is dropping, fuel poverty is becoming more of an issue. Not heating a home can increase the vulnerability of the occupier as they are at high risk of contracting cold related illnesses including influenza and pneumonia, which can lead to absence from work, social isolation, sleep deprivation and even mental and stress related illnesses (high blood pressure and heart attacks). This is a recurring issue that doesn’t get a lot of media attention, you can look this up yourselves on Google.

Earlier this year the government released the fuel poverty statistics for 2018 which showed things were improving, however, these statistics are 2 years old. This all could have changed in the current climate, which certainly doesn’t help the people living in fuel poverty today.

Identifying those tenants living in fuel poverty isn't a simple feat. They are usually not outspoken, or high maintenance tenants, but rather the more reserved, isolated tenants you never hear from.

We all have a duty of care and new technology can help make us aware of those tenants that require extra concern.

Vericon Systems have specifically designed their technology to support housing associations and councils remotely monitor and manage their complete portfolio. The BCM Connect is one of those technologies that actually makes a difference. The BCM gives real time fault notifications, as you'd expect, but additionally the stream of boiler and environmental data will show heating usage and room temperatures within the property.

We have already highlighted tenants at risk this winter. In one case, the telemetry showed the boiler in full working order but the flow and return temperature did not rise above 21 degrees. We could see domestic hot water was being drawn throughout the day, so it was clear the property was occupied. It could be argued that the cause may have been a broken thermostat or someone that didn’t know how to operate the thermostat. However, the fault still required investigation and our real time notifications allowed this to happen before the condition of the boiler deteriorated.

In this case we were able to identify fuel poverty, which would have remained undiscovered if it were not for the BCM. At this point it is essential to note that just because the problem was identified, does not mean it will simply disappear. Vericon continued to monitor the condition of the boiler, while allowing the housing association to manage and resolve the situation.

For more information about how we can help identify fuel poverty and to discuss the full range of features incorporated within the systems, please call us on 01242 582 555, email us at, or click the links below to contact our team via LinkedIn.

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