Switchee NHG

20 Mar 2024

How data can help tackle damp and mould

Our Switchee device pilot project is helping us identify properties at risk of damp and mould.

Last summer we embarked on a pilot project to install Switchee smart devices into 1,000 of our homes. The project is part of our asset strategy, put in place to help us upgrade our portfolio of homes, prevent disrepair and be more proactive when dealing with cases of damp and mould.

 Delivery of the strategy will go some way to ensuring all residents enjoy a safe, comfortable home where they can thrive and enjoy life. 

The devices are designed to offer us real-time data on whether the boiler is performing efficiently, as well as help us identify properties that could be at risk of condensation or damp and mould. The data also helps us identify homes that are susceptible to excessive heat loss, and where residents might be experiencing fuel poverty. This allows us to offer assistance before the issue gets out of control. 

We are nearing the end of phase one of the pilot, which concentrated on getting the devices fitted into our homes and gaining residents’ consent to use the data they provide. Phase two of the project will look more closely at the data we are collecting and how we can better use it to proactively carry out work in our homes. 

Some of the devices we’ve fitted are already giving us valuable insight and benefits to residents. 

Readings for one of our homes in west London shows how useful the data from the devices can be.

The data for the property showed that it was at a high risk of damp and mould. As no issues had been reported to us, a damp and mould case was launched, and a visit by the housing officer was arranged soon after. They discovered black mould along the window frames, backing up what the Switchee device had found, and that allowed us to raise a repair even before the resident had felt the need to report the issue to us.

Walid Saeed, director of planned investment, said: “We are committed to tackling the issue of damp and mould, ensuring our residents enjoy comfortable living conditions and are proud of their homes. When it comes to early diagnosis of potential damp issues, there is nothing we have found that matches the efficiency of these Switchee devices.

“We are keen to get them into residents’ homes as they provide us with vital information about condensation and the efficiency of boilers and even windows. If you are contacted by us offering the installation of a Switchee device, please provide access so you can enjoy the benefits of this system.”

What is a Switchee device and how does it work?

Switchee devices provide data on the internal temperatures within homes, humidity levels, heating usage and how long a property retains heat. We are then able to analyse the Switchee data weekly for insights into how properties are performing and identify any homes at high risk of damp or mould.  

As we would expect, we are seeing that there is a direct correlation between external weather temperatures and the number of properties that show to be at high risk of damp and mould, but there were also other factors such as heating usage and whether the property has any outstanding repairs waiting to be done. 

If a property maintains a high-risk damp and mould score for at least four weeks, we use our internal data to categorise the home based on its profile and any known issues to decide the best course of action. For any homes where there is no suspected reason for damp and mould, a My Account repair is then raised so the local officer knows to check in with the resident.  

You can find out more about Switchee devices in the help and advice section on our website.