A new energy-saving device invented by Lewisham company Adaptarose is being tested in households across the borough.
Heidi Alexander, MP for Lewisham East, will be trialling the Ceiling Rose Motion Sensor in her own home.
The device replaces the traditional ceiling rose and contains sophisticated sensors that detect the smallest movement, turning lights off when people leave the room.
Moni Razzaque, CEO of Adaptarose, described it as an innovative use of known technology. Razzaque said: “Such a device exists in offices, hostels and hospitals already, but for some reason it had never made it into homes.
“We’re consuming more power than we ever have, that’s the society we live in now. The planet can’t handle that, so we need to be doing something more.”
The device takes less than ten minutes to install and does not necessitate any rewiring. It’s currently being tested out in households across the borough.
Alexander said: “When you consider that around 40% of your electricity bill is accounted for by light bulbs, you can quickly see that switching them off when you aren’t using them is common sense.
“I think Adaptarose’s new device might be a game-changer in energy saving, which would be good news for our pockets and for the environment.”
The power consumption of twelve houses will be measured for a month before their ceiling roses are replaced, then measured for another month, in order to see how much energy and money could be saved thanks to the device.
Razzaque said: “It’s difficult to give precise numbers at the moment, and even more so since all households have different habits and power use, which is why we are doing a trial. We think a family with two children might save around £30 a month, but that’s to be verified.
“Nobody would buy the device in a hardware shop, because no one knows about it.
“I have lived in Lewisham since 1973, and I think this project should be led by the community. Lewisham has a lot of bad press, but we need to show that locals have great ideas.”
Councillor Susan Wise, Cabinet Member for Customer Services at Lewisham Council, said the Council is keen to help residents cut their fuel bills and save energy.
“Working with Adaptarose on the pilot has given us the chance to help a small local company take their idea for a new energy efficiency product and demonstrate that it works. Local people are benefiting and if the product takes off we hope that this could also create jobs and lead to other opportunities.”
Adaptarose is now looking for an organisation that would licence the device or help them to build on the business. They are also hoping the sensor will be recommended by the Green Deal, a new government plan that aims to reduce energy waste by assessing people’s homes and advising them on home improvements to reduce their bills. They are offering free devices to the first 25 households that apply.