Smart living: the sustainable homes of the future

The appliances of the future will be powered by excercise devices, or so homeowners envision

Amira Hashish
Monday 18 April 2016 16:35 BST
Duette blinds in a Thomas Sanderson conservatory
Duette blinds in a Thomas Sanderson conservatory

Imagine a world where wind turbines are garden essentials and the only way to watch the TV is by working out to power it.

According to a survey by, this could be the future. A poll of 2,876 British homeowners suggests the way we power our properties could spark the biggest change in our lifestyles.

More than 84% of those who took part thought energy would come from ‘more sustainable sources’, with a further 61% believing that UK homes will become more ‘self-sufficient/independent’.

All respondents were provided with a list of predictions and asked to identify which ones they expected in the future. The results revealed the following top six:

1. Appliances will be powered by exercise devices – 55%
2. Water energy will be harvested in the drains – 51%
3. External guttering will feature water turbines to generate power from rain water – 43%
4. All roof tiles will contain solar panel technology – 39%
5. Every home will feature a wind turbine – 22%
6. Houses will feature electro-kinetic floorboards to generate energy for the rooms – 14%

Advances in technology mean energy saving items are more readily available. Here are some nifty options which won’t break the bank:

Smart thermostat

The Nest Thermostat merges cool tech with neat design. By connecting to a smartphone the device can change the heating temperature and boost hot water wherever you are. The device, priced from £199, can also tell if you are away from the house and automatically turn down the heating to save energy.

Bright blinds

Duette blinds have a climate control insulating action so rooms stay cool in the summer months and warm in the winter. Keeping rooms at a consistent temperature, regardless of the weather outside, as well as allowing fresh air and light into the space is key to boosting concentration levels.

Fry up

Swan has launched a halogen oven and air fryer, which promises faster cooking as well as energy saving and health benefits (£49.99, By using heat, infrared and convection little or no oil is needed to prepare meats, fish and potato dishes. Infrared emits heat waves that quickly penetrate the food directly, sealing in the flavour and retaining moisture as well as browning and crisping without frying. Convection acts like a whirlwind, circulating hot air around the oven. It also has 1300W of power, which is less than half the energy needed for most conventional ovens and no preheating is required.

Shower power

New water-efficient showerheads use technology that can produce water flows which feel far higher than they actually are; a simple way to save both water and energy. The Grohe hand-held Rainshower, around £65, has a button on the handle that can be pressed to reduce the water used by 40%.

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