Home helps

Hands up if you have a smart meter indoors keeping you up to date on exactly how much that hallway light is costing you in power.

Not many of us currently do, but if the government is to meet its own targets then by 2020 every single UK home, all 26 million of them, will have one of the clever little devices up and running.

As The Engineer reports the latest attempt to help meet this ambitious target, a unified communications standard for meters, this seems like an appropriate moment to suggest another innovation the home of 2020 could boast to make life a little easier, cheaper or greener.

If we’re on the subject of environmental efficiency, those of us who have just been handed our umpteenth waste disposal receptacle (blue boxes, green buckets, black and brown bins, you know the type of thing) might look for some type of automated system that sorts the paper from the food scraps and the cans from the bottles.

Who knows how many the council will have foisted on us by 2020, so perhaps some type of robot recycler could stop the night before bin collection day turning into a two-hour exercise in sorting.

It’s only a thought. If you have any suggestions for the single innovation that could make life around the house easier, drop us a line. In the meantime, given that meeting the government’s target will require something like 70,000 installations per week, our tip for the business to get into is the smart meter-fitting game.

Andrew Lee