CharIoT is an 18-month “Research in the Wild” project aimed at leveraging the “Internet of Things” to support people in managing their energy use, particularly those affected by fuel poverty. The project aims at supporting the work of energy advisors through co-development and deployments of IoT-sensor kits for collecting environmental data in homes, and interactive prototypes to support sense-making and advice giving based on that data.

The aim for the sensor kit is to capture environmental data that is meaningful in the context of fuel poverty (such as humidity and temperature), and explore ways in which to interrogate the data for the ‘symptoms’ of fuel poverty, such as damp and cold.

Chariot is a collaboration between researchers at the University of Nottingham, the University of Southampton, and the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE, based in Bristol). CSE energy advisors are the key users in this project, in particular to support the provision of advice in home visits. The key goal is to improve existing advice practices in homes by enabling personalised, data-driven advice.

The project is dedicated to following a user-centred and participatory design and co-development philosophy, including

  • Ethnographic studies of work and advice practice.
  • Participatory design workshops and prototyping.
  • Deployments and studies in the wild.

This project is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).


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