North West Ambulance Service

Our vision for our customers is to be simply better – better than anyone else at solving customer’s energy needs. Our focus on a Better Experience extends further than just our support to domestic customers and in 2017 we have looked to expand our development of energy solutions available to business across the UK.

EDF Energy Services is a joint venture between EDF Energy and Dalkia. It offers expertise in developing, building and managing innovative, greener, more cost-effective energy solutions to enable the sustainable growth of both cities and companies through decentralised energy solutions, implementation of district heating and cooling networks and energy efficiency measures.

In 2017, EDF Energy Services acquired Imtech, a leading engineering services company and provider of technical services to construction, industrial, commercial and public sector clients in the UK and Ireland. This acquisition complements the existing capabilities of EDF Energy Services, and enables customers to access and benefit from additional expertise in designing, building, operating and the maintenance of tailored innovative energy systems.

In October 2014, NWAS entered into a 15-year energy performance contract with Imtech via the Carbon and Energy Fund (CEF). The Imtech team implemented various measures including the installation of photo-voltaic panels, electronic thermostatic radiator valves and microgeneration, providing a comfortable environment, with upgraded lighting, heating and building controls for the occupiers of the facilities.

As a result of the innovative measures installed by Imtech, the contract exceeded its energy saving objective by over £19,000 in 2016 and is now on target to deliver on all its guarantees; reducing CO2 by 9,300 tonnes and delivering cost savings of over £4m to frontline patient care by 2029. Imtech have also been able to provide cost certainty for the planned preventative maintenance, delivered via Imtech Inviron, for the remainder of the contract.

Our partnership with Imtech has developed into an open, collaborative relationship. The engineering team are always very responsive to queries, dealing with them quickly and efficiently. The energy and cost savings delivered have exceeded our expectations, and those guaranteed by Imtech and the CEF, this is particularly pleasing as it directly benefits our frontline patient care.
Paul Gilfoyle, NWAS Estates Manager

Howz System

Working in partnership with digital healthcare company Intelesant, the innovative Howz system was designed to make people’s life better and safer through the use of new technology and data. Howz is a new product aimed at supporting people to live independently whilst letting those that matter to them know how they're doing. Howz aims to enable this process without being intrusive, being easy to install and use, and helpful for identifying daily activity.

Howz directly supports our Better Lives strategic goal through its support to vulnerable customers by offering an innovative solution to those caring at a distance and to promote earlier intervention by detection of change in daily habits and movements within the home.

The route to development

Louise, a physiotherapist now working at Howz, was making visits to people living alone, and on leaving their home she wondered if there was a way of staying connected to that person without having to increase visits. When she talked about it, she realised that many people would know someone they felt similarly about.

These people did not need ‘monitoring’ via cameras or movement sensors – that would be too intrusive – but ‘half an eye’ would be good!

Jonathan, the current Howz CEO, decided to look at other ways of establishing the daily routine for an individual using data already in the home such as electricity meters. He then developed complex analytics to take in information from a range of devices which could then be used to help family members, friends or other carers remotely monitor their family member.

We know that changes in people’s daily routine can be an early indicator of a chronic condition or can show that someone is in need of more help to remain living independently.

The Howz system

Howz was born! It created a system that contained a clamp attached to the electricity meter which sent information via radio signals to the internet. This information could be combined with data from additional door sensors, a temperature/light sensor and a passive infrared sensor (PIR) which all connect with the hub via radio signals.

This enables Howz to know when an appliance is used, when people open and close their door and when people move around the home. All these activities are also reported on a timeline via an app or website and the Howz algorithms help to create an individual profile of someone’s usual daily routine.

The Howz system will identify where a significant change has occurred over the longer term and Howz can then contact the customer to advise them of the observed change.

The main purpose of this contact is to promote awareness of the change and so this is done through personal contact not just the app. The information collected can also be accessed by other support services involved in the care of an individual.



Working in partnership

EDF Energy is now working closely with Intelesant delivering a free trial that is not only supporting customers but also helping the future development of the system.

In March 2017, Howz also took the top award in EDF Energy’s Connected Home and Business Challenge category as part of its Pulse Awards, after taking part in a 10-week acceleration programme at EDF Energy’s Blue Lab in Hove. Its success in the UK meant it was fast-tracked to the EDF Pulse Awards, giving it the opportunity to be more visible at a European level. Its latest success will expose it to international markets, as well as a cash award and marketing campaign to accelerate its development.

The Better Plan - stick of rock

The Better Plan

Our framework for being a sustainable and responsible energy business.

The Better Plan is an integral part of EDF’s 2030 vision – to be the efficient, responsible electricity company, and champion of low-carbon growth. 

We want to deliver Better Lives, Better Experience and Better Energy for all of society.