The smart way to help carers
Companies often give presentations to Members of Parliament so that we know what they are doing for our constituents.
I recently attended such a meeting in the House of Commons with Centrica.
This is the company through which most people get their gas.
I was impressed by its ambition to be a good corporate citizen and its commitment to finding innovative solutions that reduce the carbon footprint and help its customers at the same time.
For example, its Hive Link has been developed with the Carers UK charity.
It aims to meet the needs of an ageing society with devices that allow trusted family and friends to check on the heating and lighting in the homes of elderly relatives, including those people with dementia.
A door open for longer than normal would also be spotted and allows carers to check more quickly. That enables carers to live their lives, but to be alert at the same time.
This kind of smart technology helps us all because the longer people can safely and comfortably stay in their homes, the less pressure there is on care homes and hospitals.
Centrica is also putting seed money into start-ups to boost emergency response systems as part of its Active Ageing Challenge.
Other initiatives include easier trading of excess power from community solar panels, and encouraging more electric vehicle use for individuals and fleets of lorries.
I’m impressed by Centrica’s enthusiasm and I commend it for using its corporate weight to be much more than the old British Gas was.
I also appreciate it making smart technology the friend of energy-saving and caring for others.
I say bring it on, and I hope other companies follow suit.