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E.ON using ‘eye in the sky drone technology’ for technical surveys

E.ON's drones are fitted with body-worn mobile laser scanners. Image: E.ON.

E.ON's drones are fitted with body-worn mobile laser scanners. Image: E.ON.

Supplier E.ON is offering home technical surveys, assessing a property's suitability for solar panels, air source heat pumps and insulation, using drones.

The drones are fitted with body-worn mobile laser scanners, allowing E.ON’s drone pilot surveyors to assess walls, floors and ceilings providing thermal analysis, which is combined images of the building.

This allows the company to establish if the building is suitable for technologies like heat pumps more efficiently than measuring by hand using laser or tape, it said. Once collected the data is stored by E.ON, reducing the need for site visits if further improvement works are carried out at a later date.

“This is in effect a home and energy health assessment – done by drone in under an hour and giving an inside-out image of all the areas where we can improve energy efficiency and make homes more comfortable for customers, as well as helping to reduce bills and carbon emissions,” Michael Lewis, CEO of E.ON UK.

“Something like 19 million homes across the country are in urgent need of improvement but we know homeowners can often be left confused by the range of energy saving options. Our eye in the sky drone technology gives an accurate and speedy assessment of the most suitable and sustainable technologies.”

Drones are now being used for a number of applications in the energy sector, including SP Energy Networks switching to drone technology for transmission network inspection in 2021.

There has recently been an increased push to adopt measures like heat pumps, solar panels and insulation given the soaring cost of gas and electricity in Britain.

Research by the Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit in March for example, found that a third of Britons are now considering installing a heat pump in an effort to get off Russian gas, a key driver of market volatility in particular following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The price cap was raised by 54% to £1,971 at the beginning of April, changing the economics of heat pumps in particular, which are now cheaper to run than a gas boiler in the UK, saving around £260 a year. Installation costs can be mitigated somewhat by the through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme as well, which from 2 April has been offering grants of £5,000.

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