How the award winning Q-Bot, is helping housing providers tackle fuel poverty and climate change

23 April 2020

Q-Bot has been awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Innovation for its pioneering work in using robotics and AI to improve the energy efficiency of the UK’s housing stock.

Through the application of cutting-edge technology, Q-Bot is pioneering new approaches to maintain and upgrade our buildings.

More than 8 million homes in the UK have suspended timber floors and very few have been insulated. These homes tend to be some of the worst performing, with low EPC scores, a high incidence of fuel poverty, and few practical, cost-effective options to upgrade them. Insulating a suspended floor is typically expensive and disruptive, requiring the removal of the floor and fitting insulation between uneven joists, before putting everything back together again. Leaving just a small gap of a few mm can impair effectiveness by up to 50%.

To address this challenge, Q-Bot developed a robot to fit into the space beneath a suspended floor, survey the area and spray insulation onto the underside of the floor. Q-Bot’s fully accredited solution immediately reduces the heat lost through the floor and eliminates draughts. As a result, the house is warmer, more energy efficient and much cheaper to heat. The install can be completed in just a few hours and without disturbing those living in the property.

Q-Bot works with social housing providers to improve the fabric of homes and achieve their carbon targets through innovative and sustainable retrofit solution. This will have a significant impact on fuel poverty reducing energy bills by an average of £125/yr (Energy Savings Trust, 2020) while reducing the risk of damp and mould, making the home healthier.

Q-Bot’s robotic underfloor insulation can lift properties up to C or above and represents the most cost-effective EPC improvement method after loft insulation. The solution has been recognised as an innovative measure by Ofgem, securing ECO3 funding for D,E,F,G property.

Together with our housing partners and installations partners, we have delivered affordable warmth and improved energy efficiency to thousands of homes across the UK – equivalent CO2 savings of planting more than 100,000 trees, with much more to come!

Cecily Church, The Guinness Partnership explains: “Q-Bot’s robotic underfloor insulation has enabled us to improve the energy efficiency of our stock. This has helped reduce fuel poverty and drive progress towards the government’s carbon-neutral target of 2050. Pioneering innovations like Q-Bot are an important part of our toolkit for reducing emissions and improving lives. Without innovations like this, achieving the ambitious targets within social housing would be near impossible.