Heating controls advice for the disabled and elderly

The Research Institute for Disabled Consumers (RiDC) has released the results of a study designed to help disabled and older people find easy-to-use controls that also have money-saving features. The result is a list of 11 accessible controls determined by members of its consumer panel, along with some advice on making purchasing decisions.

According to RiDC, over half (55%) of disabled adults have worried about paying their energy bills. The 4.1 million UK households with a disabled person spend over £1500 a year on energy, compared to the average household spend of around £1200 a year. Having the right central heating controls can help people save money

Ten people from RiDC’s panel tested the controls, including people with dexterity difficulties, cognitive impairments and sight impairment.

The controls were scored on accessibility features, such as: can they be used hands-free? is the device compatible with a smart speaker or home hub? are voice commands available? have they got good large clear displays or good colour contrast? are there tactile features? how simple do users find the controls?

The products tested included: two thermostatic radiator valves, two programmable thermostats, three manual room thermostats, and four smart programmable thermostats for use with an app.

To see the products tested and the list of the top 11 heating controls, click here.

For further guidance on finding the right heating controls for disabled and elderly people, click here.

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