In this article we will continue to read the official report of the EnOcean Coalition, “The Connected Home; Smart Home with Batteryless Wireless Technology “. In this section we will look at cost energy saving with smart home. This article was prepared by the BACpress content production team.
Read part 1 from here.
What Does a Smart Home Offer?
There are a lot of reasons for the use of intelligent control systems. The most important aspects here are improvement in comfort, saving energy and thereby reducing costs, improving safety standards and supporting measures for the elderly.
Presently, the majority of Smart Home applications sold is from the field “secure living”. According to a GFK-survey, craftsmen made 46% of their profit there.5 Applications for comfort improvement and health care are in the second place. Only a few users will invest in this new technology for feasible savings in energy costs. However, rising energy prices and, encouraged by current politics, increasing environmental awareness, leads to more interest. A survey from Capgemini Consulting shows that rational applications in the Smart Home area have a high relevance for clients nowadays. According to this review, useful applications, which serve as security or lower energy costs, are in demand, not just trendy products with high entertainment value.
Cost Reduction through Energy Savings
Distributing German households’ total energy consumption shows that the largest energy use – and therefore also the largest energy savings potential – lies with indoor heating (see fig. 1). A total of 71% of energy used in private house-holds falls into this segment. As a comparison: only 2% of the total energy consumption is used for lighting. Therefore, the costs for heating are proportionally high. In 2010, heating and warm water allocation together made up 63% of the total energy costs. Buildings make up 40% of the European primary energy consumption. This large number clearly shows the effect savings could have, especially when looking at CO2-emissions.
Fig. 1: Household expenditure on energy (except fuels) increased by 89% from 1990 to 2010.1 Changes to this trend are not expected.
Fig. 2: Breakdown of households’ final energy consumption according to application areas 2007
Energy Savings in the Field of Heating
Due to this significant portion of the costs and through constantly increasing fuel prices, investments are supposed to be made more attractive to private households. But despite the enormous savings potential in the field of building heating, relatively few consumers invest in energy saving measures. Energetic building renovations are becoming more frequent, but large initial investment costs deter many consumers.
This is precisely where our idea starts, saving a lot of heating energy and thus money, with low amounts of investment. Only loop system components have to be ex-changed. These include radiator valve attachments and room controllers, in particular. Another rea-son for the relatively low investment costs is the quick and simple installation. Thanks to EnOcean wireless, no cables need to be laid. Moreover, any maintenance costs are dropped, because the sys-tem components work without batteries.
Networking and automating the integrated components ensures the customized adaption to the new heating consumption. A survey from the Frauenhofer Institut für Bauphysik IBP has mathematically compared the standard- and single room- heating control. Depending on the user profile, saving potentials varied from 17% for families, around 21% for senior citizens, and about 38% for singles, with regards to how many new and old buildings exist.
Compared to other investment measures, such as thermal insulation, this option is a lot less price intensive than the rest. The price for properly insulating a detached house lies at about 70.000 €. However, the price of converting an existing heating system is aimed at only 1.500 €. Large differ-ences can also be found when comparing payback periods. Typically, around 30 years pass until all initial costs for the insulation of the building shell are covered by energy savings. In contrast to ener-getic measures for heating, which amortize in about three years.
Smart Metering for Further Energy Savings
Another energy saving potential is provided by Smart Metering. Clients are offered different energy prices, depending on the time of day. The goal is to automate the control over certain energy con-sumers, for example washing machines or dishwashers, with a market for energy prices.
Through certain measures, private households are to be integrated into the network as consumers, but also as energy producers, for example through photovoltaic systems. A so-called Smart Grid optimizes the complete system, in terms of efficiency and security. Until 2020 Smart Meters are forecasted to reach an 80% market penetration in Europe. Here, France and Great Britain are trailblazers. A total of 53 million Smart Meters are to be installed in private households and in industrial buildings by 2019. Such a large market share is not immediately expected for Germany, as the use isn’t obligato-ry for now.
In a broader sense, Smart Metering also includes the client himself taking specific measurements of particular devices. Through the presentation of consumption curves on a PC or smartphone, energy saving potentials, such as a device’s power consumption in stand-by mode, are determined. In the best case scenario, this sensitization leads to energy saving behavior.
The Internet will become a constant companion, a rapid change
The sales of smartphones exceed even the expecta-tions of experts. Instead of the bulky PC, consumers are turning to the tablet. In Germany, more and more tablet computers are purchased, eight million in 2013 alone. Already today, 35 % of US citizens have a tablet.