An intelligent heating system reduces the energy consumption of homes

A home that intelligently regulates electricity consumption can reduce the consumption of an electrically heated detached house in the winter months by up to 30 percent. This was found out at the University of Oulu in November in the thesis reviewed at the beginning.

Investigator Sanna Tuomela looked at ten households that installed energy consumption regulating systems in their homes at their own expense.

In addition, Tuomela interviewed residents in a couple of ten households where the system had been put into use or which were planning to purchase one.

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All lived in 130–200 square meter detached houses with electric heating.

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The investigated systems consisted of several thermostats, meters and controllers, which allowed the temperature and electricity consumption of the homes to be timed per room.

Savings were mainly sought in two ways. First, the system lowered the temperature in unoccupied rooms or during times when no one was home.

Secondly, the system directed consumption to the hours of cheaper electricity at night.

“There were, for example, households where the children had moved out and their old rooms were little used. Many also ended up lowering the temperature in their garages after noticing its effect on consumption,” says Tuomela.

The comfort of living was not felt to have decreased, rather the opposite.

“For example, many people like to sleep in a cool place, but they miss getting up in the morning if the floor is cold. The automation can turn on the heating for the little one at night, but turn it on a little before waking up, so that the floor warms up.”

The electricity consumption of the surveyed households decreased by an average of 15 percent between January and March, when the consumption was stabilized in relation to the weather. So the tightening of the frost did not affect the readings.

At most, a reduction of up to 30 percent was achieved.

Although Tuomela’s review focused on electricity consumption, the reason for acquiring the systems was above all financial. For the same reason, mostly large electrically heated houses were selected.

“The systems are not exactly cheap. Installation costs are around 1,500–3,000 euros. In addition, there will be a monthly service fee. Without electric heating, the payback period will be quite long.”

Part of the cost benefit arises when electricity consumption is scheduled for the cheaper hours of the night. However, Tuomela’s study only investigated the effect of the system on the amount of electricity consumption, not the price.

“The cost benefit always depends on the type of electricity contract and how the price of electricity varies. Therefore, they are not uniform.”

The study was also conducted before the current increases in electricity prices and their large fluctuations during the day.

Although the transfer of consumption to cheaper hours is not necessarily reflected in the amount of consumption of an individual economy, it is also reasonable in terms of the overall picture of energy policy.

When electricity is at its most expensive, it is also produced with coal. For cheaper hours, nuclear power and renewable energy sources are sufficient.

Source: Tiede by

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