How IoT solutions help us deal with rising energy prices?

Miguel Maroto    11 April, 2022
Bulb in green grass.

This article is intended to describe how myself and my friends have been dealing with the increase in energy prices over the last year with the help of IoT solutions.

Paradigm shift on electricity prices

We have witnessed a spectacular increase in the price of energy over the last year, with a rise of 334% if we compare the average price in March 2021 with the average price in March 2022. This rise took place at a European level and was due to different factors.

Several circumstances have affected both my housing bill, which has risen by an average of 40%, and the bills of friends’ companies, which have suffered very significant rises both in the shops and in the factories of their companies.

In our country this situation has caused important changes in the energy consumption behaviour. In a recent study commissioned by LG Electronics, 84% of Spanish families have changed their consumption habits in recent months.

As a result, the population that has been affected by this paradigm shift is looking for solutions to help improve the energy efficiency of both their homes and business premises. The arrival of European funds, quantified at almost 7,000 million, will greatly help the progress of these efficiency solutions in our country.

What kind of IoT solutions help energy efficiency?

There are different types of solutions depending on whether they are aimed at the residential or corporate market.

The solutions focused on the residential market are simple modular solutions in which different components are included, including:

  • IoT devices: Different types of devices that collect consumption information that help improve decision making. Examples:
    • Intelligent light monitor: Allows the consumption of each connected appliance to be identified in real time.
    • Smart shower device: Device that changes colour depending on the volume of water consumed and helps the customer consume only the necessary amount of water, avoiding overconsumption.
    • Smart Plug: A device that makes it easy to measure the consumption of any electrical appliance connected to it. It is also possible to activate and deactivate it remotely.
    • Smart thermostat: Device that analyses the insulation of the user’s residence, as well as the outside temperature, to programme the best time to switch on the heating and define the temperature at which it should be switched on. This achieves a reduction in unnecessary energy consumption.
  • Management App: Application that receives the information collected by the sensors described above and helps the user to make decisions by recommending consumption habits.

For the corporate market, the solutions that help energy efficiency are found within what is called Smart Building, which is the intelligent management of the automation of all the buildings or infrastructures of a company to improve comfort, maintenance, accessibility, health and safety, etc.

This type of solution consists of the following elements:

  • IoT devices: A set of sensors that collect consumption information from different points of the building’s network and send it to the management platform.
  • Centralised Control Platform: A platform that allows any employee of the company to visualise the behaviour of the building in real time and thus make the necessary adjustments at all times.

What are the benefits of these solutions?

The benefits of these solutions for residential users are the following :

  • Saving on energy costs
  • Helping to fight climate change by reducing our environmental footprint.
  • Total control over the consumption of our electrical appliances

For the corporate market, such solutions offer the following benefits :

Economic

  • Reduction in the cost of energy bills for infrastructures.
  • Reduction of preventive and corrective maintenance costs of infrastructures.
  • Contained and predictable costs.  

Bussines

  • Energy optimisation by managing the comfort/energy consumption ratio according to economic and commercial criteria.
  • Implementation of environmental and corporate responsibility policies (ecoMarketing): energy consumption, water, emissions, etc.

Operational

  • Compliance with the regulatory framework (RITE) for infrastructures.
  • Centralised remote monitoring and control of devices in real time: lighting, air conditioning, marketing, cold rooms, machinery, swimming pools, fuel tanks, etc.
  • Facilitator of predictive maintenance of infrastructures.

What is Telefónica Tech contributing to the world of energy efficiency?

A team led by Eva Pérez Marcos at Telefónica Tech has launched the Telefónica Inmotics and Energy Efficiency Service, an e2e Smart Building solution that enables the centralised and remote management of devices in a network of infrastructures (usually buildings), providing customers with efficiencies in energy consumption and maintenance, ensuring that the necessary comfort conditions are achieved.

The solution consists of:

  • IoT devices, which collect data from different points in the building.
  • Operation and Supervision Platform: A platform that allows the building to be managed and monitored in real time.
  • Energy Intelligence Platform: An Energy Intelligence analytical platform that provides energy dashboards and proposes new policies to be implemented to manage infrastructures more efficiently.

To sum up, the implementation of this type of solutions by both individuals and companies will experience a very significant growth this year, mainly due to the increase in the price of energy, as well as factors such as the arrival of Next Generation funds and society’s awareness towards the environment, which will also help the adoption of this type of solutions by the corporate market.

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