By Gary Thomas
In recent times, plug-in home energy monitoring meters are used to enhance energy efficiency, but the effect does not persist for longer time.
Hence, the interest on the monitors is reducing slowly. However, about 8% of energy consumption in houses was reduced when DEHEMS, a monitoring device, was analyzed in Bulgaria and the United Kingdom.
Researchers created a device that monitors the energy consumption and other information including appliance performance, heat loss at homes. Furthermore, the device offers understandable, real-time data to users through the DEHEMS ‘dashboard’.
DEHEMS users were assembled at ‘Living Labs’ to assess the technology. According to the CEO of Hildebrand, a company based in the UK, Joshua Cooper, also a participant in the project, the users assembled together brought a change in energy consumption. The participants shared tips and hints between them to save energy. Infact, a competitive behavior developed between certain participants to reduce energy consumption and highest sustained average energy was saved between groups having common interest, like teachers from the same school.
He added that removal of relying on users to do things correctly is important for saving energy, however, until that stage is reached, systems such as DEHEMS are very useful. Currently, Hildebrand with Smart Grids Australia is deploying DEHEMS at large scale under a district heating initiative in London, UK.
Further, Hildebrand has associated with the project coordinator, UK-based Manchester City Council for a new European funded project, which uses cloud-based database technology developed while testing DEHEMS. This will support European cities to meet their carbon reduction targets through the Intelligent Cities initiative.