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Theben LUXORliving smart home system supports energy monitoring with KNX

KNX system and energy monitoring bring savings as well as more comfort and safety.

The Dutch housing company Woonborg built 36 new flats in Nieuw-Roden, Drenthe, and 32 flats in Haren, Groningen. In terms of energy efficiency, not only the mandatory BENG standard was taken into account, but also the stricter NOM (Zero-on-the-Meter) standard. To help tenants reduce their energy consumption, they are provided with LUXORliving, a KNX-based smart home system from Theben. In addition, the IRIS monitoring system from PureDomotica provides insights into energy production and consumption. In this way, the residents of the houses become more aware of their energy consumption and the energy limits are adhered to more often.

It often happens that tenants of energy-neutral houses receive high electricity bills at the end of the year. Perhaps because they have installed a whirlpool, or the heating is set at 24 degrees with the windows open. Woonborg wanted to prevent this and relies on NOM houses, of which a total of 117 have been built in the last five years. Heat pump, ventilation system, solar panels, good insulation, and the concept is complete. The company was also looking for an additional system to contribute to a more conscious and lower energy consumption.

Display provides information on generation and consumption

The tenants pay an energy efficiency fee (EPV) to Woonborg in addition to the social rent: this allows the company to recoup part of the investment. To be eligible for the EPV scheme, landlords must guarantee the energy efficiency of the NOM flats.

Woonborg commissioned PureDomotica to monitor energy consumption and revenue. For the EPV scheme, the consumption of the heat pump, the ventilation system, the hot water and the net generation of the PV panels is measured. The data is collected by the energy meters in the households and sent to the cloud. Residents can see on a display in the home how much they have generated and consumed, how much of their energy volume is left and how they compare to other time periods.

Energy consumption monitoring tool

“One problem with NOM was that the residents had no idea of their consumption but had a contract for a certain volume of energy,” says Jan van Goor of Woonborg.  “The nasty surprise came when they had to pay more at the end of the year. Now they are always informed if additional payments are imminent.” But Woonborg wanted more. In the current new-build project, they opted for an additional system consisting of the LUXORliving smart home system and other KNX components from Theben.

Home automation makes sustainable homes more sustainable

Marco Weg from PureDomotica explains why. “We use sensors and actuators from Theben to control the systems automatically. You turn the lights on and off and the blinds go up and down. The system is based on a Theben KNX weather station that controls six houses simultaneously. If a smoke detector goes off, the ventilation switches off automatically, the blinds go up and the light in the escape route comes on. You don’t just reduce energy consumption, you gain more comfort and safety.”

Quality pays off

Marco knows the value of quality components: “The quality of the components determines the quality of the measurements and the building services. The latter determines the satisfaction of the tenants. Theben stands for quality. LUXORliving allows us to achieve as much energy saving and comfort as possible with as few frills as possible. It is so easy to use that even older people can cope with it. With the KNX components, we have a free choice of applications and can create more advanced connections.”

From click switch to push button sensor

For Jan, it is important that the technology works reliably and brings benefits. “To date, we have not heard any complaints. The technology works, but the residents don’t notice. They use modern touch sensors instead of old-fashioned switches. Monitoring has raised awareness of energy use. There are hardly any overruns and everyone pays the EPV without grumbling.”

One step further

In the meantime, PureDomotica has been commissioned to build another 82 houses using the same concept. Marco: “Here we will also control the temperature per zone, using the temperature sensors in Theben’s iON push-buttons. In addition, we can read errors and deviations in the heat pump system directly. This allows for even better management of emergencies, maintenance and administration”.

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