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Boosting the energy efficiency of buildings

Article by Steen Schelle Jensen, Head of Product Management, Kamstrup

Meeting tomorrow’s energy challenges today

As global energy demand and urbanization continue to rise, fossil fuels are being exhausted and the economic as well as environmental costs of energy production increase. This stresses the need for not only reducing consumption but also improving the efficiency of how energy is produced, managed and distributed. 

As a result, utilities today are required to become more energy efficient while, at the same time, optimising operations, increasing cost efficiency and providing even better service to end users.
Smart metering is a central part of the solution, because you cannot optimise what you do not measure. Frequent and accurate meter data provide utilities real-time insight about their distribution network, the end users and the buildings they supply. This knowledge allows them to make smart decisions that produce tangible savings today while also meeting both the challenges and possibilities of the intelligent energy system of the future.

At Kamstrup, we want to be your partner on this journey. Below we share with you our knowledge and views on the reality of the energy efficient heat supply.

Monitoring substations

An energy efficient heat supply is dependent on well-functioning buildings and low return temperatures in the district heating network. However, Swedish research has shown that 75% of all substations are in fact misadjusted.
 
With hourly values from smart meters, utilities are able to monitor the performance of substations and to quickly identify and act on errors or opportunities for improvement. Learn more about the value of frequent meter data here:

Performance optimisation

Data-based knowledge about how individual buildings perform under different wind and weather conditions enables utilities to continuously make informed decisions about their energy production and distribution.
 
It also allows them to evaluate the building characteristics to determine when and how to push for renovating buildings in the most efficient way. Learn more about data-based optimisation here:

Involving end users

Energy consumption and peak demands are still closely connected to end-user behaviour and so, when comparing two identical buildings, energy consumption will differ significantly. Smart metering coupled with advanced data analytics enables utilities to provide targeted energy advice to individual consumers. 
 
Also, visualisation tools already available today allow end users to follow their consumption by the hour and to benchmark how they compare to other end users with similar profiles. Learn more about our solution for involving end users:

The future starts today

The new and ambitious EU framework confirms the political focus on utilising the full potential of district heating and smart metering.
 
Now, more than ever, is the time for cutting-edge technology and increased digitalisation to be combined with the know-how and ambitions of experienced industry players to drive district heating to the next level for the of benefit of both utilities, end users and the environment. It begins with achieving transparency throughout the entire energy chain.

Next step: Energy storage in buildings

Today and in the future, buildings are a key factor in the energy efficiency equation – and technological advances continue to present new opportunities. For example, as the energy efficiency of buildings increases so does their potential as energy storage. 
 
Storage-in-buildings (SIB) – both deep storage in the structural core e.g. in walls, and shallow storage in gypsum etc. – improves heat load shifting without reducing thermal comfort or requiring new constructions. The result is a higher quality of the energy mix enhancing the integration of renewables in the district heating system, which is the very prerequisite for the energy efficient heat supply.

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