It sure started out as something promising. When Nokia spun off
its Home Control Center
technology to There Corporation last year it seemed that easy DIY home automation and power management was just around the corner. Yet here we are, almost two years after first hearing about the effort with nothing but a convoluted mess of unfriendly ZigBee
(to name just 2 "standards") home automation products to choose from. There is hope, small as it may be. There Corporation just announced that it's working with Mitox Oy to conduct a pilot in Finland for customers of Helsingin Energia (Helen) using a There-provided web-based solution built around the ThereGate
. It allows individuals to monitor their total power consumption in real time as well as the individual devices and systems that consume energy. Better yet, There Corp employs a "rate control concept" that automatically adjusts power usage to hours when energy costs less based on simple guidelines programed by the user. Unfortunately, There Corporation's focus is on Nordic countries until 2012 before looking to dominate European home energy management in 2015. Call us crazy, but this market seems ripe for domination by a major consumer electronics company right now
, not in 5 years.
Online home automation solutions are used to fight climate change
Using energy more efficiently saves consumers' money
A pilot for a cutting-edge, web-based solution is underway that seeks to empower consumers with real-time monitoring of energy consumption. With this technology, households can also utilize the hourly based tariffs of the energy markets by using electricity when it's cheap and avoiding usage during the most expensive hours. This is done automatically without compromising the user's comfort. In addition to this real-time pricing and automatic rate control, people can also turn their energy usage into a more and more environmentally sound direction. e.g., by using electricity when it is produced by the wind turbines.
Helsingin Energia (Helen), Mitox Oy, and There Corporation (There) are working together on the next generation of smart energy solutions. The companies are piloting solutions that give Helen customers accurate information on their energy consumption and reduce their energy bills and emissions.
The solution, provided by There, allows individuals to follow the consumption of their house or apartment in real-time on the web, whether home or away. It also allows one to identify the different devices and systems that are using the energy. Shifting the energy usage to the most optimal hours is automatically handled by the solution based on the simple guidelines programmed by the user. Both primary and secondary apartments and houses with different heating systems are included in the pilot.
"We are now taking the next step in energy management by providing truly real-time information on energy consumption. We also offer energy efficiency services that are based on these accurate measurements and mechanisms of the electricity market, like controlling the consumption based on the hourly pricing," says Kaj Rönnlund, CEO of There Corporation.
Sales Director Jukka Niemi from Helsingin Energia emphasizes the interest of an electricity retail company in finding new opportunities and solutions that bring benefits to customers and the environment alike. Prominent gains are expected especially with houses and secondary apartments or "summer cabins" that use electric heating systems. According to Mr. Niemi, the solutions that are now piloted enable many services that enhance energy effectiveness and provide clear financial benefits to both consumers and businesses.
"An excellent example of the piloted services is the "rate control concept" that allows customers to take the full advantage of the hourly pricing of the electricity market," notes Jukka Niemi.
"One of the very important goals of the pilot is also combining the technology platform and the new automatic metering infrastructure to enhance the functionality of the energy markets," says marketing manager Jukka Kasslin from Mitox Oy.
This collaboration aims to harness the potential of the hourly-based metering systems installed by the utilities to new services, and to support further development of the electricity market operating practices and legislation. In this way, the parties involved in this venture are walking at the forefront of sustainable development.
Jukka Niemi, Sales Director, Helsingin Energia/HelenSähkö, tel. (09) 617 2700, mobile:050 5567356 Jukka Kasslin, Marketing Manager, Mitox Oy, tel.. (09) 617 6602, mobile: 050 5591839 Kaj Rönnlund, CEO, There Corporation, tel. 010 3465700, mobile: 050 5701746
Helsingin Energia is one of Finland's largest energy companies, with approximately 400 000 customers in Finland and serving over 90% of the households in the capital region.. Helen Sähköverkko, the daughter company of Helsingin Energia, is responsible of the electricity transmission in the Helsinki region, excluding the areas attached to Helsinki from Sipoo January 1st 2009. www.helen.fi.
Mitox Oy is one of Finland's leading service providers in measurement solutions for electric energy, district heating, and district cooling. More that 10% of the electricity measurements of Finland are handled by the measurement services of Mitox, as well as about 17% of the district heating measurements. www.mitox.fi
There Corporation provides sustainable and future proof Home Energy Management Solutions and services, focusing on energy saving and efficiency. Our main customers are utilities and service providers in Scandinavia and Germany. Our solutions are based on the ThereGateTM, formerly known as the Nokia Home Control Center. ThereGate is a technology-independent open Linux-based platform that can support any measurement and smart home technology. There aims to be the market leader in the HEMS segment in the Nordic region by 2012 and in Europe by 2015. www.therecorporation.com