The pilot site of Darmstadt (Germany) includes 45 buildings in Darmstadt and in the nearby smaller towns of Dieburg, Weiterstadt and Bensheim. The buildings have a total area of approx. 55,000 m² with 675 dwellings accommodating approximately 1,514 tenants. The buildings were built between 1959 and 1986; the facilities for energy, heating and water were installed between 1974 and 2003. Thus, the quality of the meters, the need for heating and the energy efficiency differ among the buildings from medium to low. All dwellings were equipped with smart heat cost allocators and modern thermostatic valves. A high proportion of tenants in the pilot site dwellings receive social welfare benefits and have a migration background. They are varying in age (18 to 85) and have a medium/low educational background.
The pilot site is divided in 3 categories with different levels of service:
- Basic setup: 15 buildings (266 dwellings) are equipped with radio frequency heat cost allocators, water sub-metering services and remote reading infrastructure.
- Medium setup: 21 buildings (189 dwellings) have the basic setup plus a service which consists of a device that optimizes the heating curve of the central heating system according to the real demand of tenants.
- Top setup: 9 buildings (220 dwellings) have access to the medium setup plus an access to an internet portal.
The bauverein AG Darmstadt supported by Techem implements and pilots Energy Decision Support and Awareness Service (EDSS) to encourage tenants to save resources (energy, hot and cold water) and Energy Management Service (EMS) for resource usage reduction.
The EDSS depends on the level of service of the building concerned:
- The basic setup:
- Installation of radio frequency heat cost allocators and radio frequency hot and cold water meters.
- Automated reading of all metering devices via a fixed wireless network.
- Access to the Techem web portal by Bauverein and all other pilot site specialists involved to frequently check the consumption figures per dwelling or per building.
- The medium setup:
- Basic setup as described above + installation of the EMS “adapterm” to save further heating energy due the frequent optimization of the heating curve of the local central heating facility.
- The top setup:
- Medium setup as described above + all tenants have access to the Techem.Portal solution to check and compare their heat and water consumption values whenever they want, enabling tenants to directly take actions for further savings.
Implemented on buildings concerned by medium and top setup, Techem’s adapterm energy saving system reduces heat consumption by optimising the heating curve of the central heating system according to the real energy demand of tenants. The energy savings due to adapterm are frequently presented in the adapterm cockpit via internet.
BECA provides high saving potentials, especially for larger developments. The energy management service (EMS) can be deployed to heating systems being able to almost immediately achieve savings. The automatic adjustment of the technology resolves the issue of disincentives for maintenance workers: Without BECA high effort is required to optimise a heating system while any tenant complaint – justified or not – about low heating temperatures would create additional work for the maintenance employee. Over time, the rational choice was to let the heating system run on a high setting. The data collected with BECA and the EMS operating upon it, provides the necessary proof to quickly and easily resolve complaints that the comfort of tenants was not reduced. This is being ensured by the back-end of the application capable of integrating large number of buildings and providing the administrative and technical workers with all information available (while complying with the strict data protection code). The energy awareness service (EDSS) can be considered an additional feature providing tenants with further capacities to reduce consumption as much as an archive for historical data and maybe even bills in the future. Interested users could have a wider range of tools to analyse consumption.
The path for socio-economic return is steadily increasing and pays off immediately. The baseline scenario (Do-Nothing) is assuming an automated market without capacities for EDSS and EMS. Since the market for water and heating measurement services in Germany is shifting towards automated reading, the Measurement / IT-provider is not only competing with the price but also with the services derived from the new infrastructure and data available. Hence, being able to provide EMS and EDSS services is essential for the business case. No direct costs were recorded for the Measurement/IT-company since the product was sold to the housing company and it is assumed that any costs are included in costs charged.
The measurement sector in Germany is changing and - as BECA is proving in Darmstadt - smart-metering is not only becoming as standard for electricity but also water and heating. Assuming the usual replacement rate of metering devices and cooperation of social housing companies (and potentially other building owners) around 15,000 buildings (200,000 dwellings) are likely to be equipped with smart-metering devices the coming 3-5 years. In this scenario, almost half a million service users could have access to a web-portal. Given Techem is an international player, the hardware used as well as the additional services such as the tenant portal could be implemented also in other countries. bauverein will include the solution in future refurbishment activities and is considering to further integrate the EDSS platform with an overall service for tenants.
Bauverein AG Darmstadt was founded in 1864 as a housing company in public ownership. The main type of activities include rental management, housing and commercial estates, management of co-ownership properties, management of corporate premises, housing construction and condominiums for sale, conversion and redevelopment of quarters. The number of rental dwellings owned is around 18,000, the rental commercial estates about 280, plus approximately 5,000 parking spaces and five public buildings. Bauverein AG Darmstadt is pilot site manager for Darmstadt and leads work package work for pilot site preparation of the whole project.
TECHEM is a leading global provider for the housing and property industry as well as for utilities in the fields of recording, allocating and billing data on energy, water and cooling consumption. Techem is the technology provider in the Darmstadt pilot site and leads technical management in the project.