Optimising energy consumption – a joint project between Veolia and ConnectPoint

Anna Sawicka

Imagine this situation: you’re still at work, but you’ll already be home in an hour or two. In the morning, before you left, you ‘turned up’ the radiators so they wouldn’t heat in vain. Now what? Are you facing a return to a chilled-out flat? On the contrary. You reach for your smartphone and ‘turn up’ the radiators using an app that controls the thermostats.

A script from a commercial? Not necessarily. Veolia, the leading heat supplier in Poland, has decided on such an innovation. We are implementing an energy optimisation project together with Veolia in one of the housing associations in Łódź.

We already have a successful pilot of the solution, carried out in an office building. From December onwards, they will be tested by residents of a block of flats in Lodz. The apartments are equipped with thermostats, controlled remotely via an app (available for smartphones and computers). Users have several convenient options for ‘managing’ the temperature, e.g. setting a uniform temperature level throughout the flat or different values in each room. The app allows both ‘ad hoc’ adjustment of thermostats and planning of their settings (schedule for the day, week, etc.). Facilities also include. the possibility of creating a guest account in the app (so-called visitor account) – e.g. for a tenant who is renting a flat.

Traditional, manual adjustment of thermostats is also possible – the settings synchronise automatically with those stored in the app.

This is what the solution ‘looks like’ from the residents’ side. Its ‘back office’ is the infrastructure we have implemented in the building, i.e. the network that communicates with the thermostats. There is a control gate in each stairwell and devices on each floor to receive the signal from the flats.

Veolia hopes that the new, easy-to-use system will encourage residents to save heat – the effects can be assessed once the heating season is over. For the residents, it is – perhaps – an opportunity for lower bills, for the heat supplier to accurately analyse and plan energy consumption and, in the future, to implement similar systems on a larger scale.