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energy consumption

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The Siemens Building Technologies Division has won the 2015 European Energy Service Award (EESA) in the Projects category for its implementation of an Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) project in the Polish city of Sosnowiec. This project focused on the heating systems and energy management in 87 public schools and preschools in this industrial city in the Silesia region. All heating and lighting systems in the buildings were modernized from the ground up in a period of just ten months. In addition, the Advantage Navigator energy monitoring system was installed to remotely monitor overall energy consumption.

The system allows personnel to remotely control the room temperature in every classroom and set it to the desired target value. “In the past, classrooms were typically kept too hot, which made it difficult for students to concentrate. Thanks to the state-of-the-art heating system and continuous energy monitoring we are now able to provide a comfortable learning environment for students,” says Marek Tobiacelli of Siemens Poland.

At the same time, Siemens has guaranteed heating cost savings of approximately 31 percent, electricity savings for lighting of 21 percent and a reduction of CO2 emissions by 5,220 t/year compared to the initial situation. The measures are financed through an Energy Performance Contract with Siemens. This means that the city of Sosnowiec’s initial investments of approximately 4 million euros will be paid back through the guaranteed savings realized over the ten-year contract period; interim financing is provided by Siemens.

The impressive energy and cost savings for the city as well the positive impact on the environment are a big win in and of themselves. However, the results achieved also benefit students and teachers who are now able to learn and work in classrooms offering a comfortable temperature – and hence a healthier environment.

The European Energy Service Award (EESA) is part of the European Energy Service Initiative toward the EU 2020 Energy Saving Targets (EESI 2020). This initiative aims at fostering the use of Energy Performance Contracting in Europe. The EESA honors outstanding efforts and achievements in the field of energy services in Europe. This year’s award ceremony will be held in Brussels.

Hospitals built in the last decade are characterised by a substantial increase in the ratios of constructed surface area for the same portfolio of services and hospital beds. Moreover, they have been designed and built using the latest technologies and, in architectural terms, in some cases have applied bioclimatic design criteria, implementing passive design measures, enclosures providing greater protection, etc., all of which measures aim to achieve a reduction in the energy consumption

Along these same lines and from the engineering standpoint, active systems can also be applied, in particular the installation of efficient energy production equipment and installations, low consumption lighting systems and the digital management of the entire facility, thus maximising the implementation of energy efficiency and saving measures. The scant or zero implementation of renewable energy should also be mentioned, except where required by the Technical Code regulations (solar thermal and photovoltaic).

A key aspect today concerns the sustainability of the building, which is understood as being both environmental and economic. As such, energy efficiency has to be considered in terms of sustainability.

However all the energy efficiency measures described do not manage to bring down the energy consumption of these hospitals. Indeed it is true to say that the energy consumption ratios increase in relation to the consumption per constructed surface area in kWh/m2 and year (kWh/m2 year). Read more…

José Luis López González
Engineer, Lucus Augusti Hospital (Lugo). Member of the Managing Board of the AEIH,
the Spanish Association of Hospital Engineering).
Master in Healthcare Architecture

Article published in: FuturENERGY October 2015


Axpo Iberia S.L. has signed an agreement with Palma Cathedral for the supply of green energy to the various installations in the most iconic building in the Balearic capital. Popularly known as ‘La Seu’, the building was declared an Artistic Historical Monument in 1931 and its rose window is the largest in Europe. The second largest Gothic cathedral in Europe, it is also known as ‘the cathedral of light’ and welcomes nearly 900,000 visitors annually. In addition, to promote efficient use and energy savings at the installations, the consumption of green energy has become a key principle for the prudent and sensible use of energy. “Axpo manages the largest portfolio of renewable plants in Spain, which allows us to offer 100% renewable energy to all our customers, and to help them meet their sustainability commitments,” said Ignacio Soneira, Managing Director of Axpo Iberia.

The decision taken by the management of Palma Cathedral is consistent with their commitment to reducing the environmental impact of their activities, by means of sustainable solutions which contribute to the conservation of the planet. “Palma Cathedral has an established power-management policy, in line with the concern over environmental issues and the consequences of climate change recently expressed by Pope Francis I in his encyclical Laudato Si” , commented Jose E. Capote, head of Palma Cathedral Council. “In order to contribute to the mitigation of this concern, an Energy Management System has been implemented based on the standard ISO 50001:2011 so as to continuously improve the management of energy consumption and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions”, he added.

Palma Cathedral has chosen one of the indexed contract types offered by Axpo, enabling more efficient management of its consumption by paying the real hour by hour market price of electricity, benefiting from consumption at times of lowest energy cost.

Since its entry into the Iberian market in 2002, Axpo Iberia has gradually expanded its lines of business in Spain and Portugal, now covering a wide range of services: marketing of electricity and gas; energy management for special regime producers; power generation control and load dispatching center (CECOGEL); structured products and trading in electricity, biomass, and CO2.

There is a chance that this question has never arisen in your company. Usually the most usual questions asked are how much energy costs or which is the most appropriate tariff or output, quite overlooking the importance of the actual operation of the installations and how this impacts on the total monthly energy bill.

Moreover, in the case of temperature control via electric units, this aspect takes on an even more complex quality: even though it is possible to measure the equipment’s consumption, the information obtained is insufficient to know if its efficiency is high or if it is wasting energy. It is not only necessary to know how much is being consumed, but also what is being produced and if the expected performance levels dating from the time of their purchase are actually being achieved.

The energy solutions department at Gas Natural Fenosa is developing a monitoring study at different facilities that have electric temperature control systems with power ratings of between 50 kW and 350 kW and are more than 10 years old. The study, that will last one year so that the full seasonal cycle of the equipment can be analysed, will provide information on its actual performance. Different monitoring and state-of-the-art non-intrusive equipment has been used for its implementation, some of which is bespoke, to ensure that the business activity is uninterrupted at all times. Read more…

Article published in: FuturENERGY September 2015

‘Smart Connection’ , which is specifically designed for SMEs, provides a whole new platform of services aimed at optimising conditions for the supply, management and consumption of energy. It takes into account a range of factors such as price, type of contract, savings, consumption control, energy efficiency and responsibility towards the environment.

The goal is to provide the employer with the tools needed to boost their competitiveness through the smart management of their energy use.

The ‘smart’ concept has been establishing itself strongly in almost all areas of information and technology, and particularly in industrial and business sectors as well as in energy, because customers have become increasingly focused on implementing measures to promote savings, efficiency and stewardship of an asset constituting a key component of their financial results.

Based on its in-depth understanding of the market and the latest technological tools, Axpo Iberia has fully developed the business strategy called ‘The Smart Connection’, specifically geared towards SMEs with the aim of providing employers with the keys to manage and control their energy consumption.

Although the factors that determine the competitiveness of a company may vary depending on the sector where it operates, in the majority of cases energy consumption is configured as a key element in ensuring its sustainability in the medium and long term.

The ‘Smart Connection’ concept of Axpo encompasses a whole range of services oriented towards optimising conditions for the supply, management and consumption of energy. It takes into account a number of factors such as price (how can we bring down energy bills), type of contract (fixed price, indexed, custom formulae), savings (energy efficiency), consumption control (management tools and telemetry) and responsibility towards the environment (100% renewable origin certification).

Factorenergia presents “FactorSmarthome”, a revolutionary project for home energy management that allows families reduce their electricity bills by 30%, saving more than 200€ a year.

Against the backdrop of the transition towards the hourly energy billing system that will be fully effective on 1 August, Factorenergia is leading the sector to transform the way in which families consume electricity with the aim of achieving a considerable energy and economic saving. Through “FactorSmarthome”, a service that is freely available for both clients and non-clients, the company is offering energy assessment and training in new behaviour to generate new consumption habits.

According to Factorenergia’s managing director, Emilio Rousaud: “The company’s maxim is to guarantee consumer saving, quality and transparency with the aim of breaking with the dynamic of a low quality service associated with monopolised sectors. Now, with “FactorSmarthome” we can take another step forward in our commitment to families to turn traditional homes into ‘smart homes'”.

This project also promotes responsible consumption, energy efficiency and green energy, incentivising families to consume renewable energy. As such, Rousaud highlights that: “This initiative reaffirms our commitment to sustainability and the fight against climate change. We are convinced that small attitudes can bring about big changes”.

From a traditional home to a “smart home”

“Factor Smarthome” is based on two platforms: a website (www.FactorSmarthome.com) and a mobile app, available for iOS and Android, via which a range of functionalities are implemented so that consumers, for the first time, can achieve a significant saving on their energy bills.

In May, Factorenergia launched a service that displays the actual daily price of electricity by hour and indicates the time slots, that vary widely depending on the day, when electricity is more economical and, alternatively, the times when it is more expensive. Thanks to this invaluable information, families can adapt their consumption behaviour as to when to use the washing machine, vacuum cleaner or dishwasher, to make the most of the hours when electricity is at a reduced cost. In turn, this promotes green energy as it is precisely during optimum moments that renewables make their biggest contribution.

In June, a new function will be launched that will allow the consumer compare their consumption habits with that of their neighbours. This useful tool provides an analysis and a full assessment of the user’s current consumption as well as a comparison with their neighbours, highlighting the most efficient so that the user is able to evaluate how they are managing their energy expenditure and take steps to become more efficient.

In July “FactorSmarthome” will incorporate energy coaching that will offer a fully personalised assessment. This service will simulate the individual characteristics of each home depending on the information provided by the consumer (type of home, geographical location, home appliances, temperature control, etc.) and will offer tailor-made recommendations to optimise electric consumption.

On 1 August every functionality of the new smart meters will be activated and hourly energy billing will come into effect. Factorenergia will help families make the most of the new tariff system, obtaining consumption-based reports and standardised amounts with an evaluation of every supply point, the impact of the efficiency measures, the consumption pattern and the savings potential.