Catch up to Europe on smart homes

A smart home would control heating and appliances with an automated system.

Re: Going Gaga over smart meters (B.C. Views, March 16).

What’s the point of having a smart meter without having an automated system that knows which appliances and systems can be safely turned on and off automatically to ensure that the power consumption of a home is kept to an optimal level, depending on time-of-use rates?

In countries that have long used these rates you pay more at the very time when all average homeowners prepare meals, take showers, watch TV, use the internet etc.

With an automated system one could still prepare meal at the most convenient times. However the system would automatically lower the heating temporarily (not a problem if one has a super-insulated home) and shut off the washer, dryer, dishwasher etc.

Automated home systems aren’t science fiction. They have been used for years in many European homes. Some are quite simple and only monitor and operate appliances and the heating system, while others are more complex: automatically opening and closing shutters depending on the time of the day or climatic conditions, and turning lights on and off according to pre-planned scripts based on the users lifestyle.

See here and here.

EDF, the French hydro provider, has various rate plans. One of them divides the year in blue, white and red days, each with its own peak and off-peak rates. Only an automated system can keep track of all that.

The  European Community requires that homes will soon have to use a maximum of 50 kw/m2 per year, with net-zero energy and passive homes being the goal not that far away. Already real estate ads in many countries must provide an energy consumption rating and a greenhouse gas rating (sellers must provide a handful of audits and utilities bill.)

So EDF and other energy providers have been helping homeowners to audit their homes, find what renovations must be done (better insulation, replacing all windows and doors, installing a more efficient heating system, using alternative energy sources etc.)

The homeowners get help to apply to various grants and low-interest loans given by various levels of government and also to apply for income tax rebates for various building materials, appliances and fixtures. Already appliances made outside North American have long been energy misers compared to ours.

Obviously BC Hydro is putting the cart before the proverbial horse.

Jean-Louis Brussac

Coquitlam

Just Posted

‘The tsunami alarm failed my household’: North Coast residents concerned over sirens, alerts

People living in northern communities share how they learned about Tuesday’s tsunami warning

UPDATE: Tsunami warning causes evacuations, closures throughout North Coast

Emergency BC issued the warning after a 7.9 earthquake off Alaska early Tuesday morning

UPDATE: Tsunami warning cancelled for coastal British Columbia

Warning issued following 7.9 earthquake off Kodiak, AK

Red Cross Workers to visit Bella Coola January 23 – 25

Red Cross workers will be at the Moose Hall Jan 23-25 to meet one-on-one with individuals

Bella Coola to benefit from massive investment in coastal internet

A combined investment of $45.4 million will bring new and updated high-speed internet on the coast

Tsunami warnings 101: Canada

Here are some things to know about tsunami alerts in Canada and how they work

Andrew Scheer on trade, Trump and Trudeau

Canada’s Conservative leader begins three-day visit to B.C.

Victims restrained, sex toys and cash stolen from B.C. adult store

Armed suspects sought in adult store robbery

Vancouver Islanders ponder need for tsunami siren song

Alarm sounds in Port Alberni but not at the DND base in Esquimalt

Babcock, Goyette and Smyth honoured at Order of Hockey in Canada

Mike Babcock, from Saskatoon, guided the Detroit Red Wings to a Stanley Cup in 2008

Bell Canada alerts customers who may be affected by latest data breach

Federal Office of the Privacy Commissioner said it had been notified

Snowboarder dies at Vancouver Island ski resort

Death at Mount Washington Alpine Resort

Man faces 48 charges in string of random Toronto shootings

The string of unprovoked shootings began Jan.9, say police

‘Shape of Water’ producer, Christopher Plummer among Canadian Oscar nominees

Guillermo del Toro film about merman romance earns 13 nominations

Most Read