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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Column: Grade school students don’t have a voice during COVID pandemic

As adults weigh pros and cons of returning kids to school, is anyone asking kids what they think?

SLIDESHOW: Chilliwack firefighters battle large blaze at Rosedale chicken barn Friday

Majority of birds saved but buildings on Castleman Road destroyed by fire

Chilliwack Fair kicks off tonight with local talent

Todd Richard and Appaloosa to hit the stage for drive-in concert at fairgrounds

VIDEO: Chilliwack chicken barn destroyed by fire

Chickens saved from blaze as firefighters work to control large fire

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

Fraser Valley Bandits fall to Edmonton in CEBL final

Bandits lose 90-73 to Stingers in Sunday’s Summer Series final

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Fraser Valley Bandits advance to CEBL Championship Game

Bandits post comeback 76-75 win over Hamilton Honey Badgers in Saturday’s semifinal

IHIT on scene of suspicious early-morning fire on rural Mission property

Entrance to Gunn Avenue property cordoned off while investigation takes place, updates coming

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Most Read