Smart Household Controls Increase Flexibility and Lower Costs

In an article for Energy Post, Guidehouse examines how smart controls can enable household heating and EVs to interact flexibly with increasingly decentralised electricity generation

As renewables continue to be added to the energy mix, energy providers and customers will benefit from increased efficiency, reduced loads, and cost savings. For the energy sector, the aim should not be to control single appliances (e.g. individual heat pumps) but to treat whole buildings as flexibility resources.

In an article for Energy Post, Guidehouse experts discuss the challenges and opportunities of smart controls, which can enable household heating and EVs to interact flexibly with increasingly decentralized electricity generation. The article outlines main considerations and challenges of using household and building flexibility—the ability of a resource to react to price or activation signals and adjust demand or generation.

“By combining local renewable energy generation with a smart charging EV and a smartly controlled heat pump, households can be enabled to consume higher shares of renewable energy produced onsite,” said Dr. Karoline Steinbacher, associate director at Guidehouse. “It also allows for a better match between consumption and times of high renewables infeed to the grid and for considering the status of the grid in decisions on when to charge an EV or run a heat pump.”

The article also discusses Germany's large-scale SINTEG research and implementation pilot, which enabled demonstration projects and showcase regions over several years to assess how flexibility can be integrated and used in the power system. The program resulted in several important success factors, including regarding whole buildings as flexibility resources to increase the overall potential and reduce complexity. 

“The SINTEG demonstration projects showed that it is useful to approach residents or building owners on a local level given the high level of trust in local installers and known energy providers,” explained Steinbacher. 

Dr. Karoline Steinbacher, Associate Director

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