Catch up to Europe on smart homes

Re: Going Gaga over smart meters (B.C. Views, March 17).

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.

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

UFV Town & Gown event raises $85,000 in one night; $200,000 in 2017

Supporters from all over the Fraser Valley and beyond gathered in Abbotsford for the third annual Town & Gown fundraising dinner.

Heavy downpours expected in parts of Metro Vancouver

Heavy rain will begin to ease off Sunday evening as the frontal system moves south out of the area

Police investigate string of overnight fires in North Delta

Suspected arson caused damage to vehicles, signage in the area, Delta Police say

SD78 trustee advocates for defibrillators in schools

Says machines could save lives of students, staff

The bald and the beautiful

Locals send in their best bald eagle shots

Start on time: Canucks looking to shake first-period struggles

Canucks centre Bo Horvat said the formula for getting a leg up is there for everyone to see

COMMUTER ALERT: Snowfall warnings in effect across B.C.

Travelling this weekend? Check the forecasts before hitting the road

Drones take off to search for missing North Okanagan women

A volunteer search party was supported by professional drone operators

Tips for keeping your personal data safe, from the experts

It’s important to keep your ‘online footprint’ safe

Lights to turn blue ahead of funeral for fallen Abbotsford police officer

Buildings across B.C. are going blue Saturday night in honour of Const. John Davidson

Ride-share pioneer drives up quietly to B.C. battleground

Lyft approaches B.C. without Uber bombast, eyes small towns

Crash shuts down Highway 91 in Richmond for hours

The stretch of highway was closed for more than 6 hours due to a multi-vehicle accident

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Most Read