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

Trial dates set for three men accused of 2017 killing near Hope

Lawyers for the accused appeared in Kelowna at B.C. Supreme Court on Monday

Wildfire threatens weekend campers at Chehalis Lake

The fire started on the north side of Chehalis Lake Saturday

Abbotsford council OKs bus-to-SkyTrain plan

Fraser Valley Express would begin running to Lougheed Station by start of 2021

Chilliwack community group gathering to benefit youth health centre

Chilliwack Citizens for Change planning tailgate party for CHYC

PET CARE: Canada Day tips for our pet’s anxiety

Columnist Nicolette Joosting examines different ways to help your pets relax through the celebration

VIDEO: Reading splashes into Agassiz’s Ferny Coombe Pool

The Agassiz Library held its annual Reading in the Pool event Friday, June 14

New Lower Mainland bistro caters to board game fans and families

Local food and games at every table is the formula for the new business

Four-year-old boy assaulted at B.C. soccer game

It happened at a weekend tournament in Ashcroft

Top B.C. court upholds ruling that struck down indefinite solitary confinement

Feds had appealed ruling in case brought by B.C. Civil Liberties Association, John Howard Society

Two bear cubs saved near Revelstoke after mother hit by car

Conservation officers trapped the cubs and transported them to a wildlife sanctuary

Heroism medal for B.C. woman who tried to save wheelchair-bound man stuck on rail tracks

Julie Callaghan awarded Carnegie Medal from U.S.-based foundation for ‘extraordinary heroism’

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

B.C. students’ camping trip goes ahead despite tents getting stolen

Nanaimo businesses, school staff and parents ensure trip goes on

Only legal pot shop between Vancouver and Kamloops now open

Private cannabis store on Skwah land in Chilliwack is first B.C. licensee to be Indigenous owned

Most Read