Electrical heating and cooling devices are among the largest consumers of electricity in buildings. Lately, the European Commission has decided to push for an electrification of the heating and cooling sector to decrease greenhouse gas emissions and dependency on oil and gas supplies from non-European countries. The installed base of electrical heating and cooling devices therefore grows rapidly. Heat pumps are the primary source for heating energy-efficient residential buildings. Next to new technologies like heat pumps, there is a significant installed base of old electrical heating technologies, for instance storage heaters or electrical water heaters. These provide a significant potential for utilizing flexibility. The same is true for the large number of installed HVAC technologies, especially in warmer regions. All of these assets can be captured and used for optimized energy management.
Optimizing the usage of old storage heaters can provide a benefit of up to €400/a for an average residential home. To achieve this GreenCom uses the flexibility to charge the heater to trade electricity at the German wholesale market within the 15 minutes trade cycles. In other markets, there are significant incentives for providing balancing energy within demand response policy schemes.
Additional benefits are derived from efficiency and comfort increases. Normally, non-smart storage heaters get fully charged every day and either have too much heat stored or too little. Both scenarios cause costs and discomfort for customers. By linking the charging volumes of storage heaters to the forecasted temperature and heat demand within a building we can solve this problem for our customers.