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  • Writer's pictureDimitrios Doukas

AlwaysON: The Vampire in Utilities Customers House

AlwaysOn consumption corresponds to the energy consumed in the household due to appliances or gadgets that continue to consume energy, while they are switched off or set in Standby mode. Although consumers think that they have switched those appliances off or just because they want to avoid the concerns over rebooting them, their appliances silently continue to sap energy 24/7 adding up significantly to the monthly billing.

How much can contribute to the overall energy consumption?

According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in the US, AlwaysON consumption is approximately 150 Euros ($165) per household per year. On top of that, 50 (!) appliances are roughly expected to be part of the AlwaysON consumption in a regular house [NY]. In another example, it has been found that in Germany, TV sets, microwaves and other devices supplied with energy without being operated are causing about 6.1 million tonnes of CO2 emissions every year and chalk up an electricity use of about 13 billion kilowatt-hours. (Clean Energy Wire)

From home electronics like desktop computers, audio receiver and stereo systems to TVs, furnaces, coffee machines, and dryers, all are guzzling energy when in Standby mode, adding to the AlwaysOn consumption. Interestingly enough, modern developments in electronics equipment such as the latest televisions operating on ‘’smart wake’’ features, can double their overall annual energy use and cost an extra 270€ in electricity over the lifetime of the TV.

A real Business Case

Applying NET2GRID’s NILM (Non-Intrusive Load Monitoring) services on real-time energy consumption data, an experiment was conducted by NET2GRID, monitoring 500 houses for the second half of 2019. When this group of 500 end users joined the service, their AlwaysON consumption was on average 25% of their total electricity consumption. Six months later the AlwaysOn consumption was reduced, generating savings up to 100 euros per year, depending on the customer energy profile and energy usage.

How to help your customers save energy without sacrificing their lifestyle

Advanced energy providers invest in the Internet of Things solutions to substantially help customers save money and the planet, without prompting them dramatically into changing their habits. However, showcasing the information alone, though revolutionary, doesn’t translate into solid actions that increase energy efficiency, thereby helping your clients to reduce consumption. End users might realize the main reasons for their high electricity bill, but still, it doesn’t indicate a shift to their energy-intensive habits. This can change if providing insights to the customers that demonstrate when and for which AlwaysOn activities or appliances, they consume electricity. The use of Artificial Intelligence to split the AlwaysOn consumption into categories can help to make this shift. Especially if it is supported by notifications that alert you to an abnormal high AlwaysOn consumption compared to your peers.


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