Thousands of households in Enschede receive Verbruiksmonitor energy app

Verbruiksmonitor (consumption monitor), a whitelabel version of Huisbaasje, is part of a comprehensive energy saving project in the city of Enschede. Every inhabitant of the municipality will receive an invitation to collect free energy efficiency products.

If you live in the Enschede region, small chance you have not heared of the new project. The Energieloket is on billboards all over the city. The campaign is broadly visible online, in local newspapers, on radio and tv. Energieloket Enschede is a coalition of o.a. Stichting Pioneering and the Municipality of Enschede. By means of the RRE subsidy, a large scale project was set up to make energy efficiency products for in the home freely available. The goal is to get inhabitants – both home owners and renters – to minimize energy leaks in their house.

Through a smart points system inhabitants can make a selection of products in the online shop. Every household receives 33 points which they can spend on radiator foil (2 points), a watersaving showerhead (4 points), LED lights (2 points) or the Verbruiksmonitor (8 points).

Combination of Huisbaasje sets and Verbruiksmonitors

All energy insight products in the shop are provided by Aurum Europe: the Verbruiksmonitor and the Lite version. Last year we started with providing around 200 Huisbaasje sets to energy coaches and inhabitants. Based on the energy insights and realtime data the Huisbaasje app provided, the project group was able to select measures and products with the highest energy saving capabilities.

Consequently, we developed a custom version of Huisbaasje in collaboration with Energieloket Enschede. Energieloket Enschede opted for our product EnergyGrip -an enterprise solution that includes a whitelabel version of the Huisbaasje home energy manager. The whitelabel service was given the name ‘Verbruiksmonitor’.

Whitelabel app

Whitelabeling is a future proof way of software and hardware development in which time and development costs are eliminated because an existing app is changed on the surface level. That way, we don’t have to build new apps for customers from the ground up. Huisbaasje consists of hardware (measuring unit or gateway), an app, data storage, first line customer support and packaging. After a succesful pilot Energieloket decided to have Aurum facilitate the whole energy measurement chain – but then in Energieloket style.

The app, the sleeve of the box and the service desk will get the look & feel of our enterprise client.

The package consists of our new gateway, a power cable and a P1 (smart meter) cable. This allows residents to self-install the monitor. We published the Verbruiksmonitor in the appstores under our client Energielokets’ name. This way, the user has a consistent brand experience. The advantage for Energieloket Enschede was that they did not have to invest in building their own app and hardware. By using EnergyGrip, they facilitate their users with a reliabe and proven product. Off the shelve. The Aurum team was very much engaged in this project on a meta level as well. By sharing our knowledge on energy data we can provide technical help for users and the project team.

 

Lite

For enterprise clients we offer a realtime app (with gateway to connect to gas and electric meters) and a Lite version, which was recently launched. This is the same app but feeds not on direct meter data but on cloud data from grid operators. Aurum is registered as ODA (Onafhankelijk Diensten Aanbieder / Independent Services Provider) With consent of the user smart meter data can be integrated via an API with grid operators These users hence don’t need any hardware installed which reduces the cost of the app. The end user receives a unique registration code via mail. After entering the code in the app, the smart meter is connected after which the energy data appears in the app.

 

200 Huisbaasje sets were commissioned last year.

Further reading on (Dutch) https://www.enschede.nl/duurzaam053/nieuws/verbruik-minder-doe-meer

 

Thousands of households in Enschede receive Verbruiksmonitor energy app

Verbruiksmonitor (consumption monitor), a whitelabel version of Huisbaasje, is part of a comprehensive energy saving project in the city of Enschede. Every inhabitant of the municipality will receive an invitation to collect free energy efficiency products. 

If you live in the Enschede region, small chance you have not heard of the new project.The Energieloket is on billboards all over the city. The campaign is broadly visible online, in local newspapers, on radio and tv. Energieloket Enschede is a coalition of o.a. Stichting Pioneering and the Municipality of Enschede. By means of the RRE subsidy, a large scale
project was set up to make energy efficiency products for in the home freely available. The goal is to get inhabitants – both home owners and renters – to minimize energy leaks in their house.
Through a smart points system inhabitants can make a selection of products in the online shop. Every household receives 33 points which they can spend on radiator foil (2 points), a watersaving showerhead (4 points), LED lights (2 points) or the Verbruiksmonitor (8 points).

Combination of Huisbaasje sets and Verbruiksmonitors

All energy insight products in the shop are provided by Aurum Europe: the Verbruiksmonitor and the Lite version. Last year we started with providing around 200 Huisbaasje sets to energy coaches and inhabitants. Based on the energy insights and realtime data the Huisbaasje app provided, the project group was able to select measures and products with the highest energy saving yield.
Consequently, we developed a custom version of Huisbaasje in collaboration with Energieloket Enschede. Energieloket Enschede opted for our product EnergyGrip -an enterprise solution that includes a whitelabel version of the Huisbaasje home energy manager. The whitelabel service was given the name ‘Verbruiksmonitor’.

Whitelabel app

Whitelabeling is a future proof way of software and hardware development in which time and development costs are eliminated because an existing app is changed on the surface level. That way, we don’t have to build new apps for customers from the ground up. Huisbaasje consists of hardware (measuring unit or gateway), an app, data storage, first line customer support and packaging. After a successful pilot Energieloket decided to have Aurum facilitate the whole energy measurement chain – but then in Energieloket style.
The app, the sleeve of the box and the service desk will get the look & feel of our enterprise client. The package consists of our new gateway, a power cable and a P1 (smart meter) cable. This allows residents to self-install the monitor. We published the Verbruiksmonitor in the appstores under our client Energielokets’ name. This way, the user has a consistent brand experience.
The advantage for Energieloket Enschede was that they did not have to invest in building their own app and hardware. By using EnergyGrip, they facilitate their users with a reliabe and proven product. Off the shelve.
The Aurum team was very much engaged in this project on a meta level as well. By sharing our knowledge on energy data we can provide technical help for users and the project team.

Lite

For enterprise clients we offer a realtime app (with gateway to connect to gas and electric meters) and a Lite version, which was recently launched. This is the same app but feeds not on direct meter data but on cloud data from grid operators.
Aurum is registered as ODA (Onafhankelijk Diensten Aanbieder / Independent Services Provider). With consent of the user smart meter data can be integrated via an API with grid operators. These users hence don’t need any hardware installed which reduces the cost of the app. The end user receives a unique registration code via mail. After entering the code in the app, the smart meter is connected after which the energy data appears in the app.
200 Huisbaasje sets were commissioned last year.

Aurums 2021 outlook

The unexpected events in 2020 impacted our company too. Luckily, our team was able to keep the business up and running. There were some interesting developments in terms of product and we welcomed some new large clients.

Before we look into 2021, let’s reflect on 2020:

  • Our monitoring hardware was redesigned. This lead to a resource (plastic) reduction of 50%. Goodbye meetstekker, hello gateway! Lockdowns on our suppliers’ side caused our deliveries to hamper. Unfortunately, we weren’t always able to deliver our product on time.
  • In 2018 we started supplying monitoring solutions for district heating. In 2020 this activity grew increasingly. We have put together our solution – a combination of hardware, dashboard and data-infrastructure – under the EnergyGrip platform.
  • We signed a agreement with Stadsverwarming Purmerend to monitor and help optimize 27.000 heat meters. Read more here.
  • Also, we got to provide EnergieLoket Enschede, Zeeuwse Gemeenten en a few other organizations with our platform EnergyGrip. They use the (whitelabeled) Huisbaasje app. We help these clients with valuable energy data that enables further sustainable innovation.
  • In 2019 we played around 280 games of foosball. In 2020 only a fraction of that! We, too, worked from home a lot. Fortunately, we were already used to this a bit so the transition to fully remote was doable.
  • We were featured in the Environmental Technology piece of Financieele Dagblad. See here.
  • Our energy app Huisbaasje is for sale at the bol.com store since 2020.
  • We became partner/sponsor of the Kite4Life Foundation. Ryan and Marc got to know founder Baris through kitesurfing. With his foundation, Baris helps cancer survivors to regain energy and a sense of freedom by teaching them and their families to kitesurf.
  • The Financieele Dagblad made a portrait of our ceo Marc.

And this year?

For 2021, our goal is to improve internal processes, to invest in our team and to … spoiler… take Huisbaasje international! In 2021, Huisbaasje will get a new name. This way, we can answer a growing demand from other countries.

Also, we’ll introduce a second, more simplified version of Huisbaasje. This way, people with a smart meter can now use our energy app without installing hardware.

EnergyGrip, our SaaS product, is being used by quite a few organisations now. We expect this growth to continue this year.

We are gratefull that we have been able to finish 2020 in a positive way. Working from home, videocalls, homeschooling and the delays in hardware supplies made it sometimes quite challenging. We hope that in 2021 we can deliver for our partners and customers and to do our part in making a future proof energy system.

 

District heating capital Purmerend selects EnergyGrip for digitizing its heat network

Realtime data leads to a better performance of the heat network and enables energy insights

Business deal to make heat meters smart and monitor network

Stadsverwarming (District Heating) Purmerend will install smart heat meters at 27.000 households. Purmerend is the Netherlands district heating capital. A stunning three quarter of all buildings is connected to the heat network of Stadsverwarming Purmerend (SVP). As thorough maintenance of the heat network is critical, SVP prioritizes investment in technologies that are essential to monitor and optimize the grid. Traditionally, heat meters in homes are analogue. This means that meter readings and other technical data cannot be done remotely. In order to fully benefit from the advantages of sustainable infrastructures such as district heating, monitoring is essential. Digitizing the heat grid allows for a better flow management and enables identification of possible heat loss.

Gijs de Man, director of SVP: “We are looking forward to a collaboration that further optimizes our sustainable service and provides our customers with more insights in consumption and savings. Together we want to work for climate”.

Ryan Wendels, Gijs de Man and Marc de Beijer

Stadsverwarming Purmerend selects Aurums’ EnergyGrip platform

SVP found in Aurum the expertise of energy data needed and a high standard of the (realtime) measuring chain. The gateways, up till the dashboard, are end2end controlled. The Aurum gateways with narrowband IoT or LTE-M communication technology are capable of communicating data from hard to reach locations, such as basements. The gateways monitor, amongst others: water volume in m3, supply and retour temp in °C, flow in l/h of energy in GJ.

De Aurum B2B gateway

Aurums’ gateway registers and communicates electricity, gas and heat

Purmerend will be using the EnergyGrip platform. EnergyGrip entails, besides the hardware and the data infrastructure, a dashboard to visualize the data for the network and asset manager. A fourth pillar of the EnergyGrip platform is a consumer app that gives households insight in their own energy consumption.

Ryan Wendels and Marc de Beijer: “We developed EnergyGrip to help organisations in digitizing their energy system. With our technology we can provide an important part of their business-critical infrastructure. We are delighted to have SVP as a new partner in our mission to make energy visible for organisations and households.” With EnergyGrip, Stadsverwarming Purmerend has a one-stop service solution.

The EnergyGrip platform

The EnergyGrip platform

 

Read more about the EnergyGrip platform

Corona update

Ook op Aurum heeft het COVID-19 virus invloed. Ons team werkt zoveel mogelijk op afstand. Zoals ceo Marc zei: “De gezondheid van onze mensen en hun families gaat voor.” Vanuit huis zetten we ons werk zo goed mogelijk voort. Vooralsnog zien we geen beperkingen in de levering van ons product Huisbaasje en blijven de projecten met zakelijke partners doorlopen. Alleen bij grote orders bestaat de mogelijkheid dat we te maken krijgen met enige vertraging. Ons Huisbaasje helpdesk team werkt ook vanuit huis, maar is gewoon op de normale tijden te bereiken. Al onze klanten kunnen ons gewoon bellen voor vragen. Wel kan het zijn dat ons team doordat ze niet op hun reguliere kantoorplek werken, niet even snel bij alle klantgegevens kan als normaal. De meeste vragen kunnen echter snel beantwoord worden.

Ook zakelijke klanten kunnen via de mail en telefoon ons blijven contacten. Bijeenkomsten worden waar mogelijk verplaatst naar virtuele omgevingen.

We wensen iedereen enorm veel sterkte in deze roerige tijden.

– Het Aurum team


COVID-19 is affecting our daily life and also how we work. Our team is working remotely as much as possible. Ceo Marc said: “The health of our people and their families comes first.”

At this point we don’t see any problems in the delivery of our product Huisbaasje nor with other business projects. Only for large orders, a delay might occur. Our Huisbaasje help desk team is working from home and can be reached by telephone in our regular business hours. Al our customers can contact us as usual.

Also our business customers and partners can contact us by mail and phone. Meetings will be hosted in virtual spaces. We wish everyone good health in these difficult times.

– The Aurum team

How does having an electric vehicle impact your energy bill?

In 2030, every new car sold should be an electric one (source: NRC).
The next few years we expect an increase in tax and policy incentives for zero-emission transportation. For an increasing number of households, having a plug-in EV is becoming a viable option.

We know that charging a car with electricity is cheaper than filling it up with gas. But what does owning an EV and charging it at home mean for your energy bill? How does its consumption compare to your homes electricity usage?

Home charging

A big advantage of having an electric car is that it can be charged from your house. This is slower than fast-charging in specific public charging stations, but charging your car at home is convenient and relatively cheap. Do you get ennoyed when one of the family members forgets to turn the light off? Well, chances are that your car will become the number 1 energy consumer!

Placing a fast-charging installation at home is not possible yet. Home electricity circuits do not have the capacity that is necessary for fast-charging. If you want to charge your electric vehicle at home, it will take a few hours. When using a regular power plug, charging a car battery will take approximately 6 hours (depending on the type of battery and the ampere of the circuit).

How does having an electric car impact your energy bill?

Regularly charging your electric vehicle at home will have a substantial impact on your energy bill. Here’s an example: An electric car with a 24kWh capacity battery and an average consumption of 0,2 kWh/km has an operating range of 120 km. With electricity prices being 20ct/kWh, charging this battery will cost €4,80. This equals 4 eurocent per kilometer. This is, at the time of writing, less than half of what a kilometer would cost in a gas-fuelled car. Let’s say that a person drives 20.000 kilometers per year. This would mean an increase of €800 on the energy bill.

In the Netherlands, the average family energy bill was €1.750 in 2018 (source: Milieucentraal)

Combined with the calculation of the average electricity costs per year for at-home charging, a household with a medium sized EV would end up having to pay €2550 on energy costs (gas and electricity). That would mean that the electric car would be responsible for a third of the total energy budget. If you’d drive more than the average 20.000 per year, or if you’d have a heavier EV, this number will increase further.

 

An electric car in Aurums energy app

One of the Aurum employees purchased an electric car recently: a Fiat 500 electric with 23 kWh. The app shows us that his home electricity usage went from an average 130 kWh per month to almost 500 kWh per month. This is a substantial increase in electricity consumption.

screenshot of Aurums energy app

In the combined energy bill (including heating) of this app-user we see that the EV accounts for 30% of the total energy bill.

Our team member is very interested in monitoring the costs of charging his EV. So far, it has been far less than what he used to pay for driving his previous gas-fuelled car. He now averages 7 km per Kwh. That is really efficient.

When you choose to charge your car at a public charging station, tariffs are higher. Electricity at a charging station currently costs around 35 cents per kWh.

These electricity costs are directly paid for and naturally don’t show on your homes’ energy invoice. If you opt for always charging at public charging stations your domestic energy bill won’t be affected.

 

The future

In Aurums eyes, the developments in electric transportation will give way to some interesting new shifts:

  • Double rates will become relevant again. Switching on your laundry machine at night (at discount rate) isn’t going to do much. However, charging your car battery could be significant given the capacity.
  • Monitoring for-work and private usage. If you use your EV strictly for work it makes sense to add a separate fuse box in your home. That will allow you to separate the electricity you use for mobility, and for living. This is required in the Dutch tax forms.

We expect an increase in demand for monitoring domestic energy currents. Also: dynamic control of electric appliances – with the car being the main consumer – will become very relevant. Aurum is proud to play a role in this development.

Take note: energy prices fluctuate. It is expected that energy rates will decrease the next few years. However, tariffs and distribution taxes will increase. It remains difficult to predict whether the calculation in this article still is accurate next year.

 

IoT helps residents gain control over energy at home

We are moving towards a decentralized energy infrastructure. Consumers become producers, neighbors form local energy cooperatives and companies generate their own renewable energy. These developments demand a more advanced and connected energy system. Utilities and grid operators increasingly feel the need for realtime data in order to facilitate the growing percentage of renewables in our energy mix. Internet of Things can contribute a great deal in this transition.  

Although grid operators and suppliers can benefit from integrating IoT in their infrastructure, the biggest gains might be for residents. According to Renewable Energy Magazine, IoT developments in the energy field will change how consumers interact with energy and will empower them to minimize energy costs. Households will be better informed about the energy currents in their house, which will allow them to optimize efficiency. “Residential customers could potentially benefit the most from these [IoT] technologies.”

Source: Renewable Energy Magazine, 2019

So how does Aurum use IoT to help improve residential energy efficiency? IoT allows us to perform measurements in charging stations, gas meters, batteries, heat meters and other energy sources, and communicate realtime data back to end users via an app and to suppliers’ databases. We connect the energy data to the backend system of utilities to help them automate billing and forecasting. This results in lower operational costs and increased customer satisfaction.

Specifically, Aurum uses Narrowband IoT (NB IoT) in its solutions. The advantage of NB IoT is the strong reception. Even energy sources in hard-to-reach places such as basements can now easily be tracked. Secondly, the energy consumption of the NB IoT devices is very low. That allows for our measuring devices to be small, energy efficient and low maintenance.

NB IoT truly is a welcome communication technology for Aurum. Previously our measurement units were dependent on the wifi network of the household. Because Aurum wanted to have a closed loop and a higher data accuracy, we started experimenting with new IoT technologies. Narrowband IoT in collaboration with Vodafone turned out to be the best solution. We work together with our partner Vodafone to further deploy NB IoT in the residential energy market. Our sensors on the energy meters are connected through NB IoT and send high-frequency data to our dataplatform and back to the end-user through our app. This realtime information about their homes’ energy usage helps residents to gain an understanding of what happens in the building – based on real data, not assumptions. This allows them to make data-driven decisions on optimizing their home and behavior in order to establish a higher energy efficiency and a lower energy bill.

IoT in residential energy

Aurum sees a big opportunity for IoT in the residential energy market. Currently, visualizing energy data in an attractive way to help influence consumer behavior and to provide tools to cut home energy wastage is key. However, in the future, processes could be more automated. Aurum CEO Marc de Beijer: “Aurum and Vodafones’ solutions enable us to visualize energy consumption of appliances and homes in a simple, meaningful way. Eventually, we will further connect this data on our platform in order to make control possible. We’re switching from helping residents to understand their homes’ energy, to helping them control it.”

As an example: A washing machine can be automatically switched on at a moment when solar production peaks and dynamic energy prices are lowest. In the nearby future this will immensely shape the role of utilities and energy suppliers.

Marc: “If we do our job correctly and connect and enrich the way energy sources work together in the home, consumers don’t have to worry about from who, when and at what rate they receive energy. That will all be automated and optimized through connected data.

IoT Frontrunners by Vodafone

Since Aurum is one of the few companies in the Netherlands that deploys IoT on a large scale, Vodafone Business did an interview with Aurum Founder and CEO Marc de Beijer. You can watch the short documentary here (in Dutch).

Curious what Aurum can do for your organization? View our recent work here.