Table of contents:
- Green electricity share increases
- Smartmeter: intelligent electricity meter approved for the first time
- How smart home technologies help save electricity
Video: Rising electricity prices: how owners save
According to the Federal Association of Energy and Water Management (BDEW), electricity prices have risen by 27 percent in the past ten years. The German Chamber of Commerce and Industry predicts further inflation in view of the planned coal phase-out in Germany. Energy-conscious use of electronic devices and energy-efficient modernization of your own four walls cushion the rising costs.
German households paid an average of 29.4 cents for one kilowatt hour of electricity in 2018. For comparison: Ten years ago it was almost 23.1 cents, since 2000 the price has more than doubled (13.9 cents / kWh). This trend will continue in 2019: According to the numbers of the basic suppliers, electricity prices will rise by an average of 5.1 percent. For a family of four with an annual consumption of around 5, 000 kilowatt hours, this means additional costs of EUR 75 per year. These additional costs can be mitigated with smaller measures. With power guzzlers such as refrigerators, stoves or washing machines, it is worth paying attention to a high energy efficiency class with low consumption. There is also potential for savings in lighting and electronics, as consumers automatically control operation via timers and pull the plug when the devices are not in use.
Homeowners can go one step further and generate their own electricity with the help of a photovoltaic system. The owners either feed the solar power into the public power grid and receive state remuneration from their energy supplier, or consume it themselves in the household. A combination of both is usually worthwhile. However, since the feed-in tariff is now lower than the electricity price, the following applies: the greater the proportion of own electricity in consumption, the better. With a 5 kWp system - which corresponds to an area of 40 to 50 square meters - a family can cover about 30 to 40 percent of their electricity consumption. “Nevertheless, a photovoltaic system is initially a big investment. The payback period averages around 13 years,”explains Thomas Thiet from LBS. The project can be financed well with a building society contract. “Building society tariffs that are designed for smaller sums are ideal for modernizers. They are characterized by a favorable loan interest rate and a quick repayment. So the photovoltaic system pays for itself relatively quickly and ends up in the profit zone earlier.”
Photo: LBS / Federal Association of Energy and Water Management
Green electricity share increases
38 percent of gross electricity consumption in Germany was generated from renewable energies in the first three quarters of 2018 alone. This corresponds to around 170 billion kilowatts of electricity from the sun, wind and other renewable sources. For comparison: Ten years ago - in 2008 - the Germans only covered 15.1 percent of their consumption with green electricity. The Federal Government wants to increase this share to 65 percent by 2030.
Smartmeter: intelligent electricity meter approved for the first time
The Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) approved a so-called smart meter with communication unit for the first time at the end of 2018. This is connected to the electricity supplier via the Internet and thus transmits the meter reading automatically. The smart meter should also detect irregularities in power consumption. In 2020, the devices will become mandatory from an annual consumption of 6, 000 kilowatt hours.
How smart home technologies help save electricity
Put an end to unnecessary power consumption: an intelligent home optimizes the use of light and electronics and thus increases the energy efficiency of the home.
What is a "smart home"?
So-called smart home technologies transform the home into an intelligent home by digitally networking existing devices in the household. Light, shutters, TV or washing machine can be regulated as needed. This not only increases living comfort, but also makes your own four walls safer and more energy efficient. Smart home users control the system conveniently via an app on their smartphone or tablet - from home or on the go. Systems with voice control are already on the market.
How can power consumption be controlled intelligently?
There are a number of power guzzlers in the household, such as lamps or electrical appliances. These can be controlled with smart home devices. Switchable sockets are operated with a timer or via an app and can thus switch inserted devices on and off. Owing to the installation of wirelessly controllable lamps, owners can also regulate the lighting using their cell phones. A so-called group connection connects TVs, game consoles or DVD players and switches them off at the same time with just one click. The radio-controlled socket is even more efficient. This measures the power consumption of the connected devices and switches them off if they run in standby mode for too long.
What needs to be considered when setting up a smart home?
Which system fits depends on the general conditions. For example, if you are building a new building, you can automate the entire household using a wired solution. In this case, a complete system from a single manufacturer can be used. A so-called open system is cheaper and suitable for those who want to digitally retrofit their home. Technologies from different manufacturers can be linked by radio. However, it is important to ensure that these are compatible. In addition, regular updates and the setting up of a firewall ensure that personal data is protected and the devices remain functional.