Take control of the energy consumption with a smart app

1 February 2019

Several exciting projects at HSB Living Lab are underway that study energy consumption. Since October 2018, researchers at Chalmers University of Technology are testing their own developed app that helps residents to organize and track their own energy use.

Ero is an app that makes it easy for the residents of HSB Living Lab to plan which energy sources, such as wind or hydro power, they want to use and check their access to the electricity and district heating systems at a certain time.

– Instead of just encouraging users to reduce their energy use, Ero gives tips on when it's best to, for example, use household appliances or warm water based on which energy sources the user prefers, says Sara Renström, postgraduate student at Chalmers.

More committed users 
As smart information and communication technology is introduced into energy networks, housing and household appliances, new opportunities are created for the delivery of energy, consumption and interaction.

– Ero is part of a larger venture for users to become more involved in their own energy use. The overall purpose is to explore which roles households can have in the smart energy network of the future and which digital solutions are needed to make this possible,” says Ulrike Rahe, project manager and professor of industrial design at Chalmers.

Since the app downloads forecasts from the energy networks, users can, for example, shower or charge their mobile when there is a large production of a desired energy type in the networks. Or avoid doing so when a lot of fossil fuels are required in the electricity or district heating system. The energy suppliers also receive valuable forecasts on consumption data when the app is used.

– It can be of great benefit to the future energy system with conscious and committed end-users of energy. They can help reduce power peaks and environmental impact through their behavioural choices, and we regard the Ero app as a good way to try these opportunities,” says Ulf Hagman, development manager at Göteborg Energi, who is co-financing the project.

Easier to make good environmental choices
The technical solution requires that smart plugs be installed in the apartments to link the users to the property's energy system and to collect energy data. In future smart homes, the functions will be in the houses instead.

– The housing industry must act to reduce the energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions of properties. The app that Chalmers developed makes it easier for users to make good environmental choices, says Rickard Malm, business developer at HSB Göteborg.

The next step is to investigate what the residents think of Ero and, based on their views, develop the system further. There is also a work in progress at Chalmers to create a functioning infrastructure at HSB Living Lab that makes it possible to connect Ero with other projects within smart energy systems.

For more information:  Jens Holmberg, PR and Communications Manager HSB Göteborg, +46 10-442 21 40 Jens.Holmberg@hsb.se

The project is run by Chalmers and co-financed by Göteborg Energi and HSB Göteborg. The idea for the app and concept was developed by Ulrike Rahe and her team at Chalmers in 2017 before being brought into the HSB Living Lab.

The project is run within the EU program HORIZON 2020 framework and the ERA-Net Smart Energy Systems project FIWARE for Smart Energy Platform (FISMEP), which is based on the Ero app, as well as the EU project IRIS Smart Cities. The ERA-Net initiative involves 24 European countries and regions with the aim of creating the conditions for technical solutions, market design and customization of smart energy networks.

EU project IRIS Smart Cities is a five-year Light House project, funded by the EU. Within IRIS, seven cities, Gothenburg being one, will develop and test smart, sustainable solutions in energy, mobility and ICT, and spread the solutions across Europe. In total, 43 parties in nine countries cooperate and citizen involvement runs like a red thread through the project. 
Johanneberg Science Park coordinates the Gothenburg platform. 

HSB Living Lab is the journey towards the future of living. 
The idea of a living lab for research on a sustainable living environment was conceived in 2010 and is now a reality. Students and researchers live on the Chalmers campus in Gothenburg and are testing innovations and technical solutions for the next generation of housing. In the 29 apartments equipped with measuring stations and sensors, residents live in a changing building where walls, facades and interior design develop as the research progresses. HSB Living Lab is a collaboration between business, the city and academia. A unique and open arena to create the sustainable living environments of the future. The main parties are Chalmers, HSB and Johanneberg Science Park.


For more information, please contact;

Eva Edman Pavic, Project Coordinator

+46 721 63 28 64 eva.pavic@johannebergsciencepark.com LinkedIn