Commercial and residential buildings account for about 38 percent of global end-user energy demand, mainly for heating, cooling and powering electric appliances.
The consumption of buildings can be reduced with energy efficient technologies such as intelligent controls that adjust the heating temperature, lighting and energy consumption of electric appliances to the actual requirements. ABB products and systems provide energy savings of between 30 and 60 percent in these areas.
Today, such intelligent building systems operate independently of the power grid. In a smarter network, they will interact with the grid to give consumers greater control over the amount of electricity they use as well as when they use it. For example, customers will be able to configure their building automation systems so that the heating is lowered during periods of peak demand, or they may authorize a third-party or their utility to take such action on their behalf. This would help customers lower their electricity bills as well as enhancing the overall efficiency of the system.
To become fully integrated into the power supply network, buildings have to be equipped with meters capable of collecting more precise data about electricity consumption and of communicating with the utility’s distribution automation or network management solutions.