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Home Automation and Energy Certification 2019. What is there to know

Energy certification based on home automation

Home automation is an increasingly popular system in private homes, which allows a significant reduction in costs related to the consumption of electricity.

The main reason for the creation of home automation is to reduce the costs associated with the consumption of electricity. It, in fact, allows you to program the switching on and off of appliances and all electrical objects in the home. Another function, no less important, is to protect all accesses to the home (doors, windows, French windows, garages) through a real-time control of what happens inside and opening connected to a phone selected speakers to hear what happens inside. In other words, it’s like having a security guard at home H 24.

Classifying buildings according to Home Automation

Unfortunately, to date, home automation systems and in general everything related to building automation are not evaluated in drawing up the energy classification of the building to which they are applied.

The ACE classification, which ranges from low consumption indicated with A+ to maximum consumption indicated with G, is drawn up according to national guidelines.

In reality, home automation was not only created to reduce costs, but also to ensure very advanced performance in remote management of the house. If we are interested in evaluating the energy class of our building, we can use a scale defined by UNI 15232 and called class BACS.

This classification goes from the letter D to A; the positioning of a building equipped with standard but non-domotic automations is C.

To date, however, the letter C in the BACS does not have any effect on the energy certification certificate.

Why this lack, given the effective savings that home automation, however, entails? The BACS classification is only indicated as qualitative-descriptive, but this is not true. Since some data can be evaluated on a statistical basis and therefore, in some way, pre-determined, it is not considered that they can have normative value.

It would be difficult to go into such meanders here; suffice it to say that there is a basic error because both classifications are based on EN ISO 13790,

Thermal performance of buildings.

The BACS class allows the determination of the energy saving hypothesis in a building through the reduction of the need, even if on a generalized basis for examples.

The real problem that home automation systems are not considered in the assignment of the energy class of a building seems to lie in the fact that it is considered impossible that a control system such as home automation can affect the actual energy consumption.

It is preferable to consider the building as a unitary subject, in which the habits and uses of the inhabitants do not influence energy consumption at all. What is the objective of this denial of what is evident? To have a chance to compare similar buildings simply by considering them as inhabited by the same people, in the same number and with the same aptitudes.

In 2008, the legislator, completing a process begun in 2005, decided in this direction, to make the assessment easier. Now, because of this already strident deficiency becomes increasingly unfair because home automation systems are being refined and there are more and more efficient and, therefore, creators of savings.

The fact that two similar buildings are comparable does not mean, however, that they remain so even if home automation is installed in one and not in another; in this case, the savings are obvious and pursued by the system itself. Home automation, in fact, in addition to ensuring the shutdown of the systems in absentia of the owner, allows you to activate complex energy-saving systems such as: automatically adjustable screens to optimize the energy storage from outside and shutdown in case of overheating.

One of the functions of a home automation system is to reduce energy demand. The savings, therefore, are very high in percentage compared to standard buildings. We believe that it is deeply unfair not to consider this difference and simply to touch up the reference tables.

If the legislator had the courage to establish rules to enhance the value of home automation in the classification, it would also help the market because a buyer would better understand the surcharge caused by this system, so reliable and bearer, in the long run, of great savings.

To give some numbers

In the light of these considerations, it is possible to quantify the savings produced by the use of home automation in clearly defined numbers. The installation costs are calculated in a percentage that is around 1% of the cost of the house; against this, the guaranteed savings are around 30%. In the case of non-residential units, this figure rises to 70% net. From these data it is easy to see why a home automation system can significantly increase the value of a property for sale. The most recent data show an increase in the market value from 5% to 8%. To make a quick calculation, a house that would be worth 300,000 € can be sold, following the installation of the home automation system, at 315,000. Also for the same apartment, the final cost for the owner would be €303,000 instead of €300,000. The gain, therefore, is five times higher than the expenditure.

The increase in the market value is not indifferent at all. This is due to the simple observation that the installation of such a system really represents a long-term investment, the fruits of which will be evident in the years to come. It is high time that the legislator also realised this.

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