Smartphone app helps home owners calculate energy efficiency

Technology News |
By eeNews Europe

In Europe the building sector accounts for 40 percent of primary energy consumption. Home owners seeking energy efficiency are faced with confusing and sometimes contradictory information.

To guide home owners through the information jungle surrounding energy efficiency in buildings, Fraunhofer IAO and partners from research and industry have developed an app as part of the EU project ENBUS! The app provides homeowners with a free and neutral benefit assessment of energy efficiency measures. When planning a renovation, estimating the benefits is important but difficult because the building industry and manufacturers of energy-efficient building materials and appliances promote their own offers while providing their own biased advice. Unbiased experts, on the other hand, are expensive and the process is complex which deters many homeowners.

The ENBUS! app allows users start with selecting a building type and its location. The software then models the energy savings that could be made with the wide range of products and building materials stored in the app, and delivers additional support relating to energy efficiency in buildings.

“We’re doing more than just show that energy efficiency pays off in theory,” explained Dr. Thomas Fischer, project manager at Fraunhofer IAO. “We’re showing home owners how their investment translates into a concrete economic benefit.”

The ENBUS! app is currently available as a prototype for iPhone and iPad. In the future, the software will be rolled out to other platforms and the content will be comprehensively supplemented. The aim is a solution that reproduces real buildings as accurately as possible and is still easy to use. In accordance with the user’s requirements, the system can then make comprehensive proposals for energy efficient improvements based on the individual case.

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