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Smart meters, smarter energy

By installing smart meters at more than 1,000 of its German properties, PATRIZIA is helping create a more flexible, sustainable energy grid.

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State-of-the-art electricity meters – smart meters – are now fitted in more than 1000 of the German properties managed by PATRIZIA. This allows property managers to make an important contribution to expanding the energy grid in Germany, which will become more flexible and sustainable.

The methods used for generating and managing electricity are currently undergoing sweeping changes. There is an increasing tendency to turn to renewables – solar power and wind energy – but these often experience peaks and troughs in the amount of energy fed into the grid. This is an unavoidable feature of renewables, because sun and wind are not exactly the most reliable energy providers.

To allow for fluctuations and keep electricity grids stable, systems need a ‘distributed network protocol’ – a real-time communication technology that coordinates electricity generation and consumption. Equipping buildings with smart meters makes it possible to send continual information flows to energy suppliers, and this is an important aid in optimising the coordination of electricity loads and power generation.

Overall energy consumption and energy efficiency are becoming increasingly important factors for a successful lease.

Jörg Müller, head of Asset Management for ESG at PATRIZIA

In 2019, PATRIZIA will be installing smart meters in more than 1000 of its managed properties in Germany. As Jörg Müller, head of Asset Management for ESG at PATRIZIA, explains: “Switching to the new digital systems allows us to carefully coordinate energy consumption across a whole portfolio.”

The move follows legislation passed by the German federal government in 2016 (Act on the Digitisation of the Energy Transition/GDEW), the aim of which is to introduce smart meters
throughout the country. Müller says that installing smart meters is only part of a wider sustainability drive at PATRIZIA. In 2018, the company announced that the entire real estate portfolio in Germany had successfully transitioned to renewable energy. The switch to renewables has resulted in a 50,000-tonne reduction in carbon emissions per year. “PATRIZIA is currently looking into opportunities to switch the entire European portfolio to renewable energy,” adds Müller.

Saving energy in 1,000 buildings

The German bill was passed in the wake of an EU directive aimed at introducing a suitable smart meter infrastructure to at least 80% of consumer households in all member states by 2032. According to Jörg, as well as the obvious benefits of smart meters for the overall grid, they also offer a variety of advantages to the players in the property market. For example, they provide building operators with valuable data, offering a previously unknown depth and breadth of information.

“Parameters such as overall energy consumption and energy efficiency are becoming increasingly important factors for a successful lease. Smart metering provides you with ways to optimise graphs of consumption patterns and make them easy to understand, and this improves recommendations,” says Müller.

Consumption data gathered by smart meters can be shared with property managers and regular energy suppliers through an energy portal, so there’s no longer any need to visit buildings and read meters manually. The portal can also spot irregular consumption or supply patterns and draw comparisons with similar properties.

“This new approach will make it possible for us to save significant amounts of energy in over a thousand buildings,” highlights Müller. Smart meters will be rolled out in Germany by the third quarter of 2019. PATRIZIA will also start focusing on pulling together an energy supply portfolio across the whole company. To do this, smart meters will also be installed in other European markets.

 

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