Sustainable policy is the new buzzword. Cities and municipalities want to reduce their energy consumption and cut back their CO2 emissions. In the context of a general European movement, mayors’ covenants are being signed in which local governments commit to energy efficiency. The implementation of smart solutions is crucial to this policy. According to Lieven De Wachter, Solutions Marketing Manager at Proximus, governments and businesses have been aware of the need to rationalize their consumption for a long time. Today, there are solutions. “Measuring is knowing. Think about vending machines in large companies. They consume energy, even when they’re on standby. The customer only sees the final bill and can complain about that, but it stops there. Now there are technologies based on smart plugs to programme the machines. This delivers savings and fits with the trend towards corporate social responsibility.”
Lieven De Wachter cites EnergySmart as an example of this kind of smart solution to monitor energy and control it remotely. This innovative management tool was developed by the company fifthplay, a subsidiary of the Niko Group. It’s intended to monitor, optimize and therefore reduce the consumption of electricity, gas, water and HVAC. Various companies are already using it successfully. Today, Proximus is offering the solution to its business customers. “The fifthplay gateways are fitted with a Proximus SIM card that communicates with fifthplay’s central platform via 3G.” This is typical of Proximus’ role in the new energy story: ensuring that crucial connectivity. “Not only on our landlines, but also the mobile network.”
Energy management plays a central role for the nominees competing in the ‘Belfius Smart City Award 2015’ too. In this way, the city of Ghent is supporting local business in their energy policy. Herstal introduced energy-saving solutions in the context of the renovation of the city centre. Ostend has launched a project that aims to bring energy-saving measures, such as roof insulation, within the reach of the lowest income groups.