Technology Record - Issue 27: Winter 2022

73 Schneider Electric was recognised in Time Magazine’s list of Best Inventions of 2022 for its collaboration with Footprint Project to deliver microgrids for disaster relief 1. In buildings Buildings are already responsible for almost 40 per cent of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions, according to the IEA, with the impact of climate change further increasing demand for cooling and air conditioning. But with record energy prices and energy security at risk, saving energy must be the imperative for building managers and homeowners, helping them to mitigate risk, whilst also cutting carbon emissions. Studies show that using digital energy management solutions in buildings can reduce carbon emissions by 20-30 per cent. These energy-saving technologies leverage the power of smart, clean electricity through digitisation – what we call ‘Electricity 4.0’. What does this look like in practice? Take the example of Citycon's Lippulaiva, a new 150,000-square-metre urban centre in Espoonlahti, Finland where artificial intelligence-powered building software ‘teaches’ the building management system to predict and optimise energy usage. The combination of these solutions and a microgrid resulted in a 14 per cent reduction in annual energy costs and will achieve the complex’s €3 million investment ($3.15 million) payback within five years. 2. In homes In January 2022, the Financial Times reported that one-third of European homes and 48 per cent of those in the USA still use gas for heating. However, in light of the energy crisis and recent climate legislation, the move to smarter and greener alternatives is picking up pace. Installing and then operating smart heating systems, solar panels and electric heat pumps with home energy management apps (such as Wiser by Schneider Electric) are some of the ways that consumers are starting to control