Janek Schuffenhauer is not only CFO at Kiwigrid, but also an enthusiastic solar power producer and self-consumption optimizer. To monitor and optimize the energy flows in his home, he uses the company's own products, which brings benefits both for himself and for Kiwigrid. He shares his personal experience with the products with the company and thereby also uncovers potential for improvement.
Keeping a close eye on your own numbers
In 2013, Janek installed a solar system including storage on his house. At the time, he was still working for another company in the renewable energy industry and had initially installed an energy management system from another provider. His start as CFO at Kiwigrid prompted him to switch systems to get to know his own product even better. Since 2015, he has now been using the company's own energy management system to keep track of and optimize his own consumption. The system allows him to accurately track his energy flows and compare his self-consumption over months and years.
When self-consumption optimization becomes a hobby
A PV system is a large investment that pays off best if you use the self-produced electricity as much as possible in your own household. The electricity can also be fed into the grid, but the feed-in tariff is low whereas those who use the electricity themselves can reduce the purchase of "expensive" electricity and save costs. So every kWh consumed by the company itself is worth cash. This is another reason why Janek always keeps an eye on the self-consumption rate - meaning the ratio of electricity consumed to solar power generated by the PV system.
“As a financier, I naturally enjoy taking a closer look at the figures and offsetting everything. I'm most interested in self-consumption - in other words, how much of the energy I've generated I've actually been able to use myself in order to amortize the purchase of my system.”
Energy management is more than just monitoring
If you're passionate about energy management yourself, monitoring your own energy flows can be great fun. But the functionality of Kiwigrid's products is set to go beyond that in the future. For example, new features will make it possible to automatically run the heat pump and charge your EV in a solar-optimized way. In other words, self-consumption will be optimized all by itself, without users having to keep an eye on the energy flows and switch consumers manually. As a result, energy management becomes interesting even for people who are not so intensively concerned with optimizing their own consumption.
Those who use their own products can uncover potential for improvement
The fact that Janek uses the company's own products at home enables him to understand the user perspective. This gives him a feeling for which functionalities are actually useful for end customers in everyday life. His experience with an energy management solution from another provider, which he had previously installed, is also informative for Kiwigrid, because it revealed potential that only became apparent during daily use.
Ecology and economy must go hand in hand
Sustainability is firmly anchored in Kiwigrid's DNA. However, the products are also aimed at end users, for whom the focus is on financial added value. If energy management solutions also pay off financially, they will become suitable for mass use and can thus make an even better contribution to the energy transition.
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