Smart home energy management requires energy IoT solutions that enable intelligent control of the multitude of decentralized energy systems. In other words, there is no market success without a home energy management system (HEMS). This blog explains what approaches are available for providers to include a hardware manufacturer-independent and sector-coupling HEMS in their portfolio.
The boom in decentralized energy generation and the electrification of the heating and mobility sectors has led to more and more companies taking part in the energy market and wanting their piece of the growing pie. On the one hand, these are long-established companies such as energy suppliers or hardware manufacturers. On the other, new, highly digitalized full-service providers driven by a strong end customer brand are entering the energy market. No matter from which sector and which value chain a company approaches end customers in order to sell PV systems, EV chargers and heat pumps successfully and in a scalable way, no company can avoid intelligent networking of these systems and the creation of a unique, holistic end customer experience. Each of these companies needs an energy IoT infrastructure as the basis for networking the various systems, as well as a cross-system end customer app. In short: a HEMS. The only question is how.
SaaS or PaaS - which model is the right one?
Generally, companies in the energy market have three options: Develop and operate a HEMS themselves, rent a turnkey white label solution, or develop parts of the HEM system themselves and obtain the rest from a HEMS platform provider via APIs. Kiwigrid supports the latter two approaches.
For the white label approach, Kiwigrid offers The Independent Home (TIH) turnkey product, which also includes a white label end user application and an application for installers.
Those who prefer to develop the end customer application themselves can use Kiwigrid's energy IoT infrastructure via APIs to connect and network energy devices in the field, on the one hand, and to process and store data in the cloud on the other.
Both solutions have their advantages. While customers with TIH directly receive suitable products for the respective deployment scenario, the end customer application is developed by the customers themselves in the PaaS approach. The clear advantage: the applications are individual and create an optimal end customer experience that differentiates them from the competition.
Device-specific APIs – a real competitive advantage
Kiwigrid's KiwiOS X APIs are really powerful. Unlike many competitors, instead of „one API for everything“, Kiwigrid has created device-specific APIs that have been optimized for the specific application. This allows PV/hybrid inverters, electricity storage, wallboxes, heat pumps and meters to be integrated in the best possible way. But that's not all: in the future, APIs for energy optimization functions, smart tariffs and flexibilities will also be offered.
The "pay-per-use" principle can be represented with a mixed API only with a great deal of effort. Kiwigrid counteracts this complexity with an attractive, clear model. In the PaaS model, customers only pay for the data of the devices that are actually installed and networked. If a homeowner first has a PV system installed together with a storage system, and then retrofits an EV charger some time later, the difference in billing can be seen accordingly. This gives customers of the PaaS solution even greater transparency and the opportunity for individualization. They can focus on scaling their business – the APIs scale easily with them.
How to implement the PaaS model?
In order to harness this enormous potential, the data from different environments and systems, end devices as well as data centers and clouds must be made usable. A problem is the lack of standards for APIs on the market so that the various components can be easily networked with each other.
That's why we offer KiwiOS X, a software platform that enables companies to integrate, monitor and optimize the multitude of devices, systems and partners in the decentralized energy world. With the help of a powerful gateway such as the Energy Manager VoyagerX, PV systems, electricity storage systems, EV chargers and heat pumps are connected to form a manufacturer-independent sector-coupled system. The gateway acts as an interface between the energy systems and the Energy IoT platform KiwiOS.
220,000 connected energy devices show: The linking of data such as information on generation, consumption, feed-in, storage, and grid usage, as well as device statuses, creates direct added value for end customers. Our APIs enable use cases with which end customers can optimize their own consumption or charge their electric cars at optimized prices. The future of energy is decentralized, digital and green and the PaaS model is the future for customer-centric energy business models.
Is your company interested in a SaaS or PaaS solution for energy management? Get in touch with us!