Even though the energy monitor and Smappee app are extremely easy to use, it is always nice to know how other people are using them. That is why we asked a number of Smappee users to share how the energy monitor has changed their behaviour. Today we are interviewing Hans Delabie, one of the driving forces and co-founder of Smappee. Of course, we are not interviewing him in his capacity as co-founder, but rather as a VIP user who knows the product inside-out and no doubt has lots of interesting things to tell us.

Can you briefly describe your domestic setup to give us an idea of your energy profile?

My family and I live in a detached house that was built around 20 years ago. Of our three daughters, two have so far flown the nest. The third lives in student digs and, on average, spends up to three days a week at home. I work full-time and my wife part-time, so we only really start consuming energy from the afternoon onwards.

Smappee could help save up to 30% on your energy bill. How much have you actually been able to save and how have you done this in concrete terms?

Since installing Smappee three years ago, our energy bill has been reduced by 23.5%, from 5,100 to 3,900 kWh. How? On the one hand, by changing the way we use energy, on the other hand, by replacing a number of energy-inefficient home appliances.

Let’s start with the latter. In our garage, we have a two-metre high tower, half fridge, half freezer. When I looked at the DNA data of this appliance in the Smappee app, I noticed a consumption of 207 kWh a year at a cost of € 52. Completely normal for this kind of appliance. But when I did the same thing for the fridge in our kitchen, I spotted something interesting. The annual cost amounted to € 65, for a much smaller appliance, and without a freezer. And yet, the fridge still appeared to be working perfectly fine. But at € 65 a year, something wasn’t quite right. That is why we got rid of the old fridge, bought a new energy-efficient model and now only pay € 21 a year. Without Smappee, I would have carried on using that energy-guzzling fridge for years.

We also looked at our lighting. The real-time information in the bubble screen revealed that we were using more energy when my wife was reading a book compared to when we were watching TV. The culprits were the seven spotlights in the sitting area, emitting a total of 350 watts. A high consumption rate and absolutely unnecessary! The small LED light we bought is easily just as comfortable, not to mention a whole lot more economical. In the past, we also used to watch TV with four spotlights of 50 watts each on. The dimmer on these was hardly ever used. Until I saw in the Smappee app that the four lights together used only 50 watts when dimmed. So since then, we always dim those lights. Not only does it cost less, it also makes watching TV a whole lot nicer.

You also mentioned that you adapted your energy behaviour? 

That’s right. One small adjustment that saves us about € 50 a year is how we use our coffee maker. In the past, we would let the coffee, once it had run through, sit on the appliance, sometimes for up to an hour, to keep it warm. Now, we immediately pour it into a thermos jug after the 12-minute run-through time, which helped us reduce the energy cost to one fifth. 

But the biggest behavioural change came after I had also installed the app on my wife’s and daughters’ smartphones. In the past, lights would quite often be left on at our house in unoccupied rooms. Whenever someone would get a drink from the garage, you could be sure that along the way one or more lights would be left on. With the Smappee app, we could see the cost of this in black and white and since then – and I am pleased to say that it has turned out to be sustainable – all lights are switched off properly whenever any of us leaves a room. And if I occasionally forget to switch one off myself, it is pointed out to me that Smappee won’t be very happy about it. Sometimes, Smappee seems to be an additional member of our family.

Would you also like to know how Hans gets the most out of the Smappee app and how he uses the Smart Home features? Be sure to keep an eye out for this blogspot!