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"My power consumption costs have been reduced by 80%"

Maximising your own solar power is the best way to drastically reduce your power consumption bill. Geert Maes installed Niko Home Control, achieving substantial savings without sacrificing comfort.

In 2020, Geert Maes (60) had PV panels installed on the roof of his house which was built in 1991. In 2021, he bought a home battery. And in 2022, he installed Niko Home Control, a system that, among others, ensures that the use of your own free solar power is maximised. "I bought the battery during the Covid-19 crisis because, at the time, there was still a maximum premium and I suspected that the price of electricity was going to rise sharply," Geert says.

"That turned out to be a clever move. However, if you don't have a smart home system, the solar power ends up flowing to the grid once your battery is charged. Of course, you can manually turn large consumers on or off, such as the dryer, the electric boiler and the washing machine, but who has the time or inclination to constantly keep an eye on that?"

Solar panels on gable roof

Most people have Niko Home Control installed by an electrician, but Geert decided to do it himself. "One of the reasons why I chose Niko Home Control is because it doesn't necessarily involve channelling or drilling. In an existing home, you can opt for the wireless version of the system. All you need to do is replace a few sockets and switches with new, connected versions that you program and control wirelessly via Niko Home Control. My wife also wanted it to be a system that you can control with switches, so you don't necessarily need an app or smartphone. That's also possible with this system."

Solar power and peak consumption

Geert mainly uses the solar mode and peak mode. With the former, he consumes maximum solar power from his own PV installation and with the latter he avoids peak consumption.

This is important given that consumers with digital meters pay extra when they use too much power at the same time. Geert explains:

Fluvius installing the digital meter
"You yourself choose the maximum peak load and which devices should be switched off to avoid high peaks. In our case, this is first the boiler of our kitchen sink, then the boiler in the bathroom, followed by the electric frost heater in the greenhouse and garage. Subsequently also the dish washer and dryer. I could have gone further, but my wife doesn't like that the oven can turn off when she is baking a cake,"

Geert laughs.

The Niko system not only helps Geert use less power current, it also helps him control his gas consumption. "I have central heating with a gas condensing boiler. With the programmed Niko switches, I open and close valves for different zones in the house. We only heat the bathroom when necessary, for instance." When there is enough solar power in the autumn and spring, Geert heats his living room and his kitchen with the solar-powered air conditioner instead of his gas central heating. In the summer, he then uses the same air conditioners to cool his home - again with free solar power.

80% less power

How much less does Geert consume thanks to Niko Home Control? "In terms of heating, I estimate that we use 10% less gas than we used to. This is mainly a matter of optimisation. In terms of power, the difference is a lot bigger, thanks to the combination of the battery and Niko Home Control.

From May to September, we do not take any power from the grid. All in all, my annual power consumption has dropped by 80%.

Connected socket pen earthing - geconnecteerd stopcontact penaarde

Geert is very pleased with his Niko Home Control installation. It still remains to be seen whether the battery was also a good investment. “Despite the premium, it remains a considerable purchase. Moreover, batteries wear out losing about two to four percent capacity every year. Without the battery, I would have recovered my investment much faster, thanks to the decreased consumption of my other appliances through Niko Home Control."

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