New energy-saving regulation: M2M SIM cards help save energy through automation in the building

Germany must save energy in view of the current gas and electricity crisis. Two new energy-saving ordinances now set out specific measures and target values with which Germany is to save energy in the public sector. The ordinances are to apply in the short term from September and October 2022 for six and 24 months respectively. M2M SIM cards and the use of smart building technology can help to implement and monitor the specified measures.

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Energy saving measures in the public sector

On August 24, 2022, the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK) announced two new energy saving ordinances. The amendment to the Energy Security Act (EnSiG) passed in the summer authorizes the federal government to adopt corresponding ordinances. Both ordinances contain specific measures and reference values aimed at saving energy - particularly electricity and heating energy - throughout Germany. The first ordinance has already been in force since September 1, 2022, for a limited period of 6 months. The second ordinance still requires the approval of the Bundesrat. It is to apply for a total of 24 months from 1.10.2022.

The ordinances stipulate, for example, that the minimum temperature stipulated in tenancy agreements does not have to be maintained for a temporary period of six months and that the upper temperature limit in public buildings will be lowered from 20 to 19 degrees. Corridors or areas of public buildings in which people do not live should no longer be heated at all if possible. Exceptions will only apply if a higher temperature is necessary for health or technical reasons. From October, it will also be forbidden to illuminate monuments or places of interest from outside. The only exceptions to this are safety and emergency lighting. Exceptions also apply to short-term cultural events or public festivals as well as all situations in which light is necessary, for example to avert danger or safeguard road traffic. If retail premises are heated, they may not keep their store doors and entrance systems permanently open. Illuminated advertising systems must be switched off between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. the following day. Exceptions to this are - again for safety reasons - lighting on passenger shelters or in waiting halls and railroad underpasses.

How M2M SIM cards help save energy

In this extraordinary situation, intelligent technology can help companies, authorities and municipalities to maintain an overview and successfully implement measures. Whether for regulating and controlling lighting solutions or monitoring heating systems: sensors, control units and M2M SIM cards help to automatically collect and monitor data and allow remote intervention if necessary. Automation in buildings (smart buildings) can make a significant contribution to energy efficiency. Below we briefly explain three possible customer applications for IoT SIM cards in the context of building automation and energy saving:

1. smart lighting: solutions for intelligent lighting control.

Smart lighting or intelligent lighting solutions are, among other things, about operating the lighting in indoor and outdoor facilities with individual lighting times and a light level adapted to demand. This applies both to self-triggering basement lighting in apartment buildings and to street lighting in large cities. For efficient energy use, light must be provided where residents and inhabitants need it. In other places, energy consumption can be reduced. In the long term, this not only saves energy costs but also protects the environment, for example by protecting birds, bats and insects from permanent exposure to light.

Remote-controlled city lighting network:
Intelligent street lighting systems are a way for cities to conserve resources both economically and ecologically. They are already being implemented by cities around the world in the context of smart cities. The aim behind the use of intelligent lighting systems is to improve processes relating to urban lighting and to realize the associated savings. The systems usually collect data on energy and lighting requirements and transmit it to a central control center, from where it is evaluated - and from where the systems can be accessed remotely if necessary. This not only significantly shortens the response times of city administrations, it also reduces staff travel costs and staff deployment in general. Light intensity is monitored and controlled via controllers mounted on luminaires, for example, and switch-on times are programmed or exceptions are stored for defined periods - whether regularly or exceptionally, e.g. for special events. As these devices are based on the determined demand, the lighting or energy is primarily provided when it is actually needed. Unnecessary lighting periods are eliminated, resulting in a direct reduction in energy consumption and operating costs.

2. predictive maintenance: detect impending failures before damage occurs

Predictive maintenance is probably one of the most widespread use cases of the IoT in the context of Industry 4.0. Here, the status data of machines is recorded and collected in order to actively maintain systems. Real-time processing of the collected machine data enables the creation of forecasts, which in turn are used as the basis for maintenance cycles. This reduces machine downtimes, for example, as impending failures can be predicted in advance based on the data. This allows technicians to intervene before damage actually occurs. The benefits of predictive maintenance are felt on many levels:

maintenance can benefit companies on two levels: On the one hand, predictive maintenance helps to reduce the downtime of systems and machines, thereby maintaining or increasing production efficiency and reducing costs for unplanned downtime. On the other hand, regular maintenance increases the service life of machines and systems.

‍Optimalmaintenance cycles and processes:
advance planning of upcoming maintenance and any resulting breakdowns means that the processes around them can be better coordinated. Instead of having to react to a sudden breakdown and possibly having to stop production at short notice, maintenance can be scheduled and production can be adapted accordingly. In other words, you decide on the most suitable time for maintenance instead of being surprised by it.

‍Improvedmachine performance:
analysis of collected data makes it possible to improve the performance of systems and machines. In the long term, this can lead to higher productivity.

3. remote access to and remote maintenance of technical equipment: Observation of heating systems & temperature controls

‍Remoteaccess or remote maintenance and control of technical devices involves using M2M communication to access devices from almost anywhere in the world. End devices can thus be monitored and maintained remotely - it is no longer necessary for a team to be on site for routine checks or software updates, for example. Thanks to remote access, on-site deployments can be limited to what is actually needed, allowing companies to plan deployments more efficiently and cost-effectively.

There are now many possible applications and uses: From monitoring industrial machinery and wind turbines to networked heating systems in commercial properties. Whereas a service team used to arrive when a machine or device had a problem, thanks to the IoT (Internet of Things), customer service can now run an initial diagnosis remotely without having to be on site and, in some circumstances, solve a problem without having to make an extra trip. The risk of programming or configuration errors is increasing, especially with increasingly software-heavy systems. Remote diagnostics via an M2M connection is usually completely sufficient to identify the error and often rectify it directly.

The Internet of Things offers many new possibilities, particularly with regard to the efficiency of heating systems. For example, the performance data of the heating system can be transmitted directly to property management companies or housing associations to monitor and control energy consumption. A gateway installed on the heating system serves as an interface and can both read out and transmit data - the temperature of the flow and return, the pressure or the amount of heat consumed. With intelligently controlled heating systems, energy savings of up to 15% on average are possible for hot water and heating

New energy-saving regulation: M2M SIM cards help save energy through automation in the building

Laura Gaber, M.Sc., is the longest-serving of our two Marketing Lauras. The Cologne native worked for several years as a communications all-rounder at EU level for the renewable energy sector. In 2016, Laura's curiosity drove her further afield - straight into the north and our arms. Since then, she has been dealing with the latest developments in digitalization, M2M communication and the IoT on a daily basis.


Laura Gaber
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