The Morino City community is united in its commitment to an eco-friendly lifestyle with the help of energy-efficient technologies.
"enecoQ" is an energy management system in which the energy usage of an entire condominium building is managed by purchasing electricity for the whole building and combining electricity generated by solar powered energy resources and the internet (ICT). The enecoQ system offers eco-friendly and economical services by integrating energy and communication technologies.
* What is "enecoQ"?
"enecoQ" is a new word created by combining "energy," "ecology," and "quality." The word also represents the ability to put energy to good use, just as a skilled "cook" can make use of ingredients.
*1:HEMS is an acronym for Home Energy Management System, which manages energy usage in homes by leveraging information and communication technologies.
*2:me-eneco is the name of a HEMS device used in the enecoQ system.
*3:pa-eneco is the name of a HEMS device used in the enecoQ system.
*4:"Demand control" signifies the regulation of electricity usage in the common areas of condominium buildings remotely by the MEMS Control Center during peak demand,leveraging information and communication technologies.
Electricity use in common areas is controlled to reduce the peak of electricity peak during peak hours
The MEMS Management Center can store data on the power consumption of an entire condominium building for the past year. The consumption pattern is analyzed to set the maximum power for the building in advance. If power consumption is expected to increase during certain hours and exceed the default maximum power, electricity usages such as charging of electric vehicles, lighting (in some areas), and air conditioning are automatically controlled.
Demand control image
Unlike the standard electricity billing system in Japan that determines the amount based on monthly consumption levels, enecoQ employs "Smart Plan," which sets the electricity rate based on the consumption levels measured every 30 minutes. If the average of 30-minute electricity consumption level is high, electricity bills will increase. Conversely, electricity bills can be reduced by avoiding the simultaneous use of household appliances and keeping the electricity rate low.
Making Smart Use of the Smart Plan: Example 1
Avoid using household appliances that run for a long time at the same time
Residents can save money on their electricity bills by using household appliances that run for a long time such as washers and dishwashers at different times, instead of simultaneously. The key is to lower the peak consumption levels and distribute electricity use to keep the rate low.
Making Smart Use of the Smart Plan: Example 2
Use power-consuming household appliances for shorter periods.
Residents can save energy by using power-consuming microwaves and dryers in shorter periods to keep their consumption levels below the red zone.
Residents can access "My Page" to view their past power usage and rankings in their condominium building. The information is updated every 30 minutes and is also available on PCs or smartphones.
A survey was conducted in Blocks 1 and 2 of PROUD Funabashi from 2013 to 2014 concerning the residents' awareness of energy conservation and the effects of energy-saving measures. The project demonstrated the effectiveness of the "Smart Plan" electricity billing system and energy-saving tips. As many as 500 households participated in the survey, one of the highest among the validation projects conducted in Japan concerning energy-saving measures for multi-unit residential complexes.
The batteries are charged by a PV power generation system and can be used as power sources at the time of an emergency.
Approximately 200 chargers for electric vehicles, or about 20% of the number of parking spaces, are available in Morino City. In addition, each block has a car-sharing program for EV.
A security guard is stationed at the clubhouse during the night and makes rounds throughout the town.
During a power outage, electric vehicles are used as an emergency power source to send electricity to electrical equipment in the clubhouse.
During emergencies, the internet is sometimes more stable than mobile phone lines. Wireless LAN is installed in lounges and other common areas, allowing residents to gather information in emergencies.
Digital signs are installed in each block and at the clubhouse entrance. They display notices from the strata council and information on neighborhood and community activities. Residents can also use the signs to check the amount of electricity generated by the solar power system and the reduction in CO2 emissions in each block, as well as the energy usage and the proportion of electricity supplemented by solar power generation in common areas. The digital signs switch to an emergency mode during natural disasters and power outages so that residents can gather emergency information.
Street lighting is controlled remotely by transmitting data to and from individual street lights through power cables. By measuring power consumption and observing cumulative lighting time, smart street lighting curbs energy consumption and streamlines street lighting maintenance operations.