What would you think if we told you that soon it could be possible to buy the comfort you want in your homes or offices, without thinking about which system to install? As already happens with cars or mobile phones, i.e., the paradigm of the circular economy in which “the product becomes the service” can also be applied in the heating or cooling sector. The user will no longer be asked to choose between a boiler, heat pump or air conditioner, but the degree of comfort to benefit from, a bit like choosing how many Gigabytes of internet traffic to have, with a smartphone already included in the subscription.

Comfort and technology

As claimed by Giuliano Dall’O, Coordinator of the MCE Lab and Full Professor of Environmental Technical Physics at the ABC Department (Department of Architecture, Built Environment and Construction Engineering) of the Politecnico di Milano, this solution will change the way of dealing with the topic of “heating” and will allow each individual citizen to be informed in real time on how much the “comfort” service costs him without having to worry about the technological choice:

“This new condition is already active in the mobility sector, in the tertiary sector and in our homes: from coffee machines to telephony and IT services and products. And the step to get to the systems for air conditioning or for the production of hot water is shorter than one might think, supported by the increasingly rigid constraints that the legislation on energy efficiency and safety imposes and by the advantages that this change allows you to have: using a service means being able to delegate all the related tasks to an external company, from the initial investment, to maintenance costs, to regulatory compliance. And in a technologically complex field, consultancy is also obtained for choosing the best solution, because by paying for the level of comfort required, this is what must be guaranteed by the service provider.”

The benefits of the service

Numerous factors are playing a fundamental role in accelerating the evolution towards more sustainable economic systems: only among the latter, the higher cost of energy, the difficult finding of raw materials, the progressive improvement of the systems’ efficiency

The circular economy therefore remains the only possible solution, by virtue of the fact that, after decommissioning, the boiler, air conditioner or heat pump will still have a value, because they will be disassembled and their components will give life to other products. This advantage, however, is only for those who can exploit it, which is why companies have an interest in retaining ownership of the product and the user in purchasing the service to the extent that they need it. It is the so-called win-win scenario: the user does not have to worry about the choice, maintenance, or obsolescence of the product, but only about the quality of the service he wants, while the company, by retaining ownership of the asset, maintains the value control even at the end of its life, being able to recycle and reuse every single piece of material. Furthermore, the companies that will provide the service will have an interest in maintaining very efficient systems, also allowing for an ever greater reduction in energy consumption and, consequently, greater respect for the environment.

What’s still missing?

Concludes Dall’O ‘: “Starting from the aspect that most interests the user, namely the cost, he must be sure that the service offered is actually conceived in a clear way and that it allows to know the level of the service he is purchasing. Just as the supply conditions are important, from ongoing maintenance to assistance in the event of breakdowns, but from this point of view, IoT technologies allow companies to efficiently plan this type of activity and give excellent guarantees to users.”

We look forward to new developments!

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