Nathalie and Jef Noelmans live in Kiewit, Hasselt with their two children, Xavier (13) and Caroline (10). Jef is co-founder of iinno-benelux, the company that distributes the AlphaESS systems in Belgium. In his garage you can find the first AlphaESS home battery in Belgium.
How did you end up at AlphaESS?
We had already made the choice for solar panels, but I just didn't think it made sense that you invest in your own renewable energy production and then remain and then remain dependent for the most part on the electricity grid. You never know what source the electricity comes from, even if you have a contract for green energy. contract for green energy.
I am an engineer by training, so technology and innovative products have always been a passion. has always been a passion. If I'm interested in something, I can actually spend weeks with desk research for weeks. That's what I did for my home battery: I looked at and compared loads of systems and systems and became convinced that AlphaESS has a very strong product in the Smile a very strong product with the Smile 5. In the end I was convinced to such an extent that, together with my partner started importing and distributing the systems together with my partner. Our Smile5 was the first home battery from AlphaESS in Belgium. It has been operational for over 1,5 years without any problems. The installation of such a system is very Everything was in order in one day.
Do you spend a lot of time thinking about your energy consumption?
We are a family of 4. I work from home and since the corona measures Nathalie also works partly at home. On top of that, I have a plug-in hybrid that is consistently plugged in so that I can make short trips in the area entirely electrically, and our home is air conditioned. So we do have a hefty annual consumption of electricity (+10,000 kWh). We were aware of this and so the choice of solar panels was interesting anyway.
Since we got the home battery, we've definitely become more conscious of our own consumption. The app is really very good. You can't underestimate how often you look at it, especially the first few days or weeks. AlphaCloud gives you real insight into your energy consumption and it's very easy to make adjustments to reduce your consumption without compromising your quality of life.
A plug-in hybrid, a home battery: are you actively involved in sustainability?
Absolutely. It's becoming more and more clear that our climate is changing. We eat less meat and have recently sworn off the use of bottled water. Thanks to our solar panels and home battery we are sure that most of our energy is green. The choice for an electric drive was also very conscious. By the way, I used one of the programmable contacts in my home battery to charge my plug-in hybrid smartly, preferably with surpluses from my solar panels.
Was it interesting for you to switch to the new tariff structure?
Yes, we did immediately. Although it was not at all obvious at the time. The people at Fluvius were very helpful, but at first they didn't know what to do. There is a digital meter here that registers injection and offtake separately, but it is a different type than the meters currently in place.