Enel X’s energy efficiency revolutionises Chile’s property market

When it comes to renewable energies, Chile is one of the most active countries in Latin American. Take, for example, the capital, Santiago, which by 2040 will be powered almost entirely by green sources, and the growing use of efficient solutions in sustainable building projects. Enel X has already exported its good practices in the field of energy efficiency to the South American country through Enel and Enel Generation Chile, a company controlled by the Group. Our Group is currently involved in the creation of various energy efficiency projects for buildings and apartment blocks in Santiago, Chile.

Leading players in Chile’s real estate sector have turned to Enel X’s expertise and eco-friendly solutions for their hybrid energy efficiency projects. In the specific case of the construction company Echeverría Izquierdo’sMy Place Building – Argomedo”, for example, the need to integrate hot water production without resorting to polluting energy sources found the perfect solution. Enel X was able to identify the best combination of energy and sustainability for the building, replacing old gas-fired systems with highly-efficient electric units that avoid the need for internal combustion systems, produce no local pollutants and pose no risk to residents. The project has integrated energy generation of 22.4 kWp by photovoltaic panels with aerothermal heat pumps that create savings of around 60% for the over 600 condominiums, compared to a conventional system.  

The importance of this project, which has already been implemented for the client, is significant, given the substantial importance of energy in the current real estate market. Real estate companies are keen to take part in the culture of environmental sustainability and to conform to the legal requirements in order to obtain energy certification. By doing so, they are able to offer their clients solutions that are very different from the conventional systems, generating significant financial advantages and gaining a favourable competitive position.

The innovative solution for CIDEPA Real Estate’s Luis Valenzuela building on the other hand, is based on a three-pronged approach involving self-generation, energy efficiency and home automation. This project, currently under completion, integrates a 7 kWp photovoltaic solution with a 58 m2 solar thermal system linked to aerothermal heat pumps to store energy in the form of hot water. All the apartments in the building are equipped with a home automation system and the heating system will be monitored online. The centralised service involving the entire structure, which is home to more than 200 residents, will benefit from savings of 55% compared to a conventional system.  

Elsewhere in the city, hybrid energy efficiency solutions that are easily replicable are being implemented. Terrafirme’s Cumbres apartment block is set to be the first to host three types of technology at the same time, a development that could revolutionise Chile’s property market. The project involves the installation of a heat pump and a storage tank to provide hot water in combination with an integrated backup system using an electric boiler. Furthermore, a small, 1.02 kWp photovoltaic unit in every apartment will partially contribute to the heat pump’s energy, reducing  the use of energy from the grid. Finally, a home automation system will be installed in each of the 20 apartments of the Cumbres block to manage lighting and security systems. When the work is completed, the apartment block will benefit from energy savings for water heating of between 250% - 350%, with a reduction in electricity supply costs thanks to the production of the photovoltaic system that will generate around 1,480 kWh a year. 

Last but not least, the concepts of sharing good practices are also reflected in the Demand Response service, in which Enel X is playing a leading role worldwide through its specialised demand response company EnerNOC. Services are now available also in Chile thanks to a project that Enel X is involved in that saw the implementation in April and May 2018 of the Demand Response platform. Demand Response in Chile is now ready to operate, aggregating 48 MW from regulated clients and 35.5 MW from free market clients. The joint Demand Response programme will enable the 135 C&I clients in Santiago’s metropolitan area alone to benefit from an additional source of earnings by making themselves available to respond to calls from the grid operator to modulate their electricity consumption at specific times.