Frequently asked questions

Benefits

How much money can I save with it?

With direct electrical heating one saves typically 10 % by lowering from time to time home temperature, and even more if one does that more actively. In addition, the system saves automatically typically another 10 % by avoiding hours with high electricity spot prices and using those with low prices.

 

The total savings are also with direct electrical heating at least about 20 %. That corresponds to about 300-500 € annual savings in e.g. a detached house with annual consumption of 18.000 kWh, and correspondingly more in a bigger house. For underfloor waterborne heating the saving is about half of the above.

In what way does the system save money for me?

System saves your electricity bill in two ways:

  1. A customer with direct electrical system lowers home temperature at desired time periods, which decreases heating energy and thus heating costs.

 

  1. System selects automatically hours with lowest electricity spot price and avoids those with highest. This lowers heating costs directly for both direct and water-borne floor electrical heating.
Why would I decrease temperature for the night?

According to studies, most of us feel that we sleep better in somewhat cooler temperatures. Studies propose a sleeping temperature of about 15.5-19.5 degrees centigrade.

Secondly it saves your heating energy and thus your heating costs. Each lowered degree reduces heating energy and heating costs by 5 %, of course only for the hours the temperature is reduced.

How does it help to fight climate change?

CO2 releases are decreased by you and your system in three ways:

  1. By lowering your home temperatures, you are also decreasing your energy use. This decreases power production and its releases.
  2. By optimizing your heating and shifting it to less expensive hours, the system reduces national power demand peaks. Peak hours are more expensive because their demand is highest. By shifting demand away from them, power production is decreased, and thus also its releases.
  3. Demand Response works for the most part like the previous case 2. However, here the decision to decrease your heating is made by our cloud instead of your own central unit. This way we are shifting simultaneously the heating demand of thousands of homes. That is of course done only so that your temperature is not affected and you do not notice anything.
How can I save money as much as possible?

With direct electrical heating, you make savings the more and more often you reduce your home temperature. Each reduced temperature centigrade (C) degree corresponds to 5 % savings in heating energy, for the time duration the temperature is lowered.

How can you tell how much I save money?

We have sold the system since 2009. It has been delivered to thousands of customers and we have extensive statistics on energy consumption and the benefits brought by the system.

Price

Am I allowed to make a tax deducation?

You are allowed to make a 50 % tax deduction from the installation price. This lowers your standard product price with yet another 125 €.

Where can I buy a system?

We have an increasing number of retailers.

Why do you charge also a monthly service fee?

Our system is complicated and consists of more than just the equipment in your home. We have invested tens of person-years in developing it.

The most central part of the system is our cloud service, which e.g. receives electricity hourly prices and weather forecasts from third parties, and distributes them to all the thousands of homes. Cloud also supervises equipment in all homes, and sends mail or SMS alarms to users in possible equipment failures. In other words, each customer causes us system and communication costs. Our professionals also provide technical support to our retailers and installing partners in possible problems.

Many customers also prefer that the initial system investment price can be somewhat lowered with a monthly fee.

How much does it cost?

Our recommended retail price for the standard system 499 € plus 9,90 € per month. This includes a fixed price of 250 € for installation when you are located within 30 km from us. In order to help you, we have packaged installation into fixed price products for also longer distances.

What is the payback period for the system?

Standard system sells now in our online shop at 499 € plus 9.90 €/month. When it saves for you about 300 €/year, the system pays itself back in less than about two years.

The exact numbers depend on the initial situation and on how active a user is. A customer with direct electrical heating can him/herself influence a lot on system profitability: the more often, the more degrees and the more longer you decrease temperature in your home, the more you save heating energy and euros.

Are you sure the total price is fixed?

You can select in our website a system which you deem suitable for your home. However, it is worth discussing before installation, so that we can be sure that the equipment you have chosen is correct and sufficient.

We also want to be sure that we both can commit to a fixed installation price you have chosen. That is because we have to check your distance from our installation partner and that we have sufficient knowledge about your house.

In some cases, changes are expected to the electrical center, if e.g. the electrical works do no meet modern standards. In such cases it is fair that we tell you about it and that you approve the associated extra cost.

All our equipment and installation come with fixed prices, so that you know beforehand what your system total cost will be.

Why does a system by another company cost more than 1000 €?

We have done smart home heating already for 10 years. We have noticed how important price is in customer’s investment decision, and for that reason continuously developed our products to be less expensive.

In 2019, we launched our new generation product family, which is already our third. It is designed in many ways so that it is inexpensive to manufacture. For instance, we use only commercial standard components and devices to the extent possible.

The system architecture is also quite simple for the same reason. For example, we bring usually only three devices to your home. That has an impact not only on manufacturing cost, but especially also on the amount of needed installation work. We noticed early on that installation amounts to a significant portion of the total system price to customer. That is why our new equipment is designed easy to install. They equipment is simply snapped on the installation rail of your electrical center.

Devices

What do the devices look like?

Central unit and control relays are installed in your electrical center. There they are not visible, and look like industrial electrical components.

The only visible devices are room temperature sensor(s) and possible air-to-air heat pump controller(s). The come with plastic enclosures designed for residential use. If you wish, you can hide also them e.g. above or behind furniture, as long as you make sure with the installer that the location is suitable.

Who owns the devices?

When you have paid the system, the equipment is yours. You can for example sell them to the next homeowner if you happen to sell your house.

How many devices do I get to my home?

Usually three: (1) Central unit, (2) control relay and (3) usually one wireless room temperature sensor, two or more if needed. For device locations, see the question “Where are the devices installed?”

What happens when I move from the house?

We have noticed that usually also the next homeowner continues to use the system. For that reason, we recommend you two to first discuss that alternative, and to agree a suitable price for the equipment. Of course, all your data will be deleted from the system. And if you are happy with your experience with us, we trust you buy a system also to your new home!

If the equipment is to be removed from the building, a professional is needed, preferably one trained by Trim.

Oil heating, do you have product for me?

We have a standard product also for oil (and other dual-fuel) heating. It suits you if your heating boiler has a backup electricity heating element. The system then selects at all times between oil and electricity heating, depending on which is cheaper for you.

Contact us, and we are happy to tell you more.

Underfloor waterborne electrical heating, do you have a product for me?

Yes. Our standard product Trim Waterborne suits you. For its operating principles, see the main menu section “How it works > Products”.

Wall radiators with thermostats or room thermostats, do you have a product for me?

Yes. Our standard product Trim Direct suits you. For its operating principles, see the main menu section “How it works > Products”.

Ceiling heating and comfort underfloor heating, do you have a product for me?

Yes. Our standard product Trim Direct suits you. For its operating principles, see the main menu section “How it works > Products”.

Operating principles

What do the devices do?

Central unit receives weather forecast and electricity spot price information from our cloud service with your home internet connection. Together with these and your home characteristics, it then optimizes your heating. It controls heating by sending wireless commands to control relay, which is connected to the power supply of your heating equipment. Temperature sensor measures your home temperature and sends it wireless to the central unit.

With direct electricity heating, your home temperature is controlled with the help of measured temperature. With waterborne underfloor heating, measured temperature is only indicated in your user interface.

How did you come up with the whole idea?

We are a Finnish forerunner in home energy management. The company was founded from a Nokia R&D project in 2009. Soon after Trim started to apply the SW platform developed in Nokia to home energy management. Later HEM also became the main focus of Trim operations.

Nordic electricity market has provided the best possible environment for us to develop our solutions. Next, internationalization of them is a natural step now that power markets have been opened also elsewhere.

Is one temperature sensor enough for my home?

Usually yes. The question refers to direct electrical heating, where temperature is measured and regulated with the help of our sensor. With underfloor waterborne heating the regulation is done with room/radiator thermostats as before. One temperature is also then brought to your home, but only to indicate to you the state of your home.

Trim measures temperature usually in one reference point, first because sensors in each room would significantly increase hardware price. Second, they are usually simply not needed. For U- or L-shaped houses or those with more than one floor, we of course install additional sensors. Each will increase the HW price with some tens of euros.

We made experiments early on with our customers, and noticed that people usually keep their interior doors open. Quite satisfactory temperature control can then be reached with one or few reference temperature points.

In other words, the system operates quite well with the number of sensors we install to you. But of course you can add more, if you consider it useful. Expanding the system with sensors is carried out by simple configuration, and does not require any system modifications. The number of sensors is limited only by how different parts of the building can be individually controlled from the electrical center. (See another question “What is a temperature zone?”). Our software limit of 256 sensors should be enough 😀

Don’t you measure also outside temperature?

Indeed, we used to have also an outside temperature sensor in the system. Over the years, we have replaced it with a local temperature from a weather forecast service. It is cheaper for you and quite sufficient for system operation.

What is a temperature zone?

The term refers to a house with direct electrical heating. When configuring Trim product package, the house is divided into one or more temperature zones. A zone refers to a part of the house for which heating can be controlled from the electrical center. The simplest configuration has only one temperature zone.

More zones are added if the house has

  1. Different direct electrical heating methods or their combinations in different areas,
  2. More than one floor,
  3. Separate area e.g. garage, which is to be controlled individually,
  4. Different areas e.g. a wing, for which different temperature settings are desired.

In practice each temperature zone is heated by one of the following:

  1. Direct electrical heating with wall radiators, non-storing underfloor cable heating or ceiling radiators, or
  2. Storing on partly storing underfloor cable heating.
Who has designed the system?

Our main asset resides in our software. Tens of person-years have been invested in it, starting in Nokia in the early 2000’s. The SW was transferred to Trim when the company was founded in 2009. For the last 10 years the system has been further developed. During that time, the biggest redirection has been to utilize the platform to especially Home Energy Management.

All equipment used in the system have been redesigned in Trim during the last two years. The central unit ThereGate 3.0 represents Trim’s second, and including the Nokia time, in total the third HW generation.

Installation

Shall I be present when the system is installed?

Yes. Somebody must let the installer in the house, since she/he will make connections in your home electrical center. It would also be good that the person present is the future main user of the system. This is because the professional not only installs the system, but also gives you instructions how to use it.

Unfortunately, we have to charge also the unnecessary travel if it would happen that we agree on the date and time, but cannot carry out installation. The amount is specified in our online shop product description for the fixed price installation.

Where is the equipment installed?

Central unit and control relay are installed inside your home electrical center, on its installation rail if it has sufficient space. If not, an additional rail is installed in the center. If even that is not possible, a small installation box with a rail is installed next to the center.

Temperature sensor(s) are placed in a suitable reference place, according to which the temperature of your home is controlled. Sensor is connected with a cable to a nearby normal 220 V wall outlet.

How to use

Do I get fault alarms to my mobile phone?

Yes. System monitors itself with extensive self-diagnostics and tells you in case it finds problems. You can select if you want to get alarms with sms, mail or both.

Do I have to change batteries to the equipment?

Our equipment does not include batteries, so replacing them is not needed. The power is supplied to them as follows:

  1. Equipment in electrical center get their supply from there.
  2. Temperature sensors need a small amount of power to transmit the measurement value with WiFi technology. We have manufactured sensors with batteries, but our customers have not been happy with changing batteries. Today our sensors are simply connected to a normal wall 220 V power outlet.
Do I need operating instructions?

No, you do not. It is simple to use the system with either a smart phone, tablet or pc. The installer gives you instructions when the equipment is installed to your home. You can also manage possible problem situations with system alarms. Or if not, by contacting our customer support.

What does the phone user interface look like?

Our website homepage contains almost all features of our user interface. Details such as colors and logos depend on the retailer from whom you bought the system. The displays on our website are shown in There colors, which you will get if you buy the system from our online shop.

Phone, tablet or PC, which one should I use?

It does not matter. Choose the one you want to use. Our user interface adapts automatically to different size displays.

For remote use, it may after all be worth to learn to use the system at least with a smart phone. Sometimes you may want to modify your living calendar while on the move. For example, to tell the system that you will arrive at home or your summer house earlier than planned.

Android, iPhone or Windows, which one should I have?

No difference, any of them. Our user interface supports all most usual operating systems.

How do I adjust my room thermostats?
  1. With direct electrical heating, all wall radiator or room thermostats are set one or two degrees higher than the temperature you want in the room. The temperature is then controlled with the temperature sensor(s) of the system. The above setpoint adjustment is done so that if there would be malfunction in some equipment, you would still have the desired temperature in your rooms, in fact a bit higher.

  2. With underfloor waterborne heating, room or radiator thermostats are not tampered. They regulate the temperature as before. The system only regulates warm water tank heating. The temperature sensor connected to the system is only used for indicating the measured temperature in the user interface.

Installer makes all above thermostat settings when configuring the system.

Expansion possibilities

Door, window, motion detectors – can I connect them to the system?

Yes. We test and add continuously new WiFi/MQTT compatible sensors. Our SW is already set up for that. It has extensive smart home functionality, allowing configuration of sensors and their logics.

System can e.g. be configured to send an SMS alarm when a sensor is activated. Or, equally well, an audible alarm, lights etc. can be turned on. One more sophisticated example could be turning on your yard lights, when a smart phone of one of your family members arrives in your WiFi network. And so on.

Configuring logics is simple from the installation user display and needs no system changes. A skilled user can do it her/himself.

Electrical Vehicle EV charging, can you control it?

Sure. All you need is a wireless control relay you can find in our online shop. The charging logic is usually configured so that you tell how many hours you want to charge your EV and the system selects the cheapest hours for you. Logic can be configured easily from the installation user interface. It does not require any changes to the system.

Air-to-air heat pump, can you control it?

Sure. A wireless controller is available in our online shop. It receives automatic control commands from the gateway, and transmits them with infrared to your air-to-air heat pump, just like your present IR remote controller. After you have our controller, you no longer need your old one.

The controller is configured easily to the system, like an additional temperature sensor. No changes are needed.

What air-to-air heat pump manufacturers do you support?

At the moment we support heat pumps from following manufacturers: Daikin, Fujitsu, Gree, Hitachi, LG, Mitsubishi, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Panasonic, Ultimate. The list is updated continuously.

Solar power PV system, can you control it?

Sure. All you need is a three-phase current meter and a control relay. The charging logic is usually configured so that loads e.g. warm water boiler or EV charging are connected when PV production is available. Logic can be configured easily from the installation user interface. It does not require any changes to the system.

Electricity & internet connections

Do I have to make a new electricity contract?

No. You do not, if your electricity contract is already (spot) hourly-prized. With direct electrical heating even that is not necessary, but in order to get all the benefits of the system, we recommend you to make a spot-priced electrical contract. About half of the benefits comes with the hourly priced electricity. The second half comes by reducing temperature while you are not at home, or when you sleep.

With waterborne floor heating you do not get benefits from the system, unless you have a spot electricity contract.

From where do I buy electricity?

It does not matter. You can buy electricity from any company you want. For example, our power company partners are happy to make you a spot-price offer. You can find their contact information on our pages.

Do I have to have an hourly priced (spot) electricty contract?

With direct electrical heating that is not necessary, but in order to get all the benefits of the system, we recommend you to make a spot-priced electrical contract. About half of the benefits comes with the hourly priced electricity. The second half comes by reducing temperature while you are not at home, or when you sleep.

With waterborne floor heating you do not get benefits from the system, unless you have a spot electricity contract.

What if I change my electricity company?

No problem. You may at any time change your electricity company even if you use our system. Just remember to tell about the change to the retailer from whom you bought the system.

Do I have to have an internet connection?

Central unit needs a permanent communication connection to our cloud service. There are three ways to do that: 

(1) We recommend that your fixed home broadband connection is used. 

(2) A mobile connection can also be used, but in that case it must be permanently located in your home so that communication is not interrupted. 

(3) If you want, we can sell you a dedicated 4G USB modem and connect it to the central unit. Also that works fine.

What if I have a problem with my internet connection?

No worries. The system is designed to take into account the loss of communication to cloud. First, it sends you an alarm in a way you have specified (either an SMS, or email, or both). Second, the equipment at your home continues to operate as before. It does not receive new electricity prices and temperatures from cloud, but will operate sufficiently well with old values.

NOTE: Most importantly, no failure situation will leave your home without heating. Fault conditions have been designed “fail-safe”, with your heating always on. You just miss the best savings.

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Forerunner in Smart Energy and Demand Response