As winter arrives, bringing with it colder temperatures and shorter days, households across Europe that witnessed record energy prices last year usually consume up to 30% more electricity than in the summer months. The surge of domestic energy consumption is further perpetuated by increased remote work uptake, which lately has become a new norm across the continent. Recently unveiled “HR Bank”, developed by the startup Tukas EV, aims to address both issues and potentially reduce electricity bills by providing access to a reliable source of clean energy for remote workers, eager to compensate for increased energy consumption, and people willing to reduce the strain on the power grid in winter months.
Winter and remote work puts strain on the grid
The return of colder and shorter days in Europe means increased energy demand with the households relying heavily on heating systems and lighting. It was calculated that for every 1°C variation in daily temperatures, electricity demand varies by about 1%. Knowing that fossil fuels account for over 75 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, the fact that gas and coal still comprise 20% and 14% respectively in the EU electricity generation share, poses pertinent questions on how to scale up renewable energy usage.
However, for the past years, the cold weather is not the only culprit of increased domestic energy demand. Remote work, largely introduced during the pandemic, means computers, routers, and other devices are running for the majority of the day in many European households, leading to 16%–117% higher domestic energy demand. On average across the EU, at least 30% of workers regularly worked from home last year. Netherlands and Sweden have the highest share of remote workers in the EU, where 64% and 51% of the workforce work from home. Remote work is here to stay and thus, urgent solutions are needed to tackle the issue of increased domestic energy consumption.
Clean energy and unique way to exercise
The recently introduced exercise bike “HR Bank” appears as a timely innovation allowing households to take control of their energy consumption. The new exercise bike can easily become an ergonomic workstation by attaching a desk and on average can generate from 50 to 300W/h of electricity by pedaling. One hour of pedaling is enough to fully charge a laptop, while merely 7 minutes of physical exercise is enough to keep the Wi-Fi router on for 1 hour. The generated energy can be stored in a battery of 2 kWh, the amount of electricity that is enough to make 150 cups of coffee. Most importantly, energy can be generated not only by pedaling but also from solar panels, wind power, the electricity grid, or a car generator.
“HR Bank” not only provides renewable energy to households but also offers a unique and motivating way to exercise and stay fit during more sedentary winter months. Aurelijus Jaškulis, COO of Tukas EV and one of the creators of “HR Bank”, said that exercising while simultaneously cutting down on non-renewable energy consumption helps to raise awareness in times when people waste countless amounts of energy.
“Natural resources are extremely limited. HR Bank is a sustainable way of generating energy that not only takes care of one's health but also provides psychological and material rewards, at the same time contributing to a greener planet. The energy generated by the “HR Bank” enables people living even in apartments to generate their own energy without putting a strain on the electricity grid, raising awareness of energy use. The HR bank also can become an ergonomic workstation, creating a healthier and more balanced remote work experience. The stationary bike that is made from recycled and sustainable materials is fully customizable: the steering wheel, seat, tilt angle, and other parameters can be adjusted to fit the user's preferences and capabilities.”