TheEarlybirds’ COLONY model

The TheEarlybirds models allow one to make concrete choices in the transition to a fossil-free built environment.
The COLONY model calculates what is optimal individually and collectively for an entire district or neighborhood.

A neighborhood has many birds

For TheEarlybirds, a bird colony is a model for a district: different birds nest close to each other. The district consists of different buildings: detached, stacked and terraced houses, but also schools and care facilities. And every address handles energy differently, now and after a heat transition.

TheEarlybirds have developed their COLONY model to determine the best way for the neighborhoods to undergo a heat transition. It calculates optimal heating solutions for each address and for the district as a collective.

How does it work?

In an interactive and most visual way, the COLONY model provides all stakeholders in the district’s heat transition – the residents, building owners, a housing corporation, the network operator, the municipality, an energy corporation, the district water board and heat suppliers – an insight into financial driven choices made per address.

In this way, we develop together with you a strategy to get districts and neighborhouds fossil-free with the most optimal measures.

The COLONY model provides an insight (for example) per each address:

  • the optimal combination of energy label and heating technology,
  • whether it is attractive to connect your home to the heat network,
  • how many homes will connect to the heat network,
  • what the future energy demand will be and
  • where bottlenecks lie in the electricity grid.
The COLONY model can be viewed online. Ask for a demo.

How does it work?

In an interactive and most visual way, the COLONY model provides all stakeholders in the district’s heat transition – the residents, building owners, a housing corporation, the network operator, the municipality, an energy corporation, the district water board and heat suppliers – an insight into financial driven choices made per address.

In this way, we develop together with you a strategy to get districts and neighborhouds fossil-free with the most optimal measures.

The COLONY model provides an insight (for example) per each address:

  • the optimal combination of energy label and heating technology,
  • whether it is attractive to connect your home to the heat network,
  • how many homes will connect to the heat network,
  • what the future energy demand will be and
  • where bottlenecks lie in the electricity grid.
The COLONY model can be viewed online. Ask for a demo.

For whom?

With the help of the COLONY model, decisions about heating solutions can be made well-considered. It saves stakeholders in neighborhoods and districts money and time. The interests of the various parties (municipality, heat supplier, network operator, residents) become transparent, which makes discussions a lot smoother.

Resident

“Now I know how much I have to insulate and whether it’s best to connect to a heat network.”

Municipality

“Solutions could be communicated more easily to the residents, since there was reasoning from the perspective of the residents.”

“It immediately became clear what the heat scenarios of the neighborhoods (CO2 reduction, energy consumption, type of energy, etc.) affect the objectives of the Regional Eenergy Strategy (RES)”

Electricity utility

“The COLONY model showed us where and when a grid reinforcement is necessary.”

Heat supplier

“The unprofitable top for the heat network became visible through the model, so we have now applied specifically for a subsidy.”

“The risk profile of the heat network could be reduced by improving the feasibility, which benefits the heat price.”

Housing corporation

“We headed for a zero-energy home, but given the pricing of the heat network, a connection to it is more sensible”

Energy cooperative

“By looking together for collective benefits instead of an individual approach, everyone is now better off”

Water board

“We saw an opportunity to use the heat of the water and were able to test that nicely via the COLONY model.”

Building owner

“With the analysis from the NEST model, we knew how to approach the building and we could also see how we were connected to the neighborhood.”

More about COLONY.

The COLONY model can help in various ways in the heat transition of neighborhoods and towns. These videos tell more about it (Dutch).

Related projects

“COLONY is a great instrument to see from a residents’ perspective what collective heating solutions do in relation to individual all-electric variants. This approach fitted in well with the way we are working on the energy transition in Kaag and Braassem. The tooling also helps to to make the task of the energy transition concrete and transparent for those involved. Because of the many different buttons you can turn, you need to think very sharply and carefully about which scenarios you exactly want.”

Guido van Enckevort, sustainablist, municipality of Kaag and Braassem