How a smarter home can save you money
Smart meters have been rolling out in Australia to homes and businesses for the past few years, with Victoria in 2013 and New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland in 2016. This is useful for understanding a consumer’s usage pattern; however, shaping a consumer and their family’s behaviour can be hard.
At the end of the day it boils down to comfort versus savings and if it is manually actioned by the family over time, any behavioural changes tend to wear off and any potential saving is lost.
Another problem with this solution is that data is not available in real time, with updates every 30 minutes to an hour. Luckily technology today can help you gain detailed real time information about your home’s specific usage. Home energy management solutions add value to a customer’s smart home by providing a means to reduce energy consumption. This can be achieved as simply as installing a sensor into the home’s switch board. In doing so, we can now get real time energy usage and generation data into a customer’s smart home.
A smart home can turn off lights and unnecessary devices when they are not in use or if rooms are unoccupied. A smart home can also set back thermostat set points and dim lights to save electricity when required.
Buyback of exported power to the grid is at an all time low of 6 cents in Australia making it not worthwhile to export. In most cases it is better to consume the energy or store the energy for use later on in hot water or in batteries. Automated load control is in my opinion key to savings in these homes. When a home is exporting energy to the grid the smart home should react accordingly and turn on loads based on priority and load consumption to match the exported amount and also by scheduling loads such as electric vehicle charging, heated towel rails and hot water heating we can see immediate savings without impacting on a consumer’s comfort.
In conclusion a smart home isn’t only about making a consumer’s lifestyle more convenient. It is also about making a home more safe, secure and efficient.