Energy automation: Levelling up smart homes of tomorrow

By Cathrine Hosking 3 weeks ago
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In recent years smart homes have evolved to provide comfort, entertainment, efficiency and ease of use to homeowners throughout New Zealand. However, new developments mean that smart homes are now integrating energy automation into systems already in place, enabling users to have a home that maximises energy use and reduces their carbon footprint.

Why does clean energy matter?

Clean energy, otherwise known as renewable energy, generally refers to energy sources or solutions that create less pollution, are more sustainable and are better for our natural environment. Examples of clean energy sources are hydroelectricity via turbines, geothermal heating or electricity, wind turbines, bioenergy from biological sources, solar energy, and marine energy from waves and tides.

Solar power is currently most common way to incorporate renewable energy into your home. However, smart home integrators and providers are beginning to incorporate not only hardware elements but energy automation software into their offerings, advancing the possibilities of clean energy for people in New Zealand and beyond.

Smart homes and clean energy

Tools and services designed to boost energy efficiency and sustainability in the home have existed for years, however in recent times these tools have begun to be integrated with smart homes to create a holistic system that significantly increases benefits and functionality.

In smart homes of the future, solar and storage energy is incorporated to enhance how energy is used, and communication between devices provides key data points and the means to measure, control and manage energy. Smart software works to understand a home and the unique way it is used, bringing in elements such as load shedding, shaping energy use, using more or less energy on peak or off peak times, and coordinating regular power from the utility-managed electrical grid with alternative energy sources such as solar power. In addition, new energy-focused features can incorporate intelligent energy storage and usage with backup batteries and fail-safe options.

Energy as part of a total system

When integrated with existing intelligent systems, energy becomes another key feature to be accessed and controlled from the central touchscreen panel of a smart home. Homeowners have access to information about their energy consumption and can manage their energy usage as they would their lighting, music, security and other home elements.

At present, energy automation is said to best suit homeowners who are concerned about climate change and renewable or clean energy sources, as well as homeowners who are interested in having a robust energy system in place that will continue to function during unexpected outages and power failures. However, dubbed a ‘dynamic new category’, it represents a great opportunity to anyone wanting to become more conscious of how their home functions and invest in their future.

Developers and integrators such as Crestron are helping to advance this new feature, and in coming years it is expected that energy automation will enable the smart home to improve the lives of not only those living there but the community as a whole, and bring true value in the form of energy savings, a greater use of renewable over non-renewable energy, and greater awareness of how we can maximise the use of our resources without sacrificing comfort or ease of use.

smart home energy automation panel at cedia

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