Connected Homes Help Users Save Energy and Money
The ability to reduce energy consumption and save on the monthly bill is one of the best rated benefits that owning a connected home offers. For European consumers, in fact, energy saving is the second most important feature in a home management solution, just behind security, which is their primary concern. Also, companies like Nest report a very high interest in energy efficiency among consumers: its thermostat is, at present, its best-selling device. In light of these results, it is clear that service providers should really place the focus on energy saving if they aim to raise their offering’s value and help educate consumers about connected living benefits.
According to research, installing a connected home solution could help a homeowner reduce up to 10 percent their electric power consumption. But how do smart, internet-connected devices actually help save money on the monthly bill? There is not a single, straightforward way to achieve this, it is rather the combination of several devices and appliances talking to each other and creating different scenarios what works the magic of a much more energy efficient home that both helps save money and the environment.
One of the best places to begin would be by installing a smart thermostat. Nest estimated that their smart thermostat can help an average user save up to 13 percent in their energy bill, about $138 a year. How? Most homes have very inefficient temperature-adjustment systems that waste a lot of energy uselessly heating or cooling the entire house, whether it is occupied or not. These systems have to be manually operated, and cannot be remotely managed, so it is easy to forget to turn them off when leaving the house, resulting into great energy waste. Since the largest expense in a home’s energy bill is that related with regulating heating and cooling (almost a 25 percent of the total amount), installing a device that will automatically adjust the temperature to the weather conditions or the user’s specific needs will help save a lot of money at the end of the month. Smart thermostat can even be programmed by zone, so as not to waste energy in unoccupied areas of the house. Plus, they can be managed from the smartphone and allow to remotely verify that everything has been turned off when away from home, solving the typical ‘I think I forgot to turn off the air conditioner’, when arriving to the airport for a family vacation.
But a smart thermostat works best when combined with motion sensors, which allow to avoid heating or cooling empty rooms. The combination of smart thermostats and motion detectors works so well that some home insurance and electric companies are willing to offer discounts and advantages to customers who use them, and are beginning to explore different rebates and freebies programs to encourage users to install connected home devices at home.
Smart lighting, with smart switches and dimmers also play an important role in energy saving at home. They allow to remotely turn the lights on and off, or to schedule them to switch on at a specific time, or even when the sun sets, adjusting the timing to seasonal changes. They also make it possible to automatically disconnect the electronic devices and appliances when not in use, to help save energy.
Smart technologies can make a home much more energy efficient, and that efficiency will reflect itself on the energy bill. In the long run, the regular use of a connected home solution will not only amortize its own cost, but even render profit in the form of savings, and that is a very powerful incentive for consumers, who expect solutions that offer them real, tangible benefits. Bear in mind that most consumers still do not know what a connected home is, or how it can help improve their lives. It is the responsibility of service providers and other companies that are pioneering the connected living market to help raise consumer awareness about these benefits and advantages, to prove that the solutions they offer can really make a difference in their lives. This will reinforce the product’s value, emphasize the total cost of ownerships and make consumers willing to pay for them.
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