How to use the power of data to monitor home energy efficiency

How to use the power of data to monitor home energy efficiency

How to use the power of data to monitor home energy efficiency

Smart home gadgets do more than just turn your lights on and off or play your favorite music when you wake up. They can also help you save energy by showing you how much energy you’re using and how you’re using it. Smart home devices can give you the information you need to make smart choices to save energy and money.

Everyone is feeling the pinch of rising energy costs. According to one report, more than 75% of Americans worry about their ability to pay their utility or electricity bills. Economists say consumers should expect their electricity bills to continue to rise.

You need information to make smart choices about how to save energy in your home. Data is power. Here’s how to start.

Smart plug-and-play

Start with a smart plug equipped with an energy meter. Choose a device, plug in a smart plug and start monitoring your energy consumption. It’s that simple to start taking control of your energy expenditure.

For less than $30, a smart plug can collect data about your energy usage and let you control lighting, heating, or any other connected electrical device. For example, you can plug in a standard heater and you can turn it on and off from anywhere via an app on your phone, and the process is very user-friendly.

Shelly Plus Plug United States

Smart plugs with energy meters provide real-time energy consumption data and work with voice assistants, such as Amazon Echo. You’ll see easy-to-read bar graphs on the smart plug app showing how many watts a device is using at any given time.

You will want to download the data using a PC to keep records of your energy usage. You can use an electricity bill calculator to get an idea of ​​how much you spend on energy for each appliance.

What to measure and why

You’ll want to plan what to measure over a period of time. Smart devices collect data about your habits and give you the information you need to decide when to set your timers to take advantage of off-peak hours.

Air conditioning and heating are the areas where homeowners see their biggest expenses. A water heater is an energy-intensive appliance. In an average home, water heating is responsible for about 20% of total energy consumption.

However, connecting your water heater to a smart device allows you to measure how much energy it uses. It also allows you to turn off the water heater while you are on vacation. If you can calculate how much energy you use to heat water, you’ll have the information you need to improve your efficiency and lower your bills.

According to the United States Energy Information Administration, one of the main uses of electricity is cooling with fans and air conditioning. You can monitor how much energy you’re using to cool your home and identify when you’re using the most energy. You’ll know when to adjust temperatures to suit your habits and how long it takes to cool your home.

Based on the information you’ve gathered on your smart device, you can set a routine to adjust the temperature when you leave the house so you don’t waste air conditioning or heating all day. Everything can be set on a timer to turn back on before you get home so the temperature is nice and comfortable when you arrive.

Your refrigerator is another important device that you can monitor. this data over time can help you decide when and if it’s time to upgrade to a more energy-efficient model. You can monitor how much power you use on your toys, such as game systems or an AV receiver (AVR) if you have a home theater. In terms of lighting, most bulbs sold today are LEDs, which consume at least 75% less energy and last 25% longer than incandescent bulbs.

You can compare power consumption before installing a smart device and after. For example, let’s say you track your water heater’s energy usage over three months with the smart device. Then make adjustments based on this information for three months. You will start to see if there is a return on investment or if you need to make further changes.

Knock out vampire power

Vampire or standby power consumes power even when your devices are not in use. It is estimated that these energy vampires can account for up to 20% of your monthly energy bill.

Everything from your TV to your coffee maker uses electrical current, even when they’re not turned on if they’re still plugged in. When your cell phone is not charging, chances are you have left the charging cord plugged in, resulting in power leakage. . One or two appliances or appliances might not seem like a lot, but with a whole house full of electronics, it adds up. A 2009 McKinsey & Company study found that Americans spend $130 billion a year on wasted energy.

Shelly's range of smart relay products for measuring and controlling energy efficiency.

Shelly smart relay products monitor energy efficiency and control power consumption of devices and appliances.

To identify phantom devices, perform a power inventory using the information you have gathered from your smart device. Once you know where the vampire energy is coming from, make adjustments.

A simple solution that can help reduce vampire power is to use power strips, including smart power strips. Power strips can cut power to various devices simultaneously – essentially, unplugging them when not needed.

You can also schedule smart devices to send push notifications to alert you when your power usage is higher than normal. If you accidentally forgot something when you’re away from home, a smart device can trigger a notification. A few changes can help reduce vampire energy consumption.

Make a detailed diet plan

Knowing your energy consumption can lead to considerable savings on your electricity bill. Start with a smart plug with energy monitoring capabilities to examine specific devices and appliances one by one. But smart home automation is a journey, and there are affordable options when you’re ready to take energy monitoring to the next level.

Monitoring your whole home with a whole-home power monitoring solution can start to improve efficiency. Some devices cost as little as $150, plus the cost of having the device professionally installed in your electrical panel. With just one device, you can see your total power usage throughout your home on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

An electrician has integrated a smart device into his home. Within 20 minutes, he was able to collect data that showed him where standby power was wasted and used real-time power consumption to identify 618 watts of power used as he drove off to work.

With this information, he discovered that there were a few phantom fans and devices left on. Disabling these devices resulted in a 40% drop in his energy consumption outside the home.

Tax breaks for energy efficiency

Starting this year, homeowners can get new tax credits and rebates to make their homes more energy efficient. The Cut Inflation Act offers tax credits of 30% – up to $1,200 a year – and can also pay up to $150 for a home energy audit that can assess energy consumption. energy of your home.

You can start with a plug-and-play device that monitors your power, then dive a little deeper with smarter outlets or a whole-home monitoring solution. From there, you can make smart choices about when to use your appliances and how to reduce phantom drains. Otherwise, you’re just guessing.

It’s not just about saving money; it’s about being a good steward of the planet. The energy savings information you collect will help you make decisions to increase energy efficiency and reduce your carbon footprint. Data is power.


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