The phrase “home automation” probably doesn’t make you automatically think of energy savings. In fact, you’d probably think automating your home would use more energy. But, you’d be wrong. The fact is, home automation can actually save you a great deal of energy and therefore money.
Another term that has become somewhat synonymous with home automation is smart home. This is because home automation regulates the energy use in your house by only turning things on and off when they are in use. There are also home automation products that measure how much electricity an item uses or how much electricity your whole household uses. Many electric companies offer lower rates during off-peak hours (like nights and weekends) and you can use these tools to determine how much you are paying at a given time.
Most people don’t realize that many appliances and electronics continue to use energy even after they are turned off. They go into standby mode when switched off and create what’s known as a “phantom load” which can add up to 8% to your electricity bill. Luckily, there are home automation products that detect when you have turned an item off and completely cut power to a device so it stops drawing electricity.
Automating your entire home can be very expensive, so if you only automate one part of your home, focus on the lighting. The International Energy Agency says that 19% of global electricity generation is taken for lighting. If everyone switched to efficient lighting systems, it would reduce the world’s electricity bill by one tenth. To maximize your lighting’s energy efficiency, use compact fluorescent light bulbs and LEDs with an occupancy sensor in each room. The occupancy sensor will detect when there is no one in a room and automatically turn the lights off.
Going green by automating your home (whether entirely or just specific items) is a very easy process and while it can be expensive, the energy you’ll save will help offset the cost.