Home automation is the process of setting devices in the home to work according to a schedule or in otherwise predictable ways. It can be put into action for a variety of reasons (such as home security or energy efficiency) using a range of technologies (such as simple timers or smart plugs).
Although a home energy management system (HEMS) is not strictly necessary to automate a home, it definitely makes the process easier and promises better outcomes than a piecemeal approach. Increasingly affordable, interactive and versatile, HEMS like carbonTRACK are the future of home automation everywhere.
Throughout the course of the day, devices in your home use different amounts of electricity at different times. If you’re like most people, you probably have little idea about which devices tend to use the most energy, or when they use it – never mind whether they’re being put to optimal use from an energy-efficiency and money-saving perspective.
Home automation begins with a high degree of energy awareness. Anyone interested in home automation should first gain insight into their energy consumption behaviour. An energy monitoring system may be able to deliver these insights via its user interface (usually in the form of an app or web portal), but a good HEMS will offer the same – plus the ability to take control as well.
Armed with their insights, homeowners can program operating schedules for each device, or take manual action to ensure that devices in the home are being used in the most effective way possible. This usually means minimising unnecessary energy use, or making the most of solar & battery energy when available. Additionally, some HEMS (including carbonTRACK) may also deploy machine learning to make the automation process even more automatic and efficient.
In the ideal situation, home automation delivers energy bill savings and a reduced environmental footprint with little fuss on the part of the homeowner.
While most interest in home automation is sparked by concern over energy costs, security and convenience can also be a focus. As a security-related example, a homeowner may opt to set lights or even a television on a timer while on holidays to deter would-be thieves. with regard to convenience, a homeowner might put their kettle on a timer to have hot water ready every morning at 8am.
Generally speaking, it is possible to achieve both security and convenience goals by purchasing devices with timing functionality built in, or even to purchase timers that sit between the device and wall socket. However, a good home energy management system should enable the homeowner to achieve their security and convenience goals as a bonus to energy bill savings – and all at a reasonable price.
So if you’re looking to automate your home only for security and convenience, it may be worthwhile to take a step back and consider installing a full-fledged HEMS instead of buying devices one at a time – in the end, you’re likely to save more money.
Home automation is a great way to: