Could you estimate how much your electricity bill will be for the next billing period? Are you happy with how much it will cost? Do you know what you could do to reduce it?
If you answered ‘no’ to the above questions, you could be energy blind. Energy blindness occurs when someone has a limited or no understanding of their home energy profile. That is, they don’t know when and how electricity is being used at home.
When we had fewer appliances, and electricity was cheaper, this wasn’t such a problem. But these days, people are really feeling the pinch. For many people, paying for electricity is not just one of the bills, it’s THE bill they dread receiving most.
That’s because it’s not like a phone bill, where you’re on a plan or buy credit and you know exactly how much it will be and can budget for it. In fact, it’s completely different from most bills because it can vary wildly from month to month. Unless you can see how energy is being used in your home, it’s really difficult to predict how much that bill will be.
Energy blindness is extremely common, and many people don’t even realise that they’re suffering from it. They also don’t know that there are simple and cost effective tools that they can use to reduce or completely overcome their energy blindness.
Lift the blinds on energy in your home.
An EMS is like ice-cream. If you’d never tasted it then you wouldn’t know what you’re missing out on. But once you do, you life is transformed. You don’t know how you ever lived without it before.
Likewise, when you first experience having a real and comprehensible understanding into your energy use at home, you will feel empowered. You can tackle the previously insurmountable challenge of cutting your electricity bills.
You no longer have to rely on guesswork! You can see the impact of turning off the heater, or the air-con, or the clothes dryer when it actually happens!
A recent Solar Choice article took a look at the ‘energy awareness factor’ in energy bill savings. The working hypothesis they was that if households know what they’re using on a daily or moment-by-moment basis then they’re more likely to take action to correct their behaviour than if they had no such insights.
An EMS is the key to improving your energy awareness factor.
Here are four essential features every home energy management (HEMS) system should come equipped with:
You should be able to log into your HEMS’ user interface (usually a web browser or smartphone app) from anywhere and see what devices are one and using energy in your home. For example: Did you accidentally leave the heating on? Did you forget to turn on the dishwasher? A HEMS should also allow you to view historic data to identify trends, changes and opportunities for improvement.
In addition to allowing you to see what’s happening with regard to energy in your home, you should also be able to take action, manually turning devices on and off or automating their operation with timers or algorithms. Furthermore, you should be able to take these actions from anywhere with an internet connection.
Your HEMS should tell you the story of your energy usage in a way that you would not have otherwise been able to work out. For example, what devices in your home are drawing power on standby when you’re not home? Are you running your air conditioner or heater more than necessary? Are any older devices in your home accounting for a disproportionately large portion of your energy bills – and may need replacing? A HEMS should be able to help you answer these questions – and more.
A home energy management system will allow you to monitor and manage not only the energy that you use, but also the energy that you generate (and store), in the most cost-effective way possible. Your HEMS should know whether it will save you the most to pull energy from the grid, your batteries, or directly from your solar panels when the sun is shining.
If you don’t have solar or batteries, your HEMS should be able to help you to size up a system that is well-suited to your needs and budget – after helping you to identify and eliminate inefficiencies within your home.
Australian residential customers are paying the highest electricity prices in the world. A recent article by Ben Potter in the Australian Financial Review explained that Australians are currently forking out two to three times more than American households when it comes to energy bills.
But you don’t have to be. You can raise your energy awareness with a carbonTRACK home Energy Management System. Our customers reduce their electricity bills by 30% on average. That’s the difference between being Energy Blind and Energy Aware.