After February’s destructive winter storm that left many homes, especially in Texas, without power, home energy management has risen to the top of many minds. Maximizing comfort from room to room and choosing the right energy sources (if more than one is available) are jobs that artificial intelligence could remotely manage, according to multinational Schneider Electric, which makes the Square D Energy Center.
The firm’s smart energy system works with window and door sensors, and connected appliances to sense if doors are left open or to determine if it is time to put devices into power-saving mode. The Energy Center is also capable of managing electric vehicle charging, solar panels, and home energy storage, as those energy sources become more available and require management resources to balance efficiency, cost, and up-time. For homebuilders or multi-family developers, such solutions can be built-in to new housing to future-proof those buildings as energy management changes.
Energy panel providers are but one of many parties seeking to manage home electronics and systems. Home security companies, telcos/cablecos, smart home product makers, and electricity providers have all been vying for roles in the smart home of the future. Comcast, AT&T, Cox, ADT, and many other well-known home service providers have offered home automation and security solutions, and a number of energy providers, including Houston-based NRG, offer smart home systems.
According to Interpret’s Smart Home Matrix™ research, however, energy providers are considered by consumers to be the least likely party that can provide an integrated smart home solution. Top-rated are smart speaker manufacturers, with energy providers ranking last.
“Energy providers simply aren’t seen, yet, as technology innovators and must act quickly to find relevancy in a fast-evolving smart home environment,” noted Stuart Sikes, Senior Vice President at Interpret. “With climate change likely to have a big impact on energy distribution and consumption in the next two decades, energy providers have an opportunity to better leverage smart home integration, especially among tech savvy and environmentally conscious consumers.”