Sustainable smart homes could be a reality for consumers within the next 10 years according to Schneider Electric. Today, the firm has unveiled its blueprint for the Sustainable Home of the Future at IFA 2020 and launches a range of new smart home energy solutions under its Wiser brand.
The new products, Power Tag, Acti9 Active and the efficient room-by-room Temperature Control system can be easily and inexpensively fitted into people’s existing homes and controlled via a single app, representing a significant step forward on the path to sustainable houses.
Residential housing is set to become the biggest consumer of electricity globally. EV charging, the electrification of heat, and increased occupancy as more people work from home will see consumers’ electricity consumption dramatically increase over the next ten years. Smart efficient energy management will be more important than ever to ensure homes are sustainably powered and intelligent enough to optimise their own energy needs, without compromising on comfort.
Smart homes just got sustainable
The new additions to Schneider Electric’s Wiser range of smart home products mark a significant step forward in its plans to create affordable, sustainable, energy efficient, safe and personalised homes. The new products promise to increase safety, while giving consumers more insights on their energy usage and the corresponding impact in CO2 emissions. Thanks to AI and Machine Learning based predictions, consumers have the potential to reduce energy consumption and electrical heating costs by up to 50%, as well as predict solar production trends (future release).
Be smarter with power
The Power Tag sensor is one of three products in the enhanced Wiser ecosystem of smart sustainable products being introduced at IFA 2020.
The Power Tag is a simple ‘plug and play’ sensor for your electric panel (suitably designed to retrofit older properties affordably). Alongside the Wiser range, it enables homeowners to track energy consumption room by room and crucially, it tells you how this energy is being used, not just how much is consumed. Occupants can set monthly energy consumption targets, receiving an alert if the Wiser system predicts that target will be exceeded, enabling people to reduce usage and avoid bill-shock.
A future product feature will add an extra level of analytics provided by the sensor, which will also help homeowners monitor their consumption in terms of CO2 emissions to better understand their carbon footprint. For electric vehicle owners, it can advise when the best time to charge your car may be, for example, when the tariff is lowest or excess solar power is available. Consumers with solar panels can also maximise their use by monitoring their own solar energy production levels. Solar users can maximise their use of renewable energy and ensure their panels are working effectively, improving their carbon footprint even further.
The second innovation is the Acti9 Active, bringing improved safety and power reliability into homes. Does your TV or internet connection cut out when there’s a storm? Are there too many loads on the electrical outlet behind the TV when your children are playing video games? Or are you living in one of the many aging properties across Europe with outdated electrical infrastructure? The Acti9 Active will notify you when faults such as overloading or corrosion or detected, allowing you to fix any issues before they become major problems. This form of active prevention brings much needed peace of mind to homeowners.
The third piece of the smart ecosystem revealed today is the efficient Temperature Control system that controls room temperature so accurately, powered by AI and machine learning, helping reduce energy bills by up to 50% without compromising on comfort. Its unique room-by-room control feature allows you to manage your heating systems more efficiently by accurately estimating the heating characteristics per room, rather than for the whole home. A second feature that will soon be added is ‘open window detection’. If a window is left open, the heating will be paused, a notification sent to the user, and it will wait to resume heating until the window is shut. The benefits of both these features are two-fold; make significant savings on your electricity bill and reduce your climate impact.