Energy management: time to get smart

With the global climate in crisis, whatever motivates us to use our cars less, turn the heating down a notch or switch the lights off can only be beneficial. And there is good news – a rapid growth in the number and range of smart devices that can help us all reduce energy usage in our homes and workplaces.

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For reasons that are well documented, energy prices have skyrocketed over the past 18 months or so. There have been some welcome reductions here and there – petrol and diesel prices have fallen, although they’re still a lot higher than they used to be. Summer, too, makes us a bit less reliant on energy than we are in colder seasons. But it seems safe to assume that high energy prices are here to stay.

 

This may be a discussion for another forum, but it could be argued that these price rises are a good thing. With the global climate in crisis, whatever motivates us to use our cars less, turn the heating down a notch or switch the lights off can only be beneficial. And there is good news – a rapid growth in the number and range of smart devices that can help us all reduce energy usage in our homes and workplaces. This saves us money and – let’s not mince words – helps to safeguard our future.

 

Here are just a few examples.

 

 

Smart meters


Starting with the basics, you probably already have a smart meter installed. If you don’t, until the end of 2025 your gas and electricity supplier will supply and fit one for you, for free – all you have to do is ask! Smart meters won’t automatically reduce your energy usage, but they will allow you to monitor what you’re spending, in real time. Watching those numbers tick over can be a sobering experience.

 

 

Smart lighting


Monitoring your energy use might persuade you to invest in some smart plugs and smart light bulbs. A smart plug is a small Wi-Fi-enabled power adapter that plugs into a regular wall socket and controls the flow of electricity to connected devices, typically things like TVs, computers, and table lamps – devices that draw power over long periods rather than in short bursts. Once set up, you can control a smart plug from a companion app on your phone or tablet, or from a smart speaker or display.

 

Similarly, smart light bulbs can be paired with smart speakers, smartphones and other mobile devices via Wi-Fi, offering ‘from-anywhere’ control. You can turn them off and on from wherever you are, at home or about and about. Also, in common with other ‘next-gen’ light bulbs (and not at all coincidentally), smart bulbs are up to 80% more efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs, and last much longer too.

 

 

Smart timing


You can reduce your energy usage further by installing smart motion sensors, which will turn the lights and heating on when a room is occupied, and off when it isn’t. Old-fashioned motion detectors tended to be a bit of a blunt instrument – useful for detecting intruders or opening doors, but a bit unforgiving in domestic settings (stay still at your peril). Smart motion sensors are much more intuitive. No need to keep dancing about to keep the lights on!

 

 

Smart heating

 

While not in our sphere of expertise, traditional thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) remain an excellent way of reducing your central heating costs. But there’s a new kid on the block, which does fall within our purview. Smart TRVs can cut your heating bills still further. Controlled remotely via a smartphone app, Smart TRVs allow you to control the temperature of individual rooms much more precisely. Pair them up with an energy-efficient smart thermostat, and you can set up an energy-saving heating system that runs completely by itself.

 

 

Smart security


With all this, there is one note of caution. Because these smart products are connected to your home’s Wi-Fi network, hackers can use them to infiltrate your network and steal personal information. If you want to go the smart route (and there are plenty of reasons why you should), make sure your internet security is kept up to date.

 

 

Smart investment


The key takeaway from all this: w
hen in doubt – AUTOMATE. Investing in smart technology (not all of which is expensive) will enable you to get on with life, secure in the knowledge that you’re doing what you can for the planet and your pocket. Excel Electrical will be happy to advise you on what’s available (products featured here, and others), carry out your installation, and instruct you in how to get the best from your new gadgetry. Get smart – and free up your own personal bandwidth.

 

To find out more, call us today on 01508 488007 or email enquiries@excelelectrical.co.uk.

 

Excel Electrical – the power is in your hands.

 

 

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