Energy Savings Features of Automation

Technology savvy homeowners are beginning to see the benefits of using home automation to help save energy by shutting off unnecessary lighting loads, regulating HVAC systems in homes more effectively, and automatically controlling solar gain by utilizing motorized blinds and draperies.

These systems can be programmed to shut the lights off at certain times, shut off electrical components that aren’t being used, regulate temperatures throughout the house, open and close motorized shades, even cut off power to electronics so they don’t use wasteful standby power (vampire loads).

Automated window shades can save up to 10 percent in energy costs. The automation can be based on time of day via an astronomical clock, as well as the amount heat in the room. So, in the summer, if it’s too hot in a room the shades close, keeping the room cool, or in the winter, they open to keep the room warm.

Lighting control can automate lights so they come on when needed, and go off when you don’t need them on. Lights can be programmed to turn on and off at the appropriate time of day and year in order to reduce waste. A typical 3-bedroom home with a properly programmed lighting control system will eliminate over 850 pounds of CO2 emissions each year. The system can be programmed to control the amount of wattage used by light bulbs, which not only saves electricity and reduces energy bills but extends the life of bulbs as well.

Example

Dimmed by This Much:10%25%50%75%
Saves This Much Energy:10%20%40%60%
Extending Bulb Life By:2X Longer4X Longer20X LongerMore Than 20X Longer

Source: The Energy Conservation Enhancement Project at LSU

Programmable occupancy sensors can trigger an “Energy Miser” scene, which shuts off lights and reduces heating and air conditioning when family members leave the room. In addition, the scene shuts off electricity supply to the selected televisions, laser printers and personal computers to eliminate “vampire” energy loads.

Home automation used to be out of reach for the average homeowner but recent advances in technology have driven the costs down considerably.