Just How Green is the Smart Home Industry?

 

As it becomes more popular, the smart home industry is gaining a reputation for being green and environmentally conscious. Is it all hype, or is it true? Spoiler alert: it’s true.

The amount of energy (and money) homeowners can save from installing certain smart home devices is seemingly endless. In just one year, Americans spent $241 billion on energy. That’s $2,100 for one household per year! With numbers like that, it’s clear why we need to take steps to reduce usage.

So, how is the smart home industry stepping up its energy-savings game?

Reducing the top energy-usage categories.

The first step to reducing your energy usage is to know your output. Do you know the top suspects that are responsible for draining energy and costing you money?

The top two residential energy usage categories are heating and cooling (45%) and lighting and appliances (34%). Let’s dive a little deeper.

Heating and Cooling

For heating and cooling, programmable thermostats are everything. Installing a Nest thermostat alone earns you the potential to save 10-12% on heating bills and 15% on cooling bills per year, which can really add up! This is one of those devices where customers are typically repaid from their investments in a few short months.

Lighting and Appliances

Out of the 34% mentioned above, lighting alones contributes 25%. What’s the smart home industry’s solution to that? Offer countless options for lighting. Whether it’s motion sensors providing light only when it’s needed or light dimmers setting a more appropriate lighting level, the industry has found so many solutions for the excessive lighting problem. And we didn’t even mention automatic light timers or energy-efficient bulbs!

The appliance piece plays a role in this category, too. Let’s take the new Samsung smart refrigerator, for example. Have you seen that yet? If not, check it out here! While it’s easy to become distracted by all the cool tech features, the refrigerator also boasts some sweet savings, as well. A large-scale example of an 8.6 million cubic foot cold storage facility in Pennsylvania shows a savings of $250,000 per year by using dynamic power controls. Need further explanation of how smart refrigerators are impactful? Find out here.

Aside from the usual energy-using suspects, this blog post from Smart With You highlights three more products that conserve energy and make your home smarter.

Increasing energy usage awareness.

As smart home tech becomes more mainstream, more homeowners are becoming aware of their energy usage and the ways in which they can reduce their carbon footprint. Many companies in the industry are contributing to this, as they’re promoting energy conservation (and therefore, money savings) as a main selling point. And it’s working! People are realizing that small changes can make a large impact (and of course, save money, too).

There are a few other factors to consider in the industry’s rise to the mainstream. First, it’s no longer reserved for the wealthy. Smart home tech devices have dropped in price and retailers have begun to carry the products, making them available at more places than just technology stores and more accessible and affordable for average consumers. Another factor to note is social media, which has a way of making us feel like we always need to be connected. Smart home devices feed into that, creating a constant connection between you and your home. Remote control of everything in your home and 24/7 access to any cameras you have set up are all just a part of the appeal.

Increasing integration.

Individual smart home products have the potential for major energy savings when used on their own. But when put together, that potential soars even more. Integrating multiple smart devices allows for increased efficiency without using much more energy. For example, if you’re going to get a smart home system up and running for one device, you can continually add more devices and use the same system for your entire home.

What are your thoughts on the industry’s strides toward a greener smart home? Have you incorporated any of these smart home features and noticed a significant difference in your home’s energy output? We want to hear about your experience. Leave a comment below!

Sources:

Smart Home
Huffington Post
The Guardian
Forbes