This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
[ Technology: Smart homes ]

green agenda I

Driving home the

Homeowners are increasingly looking at ways to make their properties ‘green’, and electrical installations are a good place to start when it comes to making energy savings. Mike Bancroft from Schneider Electric discusses how home automation can play a significant role in going green

t is certainly becoming harder to ignore the Government’s push towards a greener society, particularly with the introduction of various regulations including Energy Per formance

Certificates (EPC). This initiative identifies how energy conscious the home owner is, but in actual fact there are some aspects that haven’t been taken into account that perhaps should have been. One such example is home automation, where comfort can be increased and energy savings can be achieved, which is certainly an attractive solution. In addition, for homeowners who are looking to sell their property in the near future, smart technology can increase its value and make it more appealing.

Comfort can be increased and energy savings can be achieved, which is certainly an attractive solution

52 ECA Today Autumn 2010

Wireless home For existing homes, there are a number of wireless home automation products that are ideal for retrofit projects. Wireless lighting control systems are suitable for most applications, allowing the homeowner to create lighting ambience and mood scenes via either a wall mounted or a remote control. These systems work by sending wireless signals from controllers to wired receiver units, which in turn control light fittings they are connected to. As these controllers are battery operated, communicating with receivers via radio waves allows them to be located anywhere within the home, and moved as and when required. Many systems, including those offered by Schneider Electric, offer an easy installation and are simple to programme. However, for homeowners to get the best from their home automation systems and maximise energy savings, they are likely to need advice and guidance from their installers about how best to utilise the system. One of the most common methods used to reduce

energy is to utilise the different programming options for lighting available, such as time schedule switching, occupancy switching, light level compensation and scene

setting. The most efficient lighting schemes are those that only provide the required level of light and turn off when not needed – something that is easily achievable with smart technology.

Automatic There are a variety of other options that contractors can recommend to homeowners to help them reduce fuel usage and enjoy a more convenient lifestyle. Home automation can be set with welcome home and goodbye modes, which will turn on lights and music when occupied. In addition, integrated heating and cooling using thermostats allows users to set various climate levels in different rooms, with the advantage of switching off when the space is vacant. To ensure the home is as efficient as possible when not in use, goodbye buttons can be set to turn off all non-essential systems, helping to reduce fuel consumption and therefore decreasing utility bills. The energy reductions will depend on the technology

used, but all levels of system will have some impact. Even something as simple as occupancy sensors that turn lights on and off in infrequently used areas of the home, for example bathrooms and hallways, again deliver energy savings. Contractors are well placed to guide homeowners

when it comes to choosing home automation solutions. Standalone devices, lighting control and complete automation systems can all have a role in delivering maximum comfort, while reducing energy consumption. With so many options available, homeowners will welcome advice and guidance when making a decision that will meet their needs and wants.

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72