As energy costs continue to rise, consumers are becoming more and more interested in ways to reduce and monitor their energy consumption. This trend presents an enormous opportunity for technology professionals who are already working in the home.
According to Parks Associates, 60 percent of U.S. households will have energy management technologies by 2022.
As a security professional you may not be ready to start installing and automating a full-blown energy management system. However, there are some areas of opportunity to start offering new options to your clientele.
HVAC is the biggest consumer of energy, accounting for more than 50 percent of the average home’s energy cost. Programmable thermostats offer consumers a way to manage and automate their HVAC system. Many solutions in today’s market offer consumers multiple control options including accessing and controlling their system from a mobile device. These new technologies offer an ease of use to the customer and they are a simple solution for the installer to integrate with the system.
LED lighting is emerging as the top choice for helping consumers reduce their lighting-related energy costs. The LED market is showing growth: many utility companies are even offering rebates to customers who switch from traditional lights to LED lights. This may be just the cost benefit clients need to consider LED lighting. CEDIA offers several resources to help you bolster your LED education: an archived webinar and a white paper.
The free archived webinar, “LED Lighting: 5 Things You Should Never Forget,” will walk you through the LED lighting basics you should be familiar with before starting. This webinar is available anytime at www.cedia.org/education/instructor_archive.php. The LED Dimming white paper discusses available lamp types and their characteristics (such as dimming range), different power sources (external or internal drivers), and performance, as well as LED dimmers. The LED Dimming white paper is available free to CEDIA members; non-members may purchase a copy through the CEDIA Marketplace at www.cedia.org/marketplace.
One way to gauge your customer’s interest in energy management solutions is to offer an energy audit. An energy audit analyzes the energy flow in the home and determines factors that could be affecting the amount of energy consumed. By offering a free energy audit, you can learn about the opportunity, gauge their interest, and practice your sales skills. CEDIA offers a free archived webinar that can guide you through the basics of offering energy audits. This webinar also can be viewed at www.cedia.org/education/instructor_archive.php.
Energy Monitoring Systems
The best way to help your clients better understand their energy consumption is to install an energy monitoring system. These systems allow your clients to see how much energy their home uses in real time and get an estimate of their energy bill before the bill arrives. Many studies have shown that consumers can reduce their electric bills between 5 percent and 15 percent with real-time whole-house energy monitoring. The simplest of these systems provides information on whole-house electric consumption, while more advanced versions also include circuit-level and appliance level energy information, real-time e-mail and text message alerts, and even monitoring of water and natural gas consumption. Programmable thermostats, LED lighting, lighting control, energy audits, and energy monitoring systems serve as an entry point for security professionals to start crossing over into the energy management market.
If you’re ready to start learning about some of the advanced automation solutions, look into the CEDIA University course, Designing Residential Energy Management Systems, offered at CEDIA EXPO. Learn more at www.cedia.org/expo.
Mark Komanecky is vice president of Sales and Marketing for Eragy, a provider of energy management software applications and services. Before joining Eragy, he was the founder of simpleHome, a large custom electronics integration firm. Komanecky also is an active volunteer for the CEDIA education team.
Original publication: SDM April Print Issue