• Schneider Electric's Chris Kerr.
    Schneider Electric's Chris Kerr.

Vice president of home & distribution at Schneider Electric, Chris Kerr, explains how smart technology can drastically reduce energy use.

Upgrading an average house from a 1-star rating to a 3-star rating can reduce energy consumption by 30 per cent and decrease power bills.

Utilising smart technology is one way that households can begin to reduce household bills as well as reducing their carbon footprint. 

In fact, our latest global consumer survey revealed that 75 per cent of Australians adapted to using less energy over winter, with reducing energy bills being the top reason why.

Some 40 per cent of Australians now consider smart homes as an easy and affordable way to reduce energy bills, in addition to improving convenience.

Although voice assistants and smart lighting are still the top two most popular smart devices according to the research (26% and 21% respectively), it is no surprise that the popularity of smart devices related to energy use is growing year-on-year as many look to make homes more sustainable.

Smart devices have clearly emerged as key ‘tools’ in the quest for energy efficiency thanks to the convenience and connectivity they offer. Smart lighting might be an easy first hurdle to tackle when trying to claw back savings, yet there are plenty of options that are more effective. 

While it’s great that people want to make changes and reduce their energy consumption, the result will only be truly impactful if they can identify the areas in which they’re overspending. 

Smart energy monitors can track real-time electricity usage, providing useful advice on the best way to reduce energy use and enhance the energy efficiency of appliances, and help homeowners make more informed choices about how and when they use devices.

This could range from spotting an older appliance that is over-consuming energy and needs replacing, or unnecessary activities during peak hours that cost more. 

With all of us adding new electrical devices to our homes and using electricity for our heating and hot water supply, it is important that we manage the additional load in the best way possible.

A home energy management solution (HEMS) will bring together not just your heating, but also other electrical devices to manage these all more efficiently – this includes everything from your water tank and pool pump through to EV chargers. 

Thanks to the automation a HEMS can offer, larger electrical loads can be shifted to run and consume energy during the times of day when the tariffs are cheapest, helping you to save money. 

There is no doubt that smart technology is having a great impact on our daily lives and the running of our homes, as it empowers us to take control of our energy consumption.

Ultimately, the biggest energy savings will be made in the areas in your home where you are consuming the most, so smart technology related to these larger loads – such as heating and EV charging – are the ones to prioritise when looking to integrate new smart tech.