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IoT, Home Automation Has Potential To Deliver Energy Savings

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) has noted the potential for home automation technology used through the Internet of Things to deliver “substantial energy savings and greenhouse gas emissions reductions” in releasing a new study.

The study found that widespread adoption of home automation products, such as temperature, circuit and lighting control, employed for energy saving purposes, “could collectively avoid up to 100 million tons of CO2 emissions and reduce total residential primary energy consumption by as much as 10 per cent”, the CTA stated.

“This research proves the innovation consumer technology delivers into our hands and homes through the Internet of Things can significantly reduce our carbon footprint – whether that’s the household energy we use on our own or the carbon emissions our country produces,” Gary Shapiro, CTA president and CEO, commented.

“With the touch of a screen or button, we can control and manage our homes more easily and effectively than ever – from virtually anywhere in the world – and enjoy all the cost savings and environmental benefits consumer technology offers.”

Overall US technical energy savings potential from several individual approaches ranges from 0.3 to 1.1 quadrillion BTUs (quads) of primary energy consumption, according to the study, or from 1-5 per cent of total residential primary energy consumption, with connected thermostats, HVAC zoning, and control of window shades, circuits and lighting having the potential to deliver savings.

“While the concept and practice of home automation have been around for decades, the continuous reduction of installation costs means more and more consumers are able to access and benefit from this technology,” Douglas Johnson, CTA vice president of technology policy, commented.

“And home automation tech delivers potential benefits to utilities as well, such as enhanced demand response capabilities and the intelligent segmentation of homes – both of which would eventually lower consumers’ costs.”

How users choose to control their automated household devices and equipment will determine actual savings, the study found, with intelligent features, when activated, having the potential to enable greater savings.

With sales of many home automation technologies poised to rise over the next few years, according to the CTA’s US Consumer Technology Sales and Forecasts report, consumer trends have shown that the primary motivator behind purchasing automation products has been for convenience, security and/or entertainment.

Further increasing the marketability of these products by promoting their energy savings potential could lead to more energy savings nationwide, the study found.

Commissioned by the CTA, The Energy Savings Potential of Home Automation Technology study was the conducted by the Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems CSE.

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