Networked Home Energy Automation Controls
Energy Systems Controls: Wireless Automated Control vs. Conventional Control
A device that offers on-site and remote residential HVAC, lighting, and plug load control. These controls can be equipped with occupancy and temperature sensors in each room and registers with adjustable louvers to fine-tune comfort and lighting based on occupancy.
Item ID: 337
Multiple Energy Systems--Energy Management
Technical Advisory Group: 2011 Energy Management TAG (#4)
Average TAG Rating: 2.1 out of 5
TAG Ranking Date: 09/29/2011
TAG Rating Commentary:
- Could be combined with other whole home monitoring systems. They are all variations on a theme though and this would only be useful for larger homes.
- Expense and maintenance intensive.
Technical Advisory Group: 2014 Residential Building TAG (#10)
Average TAG Rating: 2.28 out of 5
TAG Ranking Date: 04/10/2014
TAG Rating Commentary:
Almost a 3 for me. Worried about the price (not given) but I love the functionality. Seems more suited for retrofit. Adds individual room control when there is only one t-stat in a home and many individual vents.
This needs to be combined with "home automation" ET, which then needs to be re-considered as measures for controls optimization, once device controls and power supplies around the home are networked.
Currently less than two percent of homes in the United States have some form of home automation system. Home automation controls provide detailed energy monitoring of all energy uses in a home, and can supplement a smart thermostat. A networked system often combines display of energy consumption data with a wireless sensor network that monitors smart appliances, smart strips, and smart plugs, and provides both information and control. These devices can display the electricity consumption within a building in aggregate, by circuit, or by receptacle, or at the appliance level depending on the mode. Real-time feedback displays with information down to the appliance level show an average energy use reduction of 12% according to ACEEE (Ehrhardt-Martinez, 2010).
Energy savings are greatest when real-time monitors can provide historic information that allows users to analyze their energy use over time and support decisions to replace older appliances with more energy-efficient models. Landlords can monitor energy use in rentals, which can be critical if they are paying the energy bill or allocating energy use among several apartments that are served by one utility meter. Business owners can monitor energy use in multiple locations.
Many home energy automation systems are now being integrated with home security systems. A completely automated home combines security, medical health, fire, lighting control, temperature control, audio/visual, pool and spa, drapery or shutter control, sprinkler control, and other features with interoperability and external access and communication through a central hub. Advanced systems can incorporate demand limiting, time of day pricing, and interactivity with PV systems or electric vehicles.
Available systems cost per site vary greatly based upon capabilities, features, and level of control; ease of use, and ease of installation. Networked systems can cost from $1,000 to 5,000 and often include an Internet system that allows graphing and downloading of energy use from many different circuits at remote sites.
Baseline Description: No advanced automation present in home
Baseline Energy Use: 12415 kWh per year per single family household
The April 28, 2014 "Residential Building Stock Assessment: Metering Study" prepared by Ecotope for NEEA indicates an annual energy use for "all-electric" sites within the region of 20,650 kWh/year. For gas primary sites, the electrical energy use drops to 9,541 kWh annually. The total normalized electrical energy use for the region is 12,415 kWh (Table 85, Page 122) as determined by the RBSA Single-Family assessment. (The metering study indicated a slightly higher annual electrical energy use of 13,690 kWh/year).
Manufacturer's Energy Savings Claims:
Savings Range: From 10% to 30%
This ET involves bundling and networking of "SMART" devices including a smart thermostat as well as smart strips, plugs and outlets---many of which already have wireless capability so end users can turn devices on and off or change setpoints. Energy savings can vary tremendously depending upon the way that the baseline equipment was controlled, capabilities of the newly installed equipment, as well as the skill of the homeowner with respect to programming and maintaining the sensors and wireless networking links. Siemens Synco product literature claims that they can reduce thermal energy demand (space and water heating) in homes by as much as 30%.
Energy savings can occur in many ways, including employment of temperature setbacks and turning off of lighting based upon schedules (home, asleep, away) and/or inputs from occupancy and motion sensors. Temperature monitoring and control might occur in greenhouses, wine cellars and garages as well as the home interior. Some systems can switch lighting or HVAC modes or schedules based upon the room the occupant is in. Active control of shades, blinds, or shutters can allow thermal gains in the winter while blocking heat gains and reducing air conditioning loads in the summer. Window treatments can be controlled by a schedule (sunrise plus 90 minutes) coupled with indoor and exterior temperature readings. Some units are capable of maintaining indoor air quality (IAQ) through activating exhaust fans or are equipped with humidity control. When real time pricing is in effect, HVAC, pool pumping, and water heating loads can be shifted as appropriate.
Best Estimate of Energy Savings:
"Typical" Savings: 12%
Low and High Energy Savings: 10% to 30%
Energy Savings Reliability: 2 - Concept validated
Occupant lifestyles and habits determine residential building energy use performance. Whole house monitoring systems can supplement programmable thermostats and lighting controls to assist homeowners in saving additional energy through providing "smart" control settings plus making occupants more aware of energy use, costs, and savings through feedback. In a meta-review of residential household advanced metering and feedback programs, ACEEE found that expected energy savings are dependent upon the type, detail, and frequency of energy use feedback information. Electrical energy use can vary between 4% to 12% with the higher savings found in programs that provide real-time information down to the appliance level. We'll assume the low end of the claimed energy savings range (for advanced "direct" real-time feedback programs) due to the penetration of other energy automation devices (such as smart thermostats and smart strips) in the market. Regional studies need to be conducted to determine the relationship between energy savings and the total installed costs and sophistication of the home energy automation package deployed. This is an area subject to rapid change as increased component inter-communicability and inter-operability lead to the development of an Internet of Things (IOT). While the prospects for increased sensor and switch deployment, information, awareness, and control are boundless, what is lacking is knowledge regarding expected energy savings given installation of a given system.
Energy Use of Emerging Technology:
10,925.2 kWh per single family household per year
Energy Use of an Emerging Technology is based upon the following algorithm.
Baseline Energy Use - (Baseline Energy Use * Best Estimate of Energy Savings (either Typical savings OR the high range of savings.))
single family household
Potential number of units replaced by this technology:
The April 28, 2014 "Residential Building Stock Assessment: Metering Study" prepared by Ecotope for NEEA indicates a regional population of 4,023,937 households (Table 8, Page 12).
Regional Technical Potential:
5.99 TWh per year
Regional Technical Potential of an Emerging Technology is calculated as follows:
Baseline Energy Use * Estimate of Energy Savings (either Typical savings OR the high range of savings) * Technical Potential (potential number of units replaced by the Emerging Technology)
Installed first cost per: single family household
Emerging Technology Unit Cost (Equipment Only): $1500.00
Emerging Technology Installation Cost (Labor, Disposal, Etc.): $0.00
Baseline Technology Unit Cost (Equipment Only): $0.00
Available systems cost per site vary greatly based upon capabilities, features, and level of control; ease of use, and ease of installation. Note that some systems monitor usage with load sensors that track the electrical draw of a device while other simply calculate energy use based upon device runtime and settings(Lee, 2009). Networked full home control systems can cost several thousand dollars ($1,000 to $5,000). Systems that combine energy functions with home security can cost up to $25,000 (Ehrhardt-Martinez, 2010). A cost of $1,500 will be assumed for this technology as cost-effectiveness based on energy savings alone is not present at higher costs.
Simple payback, new construction (years): 11.2
Simple payback, retrofit (years): 11.2
Cost Effectiveness is calculated using baseline energy use, best estimate of typical energy savings, and first cost. It does not account for factors such as impacts on O&M costs (which could be significant if product life is greatly extended) or savings of non-electric fuels such as natural gas. Actual overall cost effectiveness could be significantly different based on these other factors.
Reference and Citations:
Sci-Fi No Longer, NREL Engineers Smart Homes
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Take Control of Your Digital Home
Is There a Smart Home in Your Future?
Home Energy Pros
Automated Home/Energy Management
Home Automation, Inc.
Home Energy Management Products & Trends
Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems
Implementation of an Adaptive Intelligent Home Energy Management System Using a Wireless Ad-Hoc and Sensor Network in Pervasive Environments
Computer Communications and Networks (ICCCN)
Adaptive Knowledge Representation for a Self-Managing Home Energy Usage System
Intelligent Interactive Distributed Systems Group
Advanced Metering Initiatives and Residential Feedback Programs: A Meta-Review for Household Electricity-Saving Opportunities
American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy