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Saving energy with tech

Why do we want to save energy? The top factors driving decision makers, when it comes to a building’s energy consumption, are saving money and environmental concerns, but there are also emotional and social elements that play into the story.

“Your customers are going to be after one of these things,” said Daniel Knight, technical director of Fibaro UK, specialising in wireless, retrofittable building automation products, primarily for the residential sector.

In the CEDIA training session ‘Ecological automation – the basics of energy,’ Knight detailed the importance of calculating kilowatt-hours (kWh) in order to use less energy. Then, there are various methods to reducing consumption: dimming all lighting circuits by 10 to 20%; schedule devices to switch off when not in use; adding sensors to determine when and for how long devices should be on for; interlock not just between heating and cooling but with open doors and windows as well; and lastly, smart meters.

Using smart technology adds an extra layer of visibility and discoverability to individual energy habits. “It doesn’t matter which technology you use,” said Knight. “The point is that you need to be able to break down energy consumption – to be able to drill down and ask, ‘Why am I using this energy?’”