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Exclusive: Going smarter for a greener future

Holly Bonnett, head of the department for trade at SaveMoneyCutCarbon on why installing smart products in homes and businesses can help save money and reduce carbon footprints

Once a smart home or business supported with smart connected products that made life easier seemed like a dream for a space age future.  The technological advancements and the arrival of home hubs such as Amazon Alexa have meant that most homes and businesses have become Smart. It has become a norm. Smart products enable greater convenience and ease in our everyday lives. However, what is often overlooked is that some smart products can actually help us save money and reduce our carbon footprint.

Smart lighting controls are a prime example. Smart lighting in residential and commercial applications provides flexibility, ambience, and comfort. Lights can be programmed to automatically adjust at set times of day to reflect the changes in daylight, creating softer lighting for evenings or perfect lighting for working environments in offices. Geofencing controls in smart lights can be based on location, turning lights on when arriving at a property and sending notifications when lights have been left on when you leave. 

These technical features all enable lighting to be controlled or automated to create the perfect atmosphere or for convenience. It also enables greater efficiency and reduces energy waste. Indeed, by switching or dimming lights in response to presence detection and daylight levels can cut energy use between 20% and 60% – plus the energy saved by moving to LED. Reducing energy use helps to reduce carbon and energy bills. 

Lighting is not the only area in which connected Smart technology has made an impact.  Smart heating controls allow the management of usage room-by-room via a mobile device so only rooms that are being used are heated. Therefore, energy is not wasted on heating rooms that are used less frequently.. For businesses such as hotels this can obviously have a huge impact on energy bills. 

Smart water products such as water controllers like Grohe Sense Guard can track water usage, monitor flow, pressure, temperature and detect the first signs of flooding. If a leak is detected the water supply can be automatically shut off and a notification sent to a mobile device preventing any damage to properties. The tracking ability provides other benefits; it displays water usage so you can make any changes to the amount of water you are using. Using less water decreases both water and energy bills as less water is being heated.  In washrooms, controls such as Cistermiser’s Sensazone range enables complete control of the lighting, water supply and extractor fans within the washroom. It can control the supply of hot, cold and rain or grey water into the washroom, isolating the supplies in vacant periods. 

The potential with Smart Products in residential and commercial properties is ever increasing. This brings us greater control, comfort, ease, and the ability to be more efficient with our energy and water use, thereby contributing to reduction in bills and carbon.