By the Numbers: Latest Trends in Energy Management
CE Pro takes a look at the trends in energy management, from HVAC and lighting to smart home adoption, LED light bulbs to smart sprinklers.
The CE Pro editors took a comprehensive look at the current trends in energy management. See where you can find new opportunities and how to address the growing needs and demands of your clients in this industry.
Focus on HVAC, Lighting
Where can integrators help homeowners save most on energy?
According to Energy Star, the average U.S. household’s annual electricity use is 12,000 kWh, with the breakdown of the largest components comprising a typical house’s average $2,000 electricity bills spent: 29% heating, 13% cooling, 13% water heating, 12% lighting, 5% washer & dryer (28% other, including electronics devices).
Greater Smart Home Adoption
The most recent research from the Consumer Electronics Association and Parks Associates, released in October, reports 20 percent of U.S. household owners with broadband expect to purchase one or more smart home devices within the next year. The categories those surveyed showed highest interest in were smart thermostats and smart lighting, both at 16 percent.
Electricity Rates on the Rise
U.S. retail residential electricity prices for the first half of 2014 averaged 12.3 cents per kilowatt hour, an increase of 3.2 percent from the same period last year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The organization says the figure represents the highest year-over-year growth in residential prices for the first half of the year since 2009.
LEDs Shining Brighter
Today’s LED (light-emitting diode) light bulbs are performing better, cost less and are being more widely implemented, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, all healthy signs for the continued use of this energy-efficient technology.
EIA points to shipment data collected by Energy Star that LED shipments have increased from about 9 million bulbs in 2011 to more than 45 million bulbs in 2013, reaching an estimated 2.3 percent market share of general service lighting. (For comparison sake, shipments of CFLs have been about 300 million annually since 2011, with an estimated market share of 15 to 20 percent.)
EIA adds that more LED manufacturers are meeting Energy Star specs for color rendering index (CRI) values, and more are releasing Energy Star-qualified bulbs of more than 100 lumens per watt.
Nest for Sprinklers?
Will smart sprinklers be the new smart thermostats? Just last month a couple of companies — Blossom and Sprinkl — launched Kickstarter campaigns promoting their aim of curbing excess water usage. Both incorporate multizone controllers, network connectivity and mobile apps to help home-owners reduce the up to 50 percent of wasted water used outdoors, according to the EPA.
Blossom estimates users can save $300 per year on water bills with its “state-of-the-yard” device, which it says “uses real-time local weather data and satellites to automatically personalize your watering plan.”
Says Noel Geren, managing member of Sprinkl: “We wanted to bring an evolutionary product to market; a gorgeous and extensible Android touch-based controller that can automatically determine how much water to use per-zone, saving up to 50 percent on monthly watering bills and preserving earth’s precious resources.”
‘Network Standby’ Draws Too Deep
The world’s 14 billion network-connected electronic devices wasted around $80 billion last year thanks to inefficient standby power technology, according to a recent report from the International Energy Agency.
In its “More Data, Less Energy: Making Network Standby More Efficient in Billions of Connected Devices,” released this past July, IEA estimated the world’s networked devices consumed roughly 616 terawatt hours of electricity and wasted about 400 TWh due to inefficient technology.
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