Discussion: Are smart homes really saving energy?

Hi everyone! :wave:

I recently read this article by The Ambient, discussing whether smart homes really save energy. I’d be really interested to hear your thoughts, and any experiences you’ve had with any of this tech.

The article points out that some smart home devices, while designed to save energy, may actually have a limited impact. It’s claimed by the manufacturers that these devices can save between 10%-23%, but research quoted in the article puts this figure at 1-15% more realistically (which can still amount to a solid saving annually!)

One of the points that stood out to me was the discussion about how the efficiency of energy-saving devices can depend on the efficiency of the building construction, and how these will increasingly overlap in future. This article refers to the North American market, so it points out that “In places like Austin, in order to resell an existing home, you actually have to meet a certain energy performance requirement.” This can not only be achieved through practical building measures like insulation etc, but also by the installation of smart tech.

So while energy saving devices may be counteracted slightly if a property has single glazing, for example, it’s expected that energy-saving devices may not be optional in future - they may end up being a requirement of new construction.

Do you have any energy saving devices in your home? Have you found out anything about your usage habits that you didn’t realise before? Let me know below - It would be great to discuss further.

Hi,

I installed a full Tado system (Smart Thermostat, radiator valves in all rooms & hot water control) about 18 months ago.

Tado claim it will save me significant amounts on my bills but the reality is that I’ve seen no reduction. However, it is difficult to know as we’ve been under the shadow of COVID during most of that time so I’ve been working from home. I expect to be back at work from July and it’ll be interesting to see if there’s much difference when I start using the heating again later in the year.

Even if I don’t end up saving much, the ability to manage the heating and hot water remotely is great.

Hi @davidlyall

Welcome to the Bulb community :wave:

This is interesting to hear that you haven’t seen any change since installing the Tado system. We are bringing out an EV tariff soon so maybe you can use your smart heating system alongside this to work out when is cheapest for you to use energy, and see more of a saving.

We have also been working from home during COVID and wrote this piece on lowering C02 emissions by using our twitter carbon bot to show us when the grid is greenest. While this isnt cost related, it is interesting to see how when putting things on at different times can have different effect.

Thanks
Nathan