Electric bills have mystified homeowners for generations. A bill arrives stating how many kilowatt hours were consumed, often accompanied with ideas for reducing their consumption. The arithmetic is unknown and the suggestions seem generic.
Today’s home buyers are much more energy-aware. They want to know where their power is being used and how to consume less without sacrificing comfort or convenience.
If building energy-efficient homes is one of your selling points, there are new technologies for delivering insights like never before. For example, Schneider Electric recently introduced Square D Wiser Energy, a power monitoring system that enables home buyers to not only see their total energy usage, but to know exactly where – and how – they’re using it.
This is important considering some states will require newly constructed homes to produce as much energy as they use. Other legislative changes, including variable rates and surge pricing, are on the horizon. While the full impact is not known, electricity could cost more during high-demand periods.
"Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations will require all Californians to switch to a variable-rate plan in 2020. There will be specific times of day when energy cost is low and other times when electricity companies will charge four times as much,” explains Bradford Wills, director, strategic customers and programs, Schneider Electric. “You can imagine the surprise some people will have when they receive their first power bill."
It’s a transition that builders are struggling to navigate, but as the demand for power continues to climb, it’s a change other states may consider as well.
“Once consumers move to a variable-rate plan, the only way to regain the simplicity and cost of a flat-rate system is to have a solution like Wiser Energy provide detailed information about their energy use,” says Wills.
More meaningful data facilitates better results
These looming changes are one reason energy monitoring technology is more necessary than ever. The Wiser Energy system captures data 24/7 from any or all of a home’s circuits, including big energy-users, like HVAC, appliances, water heaters and pool pumps. Available fully integrated into the Square D load center or retrofit, it’s the only UL-listed system with these capabilities.
The easy-to-use Wiser Energy mobile app shows homeowners when and where to focus for maximum energy conservation. Customizable alerts help them spot potential problems such as malfunction motors on appliances and HVAC and schedule service before they break down. (These are detectible when systems use an abnormally high or low amount of energy.)
“Additionally, homeowners with solar-powered systems can use the technology to ensure they’re always harvesting power at optimal levels,” says Wills. “Until now, there’s been no tangible to know if their system is producing as it should.”
Technology is helping today’s homeowners understand their power usage like never before. With real-time energy-tracking, your customers can live greener, wiser and more comfortably.
Visit schneider-electric.us/wiser-energy for more on energy monitoring.