Smart Home Technology to Optimize Energy Use

Energy management technologies allow for the practical application of decarbonization strategies.

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Sara Gutterman, CEO of Green Builder Media, discussed the importance of demand-side energy management and energy monitoring technologies with Brad Wills, Director of Strategic Customers & Programs, Home & Distribution Business Unit at Schneider Electric.


As humans become increasingly aware of the effects of burning fossil fuels, decarbonization has become a global priority to minimize carbon emissions to mitigate climate change. Unfortunately, the built environment has a substantial impact on carbon emissions through heating, cooling and hot water supply needs.

Wills notes that the commercial sector is often attacked for its large contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. However, many don’t acknowledge the cumulative impact individual homes have on the environment. Wills points out that “34% of total carbon emissions comes from homes in the United States.”

Considering the current work-from-home movement triggered by the pandemic, the electrification and energy efficiency of homes are of paramount importance. Wills acknowledges this significant opportunity and explains how “Decarbonization is important for us to reach our goal as a planet around climate change.”

Through the use of energy management systems from Schneider Electric, homeowners have the power to control the energy demand of a home or building. 

For example, the Wiser system connects to the electrical system of a building and “allows homeowners to see not only what their energy usage is but they can see all the way down to the device level,” claims Wills. 

“Through load control, we can pre-cool a load in the morning and allow it to drift during the peak,” explains Wills, which saves energy, reduces the demand on the grid, and decreases cost for homeowners. Similarly, since the home’s electrical use is constantly monitored, it is easy to identify abnormalities that need to be addressed.

Although this system best serves as an energy management tool, Wills points out that “the data harvested from the electrical distribution center can solve so many other problems beyond energy usage, which is really exciting.” A non-conventional use-case is monitoring your parents’ home and knowing that the coffee machine turns on in the morning, indicating that all is well. 

Check out the interview to learn more about energy monitoring technologies and decarbonization strategies.