Home Energy Management Takes a Step Forward

September 8, 2011
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Savant's SmartEnergy Monitor interface integrates with its Apple-based control system.

Some encouraging energy management news from the CEDIA (Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association) Expo in Indianapolis:

Home control companies Savant and Crestron showed their own energy monitoring solutions that are somewhat integrated into their respective control systems.

The systems can also be used to automatically shut off devices or dim lights when preset energy ceilings are reached, according to the companies. However, that will require additional programming.

Savant’s SmartEnergy Monitor shows relative energy use for HVAC, lighting and other systems in a pie-like chart, and users can press on that slice to go to control screens for those systems. “We’re trying to make the path between energy monitoring and control shorter,” says Michael Silva, Savant’s chief technology officer.

The system can also monitor individual lighting loads via current transformers (CTs) that can clamp around wires behind switches. (CTs are often used to measure power from circuits and the mains at the service panel.) The SmartEnergy Monitor may be available by the end of the month, but pricing is not available.

Crestron’s GLS-EM-MCU Green Light Power Meter can monitor a home’s overall power usage and up to 82 branch circuits. The system interfaces with Crestron’s Fusion Em Energy Management Software. The GLS-EM-MCU also has inputs for monitoring gas and water flow. According to a Crestron representative, the system for commercial markets will be available in October and by the end of the year for residential. The expansion piece for monitoring branch circuits will follow.

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One Response to Home Energy Management Takes a Step Forward

  1. [...] true that energy monitoring on its own has a limited lasting appeal—and should eventually be integrated with control systems to offer more automated energy savings—let’s remember that just having immediate feedback on [...]

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