How can we save energy in an electric and connected society?

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The number of machines and devices surrounding humans is increasing by the day. They are part of our daily lives, whether we are at home or in the office.

Being part of an electric and connected society brings lots of advantages. Electric energy is linked to our quality of life; virtually everything we do depends on it. But one primary concern comes with this: energy consumption.

Now, however, innovations mean it is possible to take advantage of connectivity to enhance comfort and efficiency. Users not only want to enjoy the benefits of a technological lifestyle; they also want to be able to save energy and help to limit their impact on the environment.

Energy-efficient solutions are increasingly in demand, especially as technology improves and the effects of climate change are felt across the world.

Many sectors, however, especially real estate, haven’t realized the potential of improvements yet.

Technological breakthroughs for a more efficient society

As technology develops, new innovations to save energy have become a priority.

According to energy saving body the Carbon Trust, electricity costs have doubled for businesses over the last decade.[1] This has put reducing long-term energy costs at the top of the agenda.

LED lighting is one easy technological breakthrough that has already been adopted by authorities, enterprises and individuals. It is estimated that switching from a traditional 60-watt incandescent bulb to an LED bulb can create energy savings of up to 80%.[2] Adding timers and sensors can create further energy savings.

Thanks to smart meters, thermostats and sensors (the Internet of Things), we now have more information than we’ve ever had before. Energy wastage is therefore identified more easily and the potential for huge savings is created.

What’s more, with more and more government subsidies available to those who want to convert to more energy-efficient and green technology, it is easier and cheaper than ever to install solar panels and purchase a fleet of electric vehicles, for example.

Day-to-day lifestyle adjustments to save energy

It is not only businesses which can make use of technology to save energy. In the home, the Internet of Things (IoT) is increasing efficiency as well as the quality of life of its users.

A study conducted by the European Commission revealed that increasing energy efficiency in the home could boost health and life expectancy.[3] This is because energy efficiency technology is often accompanied by changes such as improved ventilation, insulation and access to sunlight.

The installation of a lighting system which works with window shades is one such example. These windows monitor the time of day, the amount of sunlight outside, the user’s desired light exposure and adjust as necessary. This way, electricity is not unnecessarily used.

However, it is in temperature control that the biggest energy savings can be made. Having a HVAC system that can be controlled according to need not only provides superior comfort for users, but also potentially enormous energy savings compared to non-zoned systems.

Airzone’s zoned HVAC innovation

At Airzone we use zoning technology primarily to increase comfort. However, one direct consequence of the system is potentially huge energy savings for the end user.

In response to the information provided by the smart thermostats in each zone, Airzone’s highly-adaptive plenum sends cool or warm air only to the areas that require it. This means that the system only operates at 100% capacity when all zones require airflow, ensuring that the system is never working more than necessary. This can create an energy saving of up to 53 per cent compared to non-zoned systems.[4]

Users of Airzone Control can set specific schedules down to the minute, catered to individual activities.

The system is also highly efficient. The airflow is regulated quickly and quietly, so rooms are heated or cooled down in a matter of minutes.

What’s more, thanks to the Airzone Cloud app, users can now control the system from anywhere via their smart phone or tablet. This means that if there is a change from the normal schedule, for example if a family member has gone on holiday or away on business, their usual zone won’t get heated or cooled. This is an easy way to ensure that energy isn’t wasted, especially if users forgot to make the changes before leaving. They can simply adjust the settings from anywhere with internet access.

Incorporating this technology into everyday life is not only an easy way to save energy in an electric and connected society, but it improves the quality of life of its users. Therefore with our dependence on electricity and its price continuing to increase, investing in smart, adaptive technology makes more and more sense.