Smart devices have a role to play in the transition to clean energy, according to a new report released by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) earlier this month.
Indeed, digital technologies can contribute to the mitigation of climate change. The Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence, for example, can improve energy management in all sectors and increase energy efficiency.
Energy use on the rise
‘’Global energy demand is increasing due to industrial activity and advances in both developing and developed countries’’ reports Science Direct on its website.
This rising demand translates into pressure on the power plants producing the said energy. To meet these increases, dirty energies that are greater emitters of greenhouse gases are sometimes used to fill the gap.
To avoid climate change so intense that humans and ecosystems would struggle to adapt, we would need to cut the global warming pollution by half, says the IPCC report. To achieve this goal, fossil fuels must be replaced by clean energy – hydro, wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal.
Of course, first and foremost, we need to reduce our own energy consumption. And this is precisely where smart devices can play a key role.
A smart and resilient grid
Historically, the energy grid is unidirectional: energy only flows in one direction as power plants send energy to homes.
In the future, however, the energy network will be one of two-way communication where electricity suppliers can be in constant communication with their users to modulate the use of energy and, possibly, to use that stored in electric vehicles or in homes to support the needs of the network of users and prevent brownouts or blackouts.
Such a network establishing constant communication with its users will have to go through smart and communicating devices.
Smart devices can reduce energy consumption
The use of smart devices, such as thermostats, raises awareness of the energy used daily and helps to use only what is necessary – without wasting energy.
Indeed, thanks to many so-called smart features, consumers can substantially reduce their energy consumption. Geofencing, automation, compatibility with voice assistants or the ability to easily and remotely control or program a thermostat, for example, allows you to consume only the energy you need. In addition, it avoids wasting energy when heating an unoccupied space – whether it is a house or a cottage.
Thermostats are used as an example, but this also applies to lighting and the operation of all other electrical appliances, big and small, which would connect to smart plugs or smart electrical load controllers.
Sinopé devices help reducing energy consumption
Sinopé smart devices are thought and designed to help users reduce their energy consumption.
First off, ultra-accurate and downloadable energy consumption charts are available in the Neviweb app. They show energy usage in dollars and kilowatt-hours for 48-hour, 30-day and 24-month periods. As a result, users can view the energy usage for their home and see how specific actions can be energy-intensive and how others can melt away the electricity bill.
In short, in addition to being good for the planet, smart consumer habits have positive repercussions for users who see their electricity bills drop.
In fact, many users of the smart electrical load controller connect it to a water heater to turn it off at night or when they are away for an extended period, to an electric vehicle charger, or to their single-speed pool pump so that it does not run continuously, which can save up to 45% on filtering costs.
The best features to reduce energy consumption when at home are:
- Schedules and automations of time and/or sunrise/sunset that maintain the proper temperature at the right times of the day;
- Scenes that allow you to send grouped instructions related to an activity;
- The timer that automatically turns off an electrical appliance after a given time;
- Device automations that allow predetermined instructions to be sent to devices without the need for a smartphone on hand.
When leaving the house, the geofencing is optimal. This feature automatically sends away instructions to the devices to reduce their energy consumption.
Don’t want to activate the geofencing feature that requires you to share your location with the Neviweb app? No problem. You can manually set a location to away, which will have the same effect in a straightforward step.
There’s another valuable feature when it’s time to leave the house. Thanks to device automation, it is possible to program that a double click on the entrance switch, for example, sends away instructions to all compatible smart devices in the house. This alternative is perfect for all those who are less tech-savvy.
Éco Sinopé, the ally to reduce energy consumption peaks
Éco Sinopé allows everyone to benefit from the advantages of dynamic pricing programs. This feature automates the dynamic pricing instructions in a simple way and without losing comfort. It is available for all power utilities who want to offer a dynamic pricing option. It is also available free of charge to all users whose electricity provider offers dynamic pricing.
The concept behind dynamic pricing? During periods of high energy demand, electricity suppliers ask their customers – usually voluntary users – to reduce the electricity consumption of their homes in exchange for rewards. These rewards often take the form of attractive rates to reward those who contribute to the collective effort.
Why would an electricity supplier want to help its customers reduce their energy consumption? At first glance, this seems counter-intuitive. However, since electricity providers need to ensure that they can supply the entire population at all times, it is in their best interest to keep energy demand stable and smooth out consumption peaks.
In addition, the constant growth in energy demand requires the use of alternative sources to meet demand. Finally, everyone benefits from using energy more efficiently and avoiding energy waste: “Electricity suppliers’ expenses do not increase unnecessarily, and customers see lower electricity bills.
Smart devices are part of the equation for reducing greenhouse gases. With their ability to communicate and their many smart features to help consumers avoid wasting energy, they have a role to play in the transition to clean energy.
However, in its report, the IPCC warns of a pitfall to avoid. This transition could lead to massive amounts of electronic waste, hence the need to opt for the right devices, high-quality and durable ones, which will allow a positive transition without too much inconvenience.
🌱When you change your non-programmable or programmable thermostat for a smart thermostat, avoid sending it to a landfill. Instead, consider donating it to a reuse organization or take it to an eco centre if the product is no longer usable. To find the resource nearest you, click here.🌱