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The Convergence of Technology in the Home

Posted by Erik Norwood on July 30, 2015
The Convergence of Technology in the Home

Huge changes are happening across a variety of industries that will significantly change the way we live. These include the advent of the “smarthome” with the ability to remotely control devices, the rise in popularity of electric vehicles, and the evolution of the solar industry moving past parity with buying energy from the grid. Each of these changes will significantly change our lives as well as how we interact with energy and all of the devices that use it.

The “smarthome” promises safety, convenience and energy efficiency. Smart devices, such as the SmartThings hub and companion products, enable us to feel safer with motion activated security systems, allow remote viewing via cameras, and control access of individuals into your home. Products such as the Nest thermostat certainly make life more convenient and comfortable, automatically adjusting the temperature based on your schedule. Of course, with all this intelligence comes the promise of reduced energy bills, but are consumers truly seeing them?

The electric car industry is also seeing a huge rise in popularity. Sales in 2014 of electric vehicles including the Tesla, the Nissan Leaf, and the Chevy Volt in the US were up over 225% from 2012[1] despite a reduction in overall gas prices. Consumers are excited about the benefits of electric vehicles including the benefits of having clean energy vehicles, reduction in costs and the lower dependence on foreign countries for oil.

Similarly, the residential solar industry is booming, seeing a 50% year-over-year growth in the US alone[2]. Creative financing programs and the reduced cost of panels has driven lower energy costs and overall significant environmental benefit via cleaner energy. Simultaneously, homeowners are gaining a level of independence from their utility providers' fluctuating costs.

All of these changes have this underlying common thread – energy in the home.

Yet there is no comprehensive way to link these systems together. This future isn’t far away. As these systems are fully integrated into the home, the energy ecosystem will become incredibly intelligent and even more intertwined.

For example,

  • Solar systems will optimize their production to match the consumption of the home or sell energy back to the grid based on utility incentives.
  • Electric cars will store energy during the day and then power homes at night.
  • All of the devices in the house will automatically control themselves to run when most energy efficient.
  • With the introduction of the Tesla Powerwall, customers can now have a dedicated home energy storage solution for shifting their power consumption loads through out the day.   

We’ve built CURB with the vision of advancing this home energy evolution – helping to manage this ecosystem by offering:

  • Real time solar vs grid energy monitoring at a significantly reduced cost that traditional solar monitors
  • Overseeing the two-way flow of energy from electric cars
  • Integration with smart appliances to optimize efficiency

Home energy management is the bridge to adoption of these fundamental technologies, helping make our society more energy efficient and giving consumers total control over their energy consumption and generation, in new construction and in existing homes.

 

Erik Norwood is the founder and CEO of CURB Energy. 

 

[1] Inside EVS Scorecard

[2] SEIA Industry Data 2014

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