Smart homes are energy efficient homes — but that doesn’t mean they need all the bells and whistles to reduce energy consumption. In fact, some of the first steps towards making a smarter home don’t involve any technology at all.
A lot of good practical advice can be found at www.smartherhomes.org.nz as part of a Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment initiative. Wellington Electricity is taking active steps to promote smarter, healthier homes with more information on our initiatives found in the Community Awareness page coming soon.
A few smart things with no technology
Damps homes need more energy to heat than dry ones. A simple approach to reduce energy consumption is to reduce the moisture content in your home. There are a few ways to do this:
- First, make sure you dry clothes outside when possible. Drying clothes inside may add several litres of moisture to the air inside your home.
- Next, make sure bathrooms and cooking areas are ventilated.
- Finally, use a dehumidifier to help remove moisture in darker rooms or ones that receive less ventilation. Remember, a dryer home is also a healthier home.
Remember, a dryer home is also a healthier home.
Good curtains can do a lot more than provide privacy. Thicker curtains help prevent heat loss from your home by preventing air movement, so long as they can be closed with no gaps. Drawing the curtains just before sunset is also an easy way of trapping more heat in your home for the night.
Most of us know about energy efficient lighting, but many homes are still using older bulbs that consume a lot of energy. LED technology has come a long way and many old light bulbs can now be replaced with a lookalike LED version. The cost of changing the bulb is likely to pay for itself within the year in terms of electricity savings.
Smart things with some help from technology
Smart homes are providing consumers with monitoring and awareness of their energy use. This in its own right is a major step forward in helping consumers understand what actions can be taken to reduce energy and electricity consumption.
Wellington Electricity is not currently running any Smart home trials. It is, however exploring platforms that connect wider Smart home communities and provide users with a means of collectively optimising and benefiting from Smart home technology.
We will continue to provide updates on our studies into Smart homes and communities.