Smart home devices and the idea of a connected home has become ingrained in everyday life, with 80 million smart home devices being delivered worldwide last year. But while many think that a smart home's main USP is that it can fundamentally make your life easier, what they don't realise is that its role is actually much bigger than that and can also play a vital role in saving the environment.
Talk about addressing climate change is often focused on government policy, but in reality, there are 25 million homes in the UK that can contribute to bringing about positive environmental change, purely based on an alteration of how people use energy in their home. And it's innovative smart home products that can be leveraged to help deliver this change in behaviour, contributing to substantial energy and water savings.
Smart home devices such as Verv use artificial intelligence to notify users as to which appliances are producing a large carbon footprint and suggest more eco-friendly alternatives.
Critically, what devices like this can do is educate consumers on their energy use, breaking down the cost and Co2 emissions of individual appliances within the home. Homeowners will be shocked to discover that simple things, such as keeping the fridge door open while deciding what to eat accounts for 7 percent of the appliance's total energy usage.
In addition, it's a common fact that old appliances can be one of the biggest drains on electricity usage, yet many consumers are unaware of when their appliances are inefficient or on the edge of breaking. Further, the decision made when purchasing a new one can have a big impact on not only your finances, but also on the environment. With TVs for example, LED screens cut down energy leakage significantly compared to old plasmas since they are less likely to overheat and require less energy to maintain your screen brightness. By purchasing a device with a low energy cost, the new model will be able to pay for itself in a short number of years.
By harnessing clever smart home technology in this way, the everyday user will be able to see and understand their greenhouse gas emissions for the first time and work on bringing them down!
On a larger scale, corporations can employ this technology to make entire buildings more environmentally friendly. Smart buildings are being developed where sensors are located throughout the property, allowing the building to automatically adjust temperature controls when needed, dim lights and alert management teams to potential maintenance issues.
And as smart homes expand into smart cities, IOT devices will extend from being connected home technology to technology that actually connects homes with one another. If you take peer-to-peer energy trading for example, in the future this will enable consumers with solar panels and battery storage to share excess energy with their neighbours via a smart home device like Verv, utilising blockchain. Green homes can be turned into green cities by improving access to low carbon energy using innovative smart home products.
As we look for solutions for critical environmental issues, it's important that we leverage the support brought about by the technology advances and innovation in today's IOT devices.