Z-Wave for Energy Management
Energy Management for Consumers and Utilities
Z-Wave is a key element in the coming home energy management equation. It not only empowers consumers to understand and control their home energy consumption, but also serves as a wireless communications bridge between the home, the utility, and the smart grid.
For consumers, Z-Wave control operates complete home systems, as well as individual devices and power strips, with optimal efficiency. Smart climate, lighting, and window covering controls realize substantial cost savings each month. More importantly, Z-Wave provides the consumer with quantified data that lets them decide where and how to conserve costly household energy, and develop more efficient consumption habits that save money and the planet.
In the professional energy realm, The Z-Wave Alliance and its membership have successfully demonstrated a OpenADR2.0a / Z-Wave demand response system for multi-dwelling units. The solution provides complete building control, automation and energy management, including the implementation of utility demand response programs using a variety of technologies, including OpenADR, Smart Energy Profile and Z-Wave control.
Whether it’s simple monthly cost savings to run the household, or sophisticated demand-response systems triggered by evolving smart grid technologies, Z-Wave is an integral player in the emerging smart energy markets.
How Z-Wave Lets Consumers Manage Energy
Most homes consume more energy than they should simply through the lack of intelligent controls. With the exception of the occasional wall dimmer, lights are either full-on or off. Thermostats work to a manual setting even if nobody’s home. Major appliances, such as washers, dryers and televisions, draw power even in standby mode. Energy is wasted, bills remain unnecessarily high, and the consumer has had no control, until now.
Z-Wave control empowers consumers by making virtually any electronic device or system in their home smart and controllable, manually or automatically. Any light becomes dimmable. Smart switches turn off power in rooms or for devices when they’re not in use. Climate systems learn occupancy and conserve energy accordingly. Consumers finally get control over their energy bills.
Visualization of Energy Consumption
To most consumers, particularly in the US, the monthly energy bill is a mystery. There is no way to effectively conserve energy at home without guesswork driving the decisions. Are the heating bills high because of habit, or poor insulation? Are the electricity bills high because of normal needs or wasteful usage? Are all the components that are plugged in but not being used really not using any energy?
Z-Wave home energy management lets consumers visualize quantified energy consumption; by single devices, by rooms, floors and entire households. Once they’re able to see where their consumption is coming from, they are able to take appropriate steps to modify energy demand. All from anywhere, manually or automatically, via computer, tablet or smartphone.
Control over Individual Devices and Systems
Almost a quarter of all residential energy consumption is used on devices in idle power mode, according to a study by the US Natural Resources Defense Council. As reported by the New York Times, that means that devices that are “off” or in standby or sleep mode, might be using up to the equivalent of 50 large power plants’ worth of electricity, resulting in the wasted cost of more than $19 billion in electricity bills every year.
Z-Wave offers the world’s largest ecosystem of energy management controls, from smart wall switches and dimmers to smart outlets and smart power strips. Many household devices, such as kitchen and laundry appliances can be truly “turned off” when not in use. In many cases, the smart controls quickly pay for themselves through reductions in monthly energy costs.
Smart Climate that Understands Occupancy
Heating and cooling account for about 48% of the energy use in a typical home, according to the US Department of Energy. This makes HVAC usage the largest energy expense for most homes. Conventional thermostats of relatively recent vintage often have programmable settings on board, but these are typically difficult for users to operate, which results in abandonment of the features, and losing the benefits of optimized energy usage.
Z-Wave enabled thermostats give users an easy user interface for setting and programming climate schedules, at home or remotely. Working in concert with other smart home objects, they learn occupancy patterns and user preferences, and understand optimal heating and cooling output. Smart thermostats have been demonstrated to reduce energy consumption by 10-23% per year.
Z-Wave Connects Power Utilities with the Smart Home
More Smart Home = Less Utility Infrastructure
Power utilities across the globe are evaluating the benefits of integrating smart devices into their utility demand response and energy efficiency programs. In addition to the obvious advantages of demand management and better control over surge fluctuations, smart homes are quite simply, a lower-cost alternative to traditional utility expansion. Whether carbon based, solar, wind or other renewable, the cost and time to market for building new power plants is too high to be considered a practical long-term energy solution. Smart home technologies can be ideal partners in the smart grid picture for utilities.
Works in Single-Family or MDU Applications
The Z-Wave Alliance and its membership have successfully demonstrated a OpenADR2.0a / Z-Wave demand response system for multi-dwelling units. The solution provides complete building control, automation and energy management, including the implementation of utility demand response programs using a variety of technologies, including OpenADR, Smart Energy Profile and Z-Wave. Z-Wave home energy systems can receive OpenADR2.0a signals from an DRAS, acting on those signals using Z-Wave RF control to provide energy curtailment throughout a simulated multi-dwelling unit, and sub-metering and reporting the actual savings back to the DRAS, using the OpenADR channel.
Reward Customers, Create Partnerships
Full connectivity between the smart grid and the smart home goes beyond the smart meter — which is exactly the point where most utility companies attempting to engage in smart demand management have left off. Z-Wave energy management devices are easily self-installed by the consumer, and offer an excellent inroad to greater customer engagement and satisfaction. Beyond DIY retail solutions that consumer can easily add to their homes, energy management by Z-Wave is also available from service providers, security companies, telcos and other vendors already in the home. Power utilities can find outstanding partnership opportunities through the Z-Wave ecosystem of companies.
Z-Wave offers the industry’s largest deployed base of energy management products, including thermostats, wall plugs, switches, and lighting. Z-Wave also offers the largest portfolio of service providers already in place for utilities to partner with, as well as experience in working with partners to integrate legacy platforms to provide new services.