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Schneider Electric embraces technologies to create smart home of the future

Achieving efficiency, sustainability and safety with own lifestyle

Smart living is very quickly becoming a staple of modern life. Smart home technology has been designed to add peace of mind, comfort, and control to homes, plus the surprising benefit it brings that’s often less thought about: its energy efficiency.

Luckily, Australian homeowners are starting to realise that. In a survey conducted by Schneider Electric in 2021, 61 per cent of Australian homeowners acknowledge that smart home technology reduces energy bills and 41 per cent agree that smart technology makes homes more sustainable.

Making differences with smart home solutions

To turn an ordinary home into a “Smart Home”, it is critical to utilise technology that adapts to an individual’s lifestyle and gives control over the appliances, ensuring communications with an electrician to evaluate the possibility, then finding the right solutions with the daily routine, and the lifestyle, of a user in mind, and making sure that the smart home solution is scalable enough to allow a home to grow with the users and adapt to the evolving lifestyle and needs of the users on a sustainable basis.

For example, how helpful would it be if a bathroom exhaust fan can automatically turn on and off when humidity is detected? Or, making use of a motion sensor in the hallway to make a home safer, and more sustainable while cutting energy costs.

Smart homes are seen by many as the way of the future. Currently, homeowners who have smart home technology generally fall into one of two groups, including the early adopters who want to be on the cutting edge of technology and tend to automate every aspect of their home; and those drawn to the capability to enhance and simplify everyday life. However, some of the dispelling myths and preconceived ideas about smart homes are becoming challenges to the adoption of smart home solutions.

Overcoming challenges to get the best of smart home solutions

“Many people still believe that only new homes can be enhanced with smart home technology or that it’s costly to install. And we are glad that some new products like Clipsal Wiser Smart Home offer homeowners a scalable solution that can be fitted directly into power points and switches.

There is no need for special cabling, and the homeowner can choose to automate as much or as little as they want. Wiser also offers clever solutions such as lighting and blind control, window/door sensors, indoor and outdoor cameras, temperature/humidity sensors, an IR converter, and even a smart smoke alarm,” shared Denis Marant, Senior Vice President, Home and Distribution Division - International Hub, Schneider Electric.

“The unexpected benefit of smart home technology adoption is that electricians and builders have the unique and exciting opportunity to differentiate themselves from their competitors in the wider residential building industry,” added Marant. This seems to have become more obvious if we look into the growing popularity of smart home devices during the pandemic.

Growing popularity of smart home devices

Home automation is key to understanding, controlling, and improving energy consumption. For the ‘right now,’ smart homes reduce the burden on households by helping homeowners to visualise their energy usage and regulate consumption accordingly and effectively, while safety also matters.

Everyone has experienced a lot of stay-home activities in the past couple of years, whether this is working from home, joining online meetings, or having kids learn online, this means many electronic devices need to be plugged in or charged. It’s reported that electrical hazards and faulty appliances cause almost 40 per cent of all house fires in New South Wales, Australia, making safety around these potential hazards crucial.

“Education about smart homes and smart technology is vital for Schneider Electric as a leader in the industry. Many of us have invested a lot in devices such as laptops and monitors, and even household appliances, but we often forget that we need to ensure the home’s electrical load can handle the strain. Our teams work closely with industry partners such as electricians and builders to educate homeowners about the right protection to help keep their homes and loved ones safe. Taking the Arc Fault Detection Devices (AFDDs) from Clipsal as an example, this is a simple addition to the home’s switchboard that helps protect against electrical arc faults – one of the most common causes of electrical fires. Clipsal also has a wide range of photoelectric smoke alarms that can be interconnected and hardwired for added peace of mind,” added Marant.

As people become more environmentally conscious and the cost of living continues to rise, it’s expected there will be more widespread adoption of smart home technology among homeowners, helping them understand, control, and improve their energy consumption, which will benefit both the planet and their personal finances. This is a critical shift from thoughtless consumption to careful monitoring and optimisation to get the most out of our homes while caring for our planet.

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