Do smart switches save you money?

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Smart Switches are switches that have an electronic switch built into their workings in order to let people turn on and off electrical devices remotely.

The amount of energy that they save, and money, depends on the amount of energy people waste as a result of leaving devices on within their home or their work place.  Consider a household which is very energy conscientious, everyone already turns off devices when they are not needed, turns down heating systems when rooms are hot, opens windows and use natural ventilation instead or air conditioning. This kind of household and work environment is rare, but should it actually exist then it is likely that this group of people would NOT benefit from installing smart switches.  The reason for this being is that they are already energy optimised  and so using a device will not make their energy use any less. In fact it might make it increase as people may become dependent on switches doing the job they are currently doing themselves.

That said, if you take a household or work place that is NOT energy conscientious, where people do leave lights on in rooms that are not occupied, devices on when they are not needed and prefer to use air conditioning instead of turning heating tech off or opening windows, then YES remotely operated smart switches will save energy and money just in the same way training family and/ or work colleagues to change their behaviour will save energy.

So if you decide to install energy tech instead or taking the hard option of trying to change other peoples behaviour, then what tech should you consider installing?  Well smart light switch are a good option as they can be readily purchased from online suppliers such as Amazon.  The amount of energy that they will save depends entirely on how much lighting load they are switching off and the frequency they are turning that load off.  For example a  single light may use in the region of 25 Watts of energy every hour (0.025kWh).  In this example then it would take the purchasers 6000 hours of light savings before they would save the money that they spent on the smart switch.

The best application, therefore, for this type of smart switch where the load being switch is relatively high  and where that load is likely to be left on unnoticed for a reasonable duration of time i.e. in toilets where the light switch may also be controlling other devices such as extractor fans or in an out buildings where a single switch may be controlling more than one light or in a second property that is used less than your principle property where it is easy to forget to turn off the lights before you leave for a extended period of time.

If you do decide to install a smart switch and do so to save money then you should consider why you are taking that action.  If you wish to simply save energy and money then you should consider what is said above.  If you wish to save energy, money and do your bit to help save the environment then you should definitely consider installing smart switches with a manual override through your home and work environment where the installation can be done without significant disruption.

Where you already have a central system that can activate the switch such as a Lexa or a Google Home Hub then you should consider buying a smart switch that can interface with these units.  If you are considering a full home or work place installation then again you may wish to consider installing a central switching hub as a means of operating remote time switching when you just cannot be bothered do this via your smart phone App.

If like me you think the actual solution is to instead train your family or staff to do their bit to change their behaviour and to actually turn things off then we would be more than happy to help you achieve that goal.  Simply give us a call 020 3575 1057 or email us on info@energyergonomics.co.uk we will be more than happy to help.

 

 

 

 

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