Which features should we look for in a green smart home?

Which features should we look for in a green smart home?

A green smart home is one that combines both eco friendly living features and technologies with smart home technologies. The concept is still new, and offers various benefits for savvy homebuyers. Not only is a green smart home energy efficient and cost-effective, the addition of a smart home technology system makes it easy to monitor and efficiently manage the green smart home feature’s resource consumption to maximise the monthly savings.

With only a few of these homes on the market, here are some cost-effective features making them sound investments.

Energy Efficiency

We would expect an eco friendly living home to be fitted with photovoltaic solar panels. Energy-efficiency is at the top of the list when shopping for a green and eco friendly living home. It’s not essential for all of our power needs to be provided for by a photovoltaic solar system. Research concluded that a grid-tied system is the most practical solution. A grid-tied system provides the homeowner with a balance of energy-efficiency and energy-reliability.

Although the technology has come a long way, photovoltaic systems are still pricey. To install a fully off-the-grid system would require a hefty initial investment. That’s partly due to the fact that we would need to add either more photovoltaic panels or more batteries. Either of these require installation space. Batteries are used to store the power generated by the panels during the day to power the home at night. And also power the home when the sun is blocked out for extended periods. It’s these additional photovoltaic and specialised batteries that are pricey.

A grid-tied system is recommended. During the day, the photovoltaic solar panels provide free electricity. Once the sun sets, the system automatically switches over to the backup batteries. When the batteries reach the lower threshold, the system, again automatically switches over to the municipal supply. To make provision for when tiered electricity tariffs are introduced, the system design especially caters for using the home’s own energy during peak periods – approx. 05h00 to 08h00 and 17h30 to 19h30, so we enjoy an uninterrupted supply of power, for free, or at the lowest service provider tiered prices. Furthermore, another design feature is to feedback into the grid the excess self-generated power.

Combining a heat pump and the linked-loop hotwater system, enables you to have hot water throughout the home immediately on tap. Heat pumps are remarkably efficient. They require very little energy to heat up the water in the tank. Producing hot water is a large part of the electricity consumption. Using an alternative, such as a heat pump dramatically reduces energy consumption and thus the home’s monthly running costs.

Hydronics Radiant heating and cooling

Traditional homes rely on energy-hungry appliances to maintain the temperature inside the home at a comfortable level. In winter we drag out heaters and electric blankets while in summer we switch on air-conditioners to provide relief from the soaring temperatures. Or possibly use air-conditioners all year round. Installing a Hydronics Radiant heating and cooling system consists of a network of pipes which is used to take hot or cold water to maintain desired temperatures. [The heat pump also produces the cold water.]

We’re able to monitor and manage the system by setting a comfortable temperature, as and when required. Each of the home’s zone’s temperature is individually adjustable to provide their required temperature and comfort. The system is energy-efficient and effective. In winter, it’s possible to walk barefoot on the warm tiles. This simply isn’t possible in a traditional home without resorting to expensive underfloor heating or air-conditioning that uses a significant amount of electricity.

Once again, this demonstrates luxurious green and eco friendly living, which focusses on comfort while using resource efficiently, thereby reducing monthly running costs. Eco friendly living homes are designed to use resources efficiently. Such homes are more expensive to purchase, though over the long-term, the benefit of momentous monthly savings on power make green smart homes sound investments. This is particularly attractive when considering that prices for these basic services will continue to rise.

Water saving

Saving water is a priority. Having access to fresh, clean water is a large part of what makes our modern lives comfortable. Take a moment to consider how many different ways we use water in our home every day; for drinking, cooking, bathing and cleaning.

Eco friendly living homes use a variety of methods to reduce water consumption. This includes the use of low-flow showerheads and taps to rainwater harvesting used to flush toilets, for the washing machine, and garden irrigation. These features improve comfort or convenience.

The rainwater harvesting tanks can be installed underground so that it doesn’t take up valuable space. The tank is well-constructed and not prone to damage or leaking. The roof gutters and slab downpipes channel water to the tank. The design maximises the collection and storing of rainfall in the area. This is an example of how eco friendly living homes work with the environment.

The tank itself requires almost no maintenance as it is equipped with self-cleaning filters. The rainwater management system is connected to the municipal supply to ensure a constant supply of water. The rainwater management system switches over automatically, from rainwater to municipal water and vice versa.

It’s always a good idea to increase water savings by completing your home with a water-wise garden. A water-wise garden is one that uses indigenous plants that are accustomed to local weather conditions. These native plants are able to withstand dry periods and local insects as opposed to foreign plants. The garden has almost no lawn, instead it contains well designed walkways, reducing the amount of water needed to maintain the garden. Aforementioned makes for a garden that is easier to maintain and to care for.

Smart home technology

While the green and eco friendly features are effective on their own, the addition of a smart home technology system serves to enhance them. The Hydronics Radiant heating and cooling system, the heat pump, the rainwater harvesting and the water pump can be connected to the software. This provides you with two important abilities:

  • The ability to monitor consumption

Information is a powerful tool and with smart technology we have instant access to the home’s data. The system constantly collects information about power consumption and the level in the water tank. These are available at a glance – how much electricity and water is being using. This is available for right now, and back over time, for the current day, weeks, months and years

Without a smart home technology system, it is impossible to gather this type of information manually. And it provides us with an accurate, up-to-minute picture of how much electricity and rainwater we’re using. With this information, we’re able to make important decisions.

For example, though the effects of adjusting the Hydronics temperature is completed within 24-72 hours, we’ll immediately see the effect that reducing or increasing the temperature inside the home has on the power consumption. This enables us to adjust the temperature with a half or full degree to balance the comfort with the power consumption, instead of waiting for 24 – 72 hours. Imagine how useful this is when working out how much energy and money it takes to run our home? Not only does it increase our monthly savings, it also makes our home energy-efficient.

  • The ability to manage our home remotely

The beauty of smart home technology is that it comes with an app. With the ability to monitor and manage your home from within the home and remotely. You are able to install and run the app from your smartphones, tablets, and computers.

In an age where we’re increasingly using our smart devices and laptops, it stands to reason this convenience is extended to our homes. And with further customisation, the green smart technology is able to provide other conveniences.

It is possible to extend the system to include some of the other features too which include security and convenience. It is flexible, powerful and focused on reducing the monthly running costs. Simply being able to monitor and manage adjusting various aspects of the home makes it easy for homeowners to efficiently manage their home. As aforementioned, like having the ability to balance electricity consumption comfort and cost.

It is best to seamlessly blend the best of both green and eco friendly living technologies and smart home technology and work with the environment to create a space that is eco friendly and luxurious.

The grid-tied solar panels with the Hydronics Radiant heating and cooling system and the underground rainwater harvesting tank maximises the use the available resources. And the smart home technology system adds an extra layer of monitoring, managing and customisation creating a home that is eco friendly and ahead of its time.

Investing in a green smart home provides us with instant savings on our monthly running costs and additional savings in the future as costs rise. It’s a home that increases in value as more people realise the benefit of living in a green smart home.

Jex Energy Photovoltaic Electricity Transcript

Jex Energy Photovoltaic Electricity Transcript

Jex Energy

Title: Transcript of Interview with Jonathan Harf, CEO of Jex Energy
Presented by: Emmanuel van der Meulen
Guest Speaker: Jonathan Harf
Date: 9 May 2017
Number of Speakers: 2
File Duration: 11:48
Transcriptionist: Jacqui Jonk

Links are at the end of the transcript.

Transcript Breakdown:
00:01 Introduction to Radio Live Green Smart
00:54 Introduction to alternative energy sources
01:57 What is solar energy?
02:33 Start of interview with Jonathan Harf
06:36 Three options for solar power
08:43 Benefits of solar power to the domestic user
11:43 Wrap Up

00:01 Beginning of recorded material, Introduction to Radio Live Green Smart:

Emmanuel:

[Righto] so I’m just going to give a short introduction and then I’ll come back to you.

Jonathan: Ok

Emmanuel: Welcome to Radio Live Green Smart and to our interview this evening with Jonathan Harf, of Jex Energy. I’m the presenter Emmanuel, and a little bit of background on Radio Live Green Smart: it’s a forum to discuss green living and eco-friendly living and importantly a forum to discuss where you see any disrespect for the environment first hand. Bring such disrespect to us, we’ll assist to expose that environmental disrespect, use the contact us form to send the details of the disrespect, please provide comprehensive information.

00:54 Introduction to alternative energy sources.

Tonight’s talk is about alternative energy sources, most of the worlds current [electric] electricity supply is produced from fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas. These traditional energy sources have various challenges including but not [limit] limited to rising prices, growing environmental concerns over the climate changes and limited supply of fossil fuels. As a result, governments, businesses and consumers are increasingly supporting the development of alternative energy sources. [Renewed] renewable energy sources such as solar, biomass, geo thermal, hydroelectric and wind power generation have emerged as potential alternatives which address some of these concerns. Top

01:57 What is solar energy?

What is solar energy? Solar energy refers to energy from the sun. The sun has produced energy for billions of years [it is most] it is the most important source of energy for life forms. Solar energy technologies use the suns energy to light our homes, produce hot water, heat homes as shown in solar tankless water heater reviews and electricity. Top

02:33 Start of interview with Jonathan Harf.

Emmanuel: Jonathan is joining us

Jonathan: Yes

Emmanuel: and he’ll be talking about Jex Energy and how they look at renewable solutions. Jonathan my first question is tell us about yourself and Jex Energy and what do you do? Top

Jonathan: Ok sure, well what we do exactly is pretty much what you were going on about there, is we supply and [insall] install renewable solutions, renewable energy solutions predominantly for residential and commercial, [um] as the need is arising we moving more into the industrial sector too. What our aim [is] is to really reduce the carbon footprint and have people less reliant on the normal utilities, fossil fuels what not.

Emmanuel: Ok, [what um]what would be interesting [um] especially from our point of view as well: why should people switch to solar power?

Jonathan: Well it’s a very good question [um] very simple answer. The people are using up the fossil fuels at a dramatic rate and it is really destroying our planet. That would-be option [well] reason number 1 to kind of go green. [um] reason 2 [inaudible] the growth of the solar market worldwide has seen a huge reduction in the price of solar panels, solar grid tie inverters, it is really becoming a cost-effective way to move over. You must remember that in South Africa [um] our electricity price is still relatively low compared to a lot of the rest of the world, so the quicker people here can move over to solar energy the better for them from a cost saving point.

Emmanuel: Yeah, just before we move on, I’m curious, are you finding traction? Are you finding a little bit of resistance? Is the market buying into this still in a small way or in a big way? How do you find the market?

Jonathan: I’ll tell you something, we’ve been doing this now for 6 years, for the first 4 years there was a lot of resistance[um] people were very hesitant, the prices were high, which did cause this obviously.

Emmanuel: OK

Jonathan: In the last 2 years, this industry has literally boomed, [it’s um] we are just getting requests from every sector in the market which is brilliant.

Emmanuel: Ok, even domestic dwellings?

Jonathan: Even domestic, and that now has also come down to the fact of the drop in the prices of batteries as well as the technology increasing [um] Tesler have released their Powerwall 2 which we are installers and suppliers of,  and that battery is really changing the way people can live.

Emmanuel: Ok, is that the life of the battery or is that the cost or both? [inaudible]

Jonathan: It’s the life and the cost. They’ve been able to increase the life and reduce the cost.

Emmanuel: Ok I understand [righto]. [uh] Jonathan and then what are the different solar power solutions available either in the market or from your company?

Jonathan: Sure, so and in the market at the moment you would look at 3 different options. Top

6:10 cuts out

Emmanuel: Hello are you there? Hello?

Jonathan: There’s obviously [inaudible] hello can you hear me?

Emmanuel: You were out a little bit, just give [inaudible] please Jonathan.

Jonathan: Ok

Emmanuel: Jonathan sorry, suddenly something has gone wonky, [um] you come and go. Shall we just try again?

Jonathan: Can you hear me now?

Emmanuel: Yes, I hear you well. Top

06:36 Three options for solar power.

Jonathan: Ok, alright, so your first option would be a grid tied system, this is have solar panels and a grid tied inverter, there’s no backup or battery storage with this system [uh] typically this is a cost saving system. The only drawback obviously is that you don’t get any benefit at night time. We find this system typically used in commercial situations where they are using most of their power during the day; that being said there is space for it in the domestic area.

The next system would be what you would call your hybrid system, this would be a system typically where you would have a battery bank as well as solar panels and an inverter. The solar panels would feed the house or the offices during the day, the inverter then would change some of that solar power into storable energy into your batteries. This would be then either used on a daily or nightly basis, just a small amount not to drain the batteries or used as a backup, say for example there’s load shedding or a power outage.

And the last system is a complete off-grid system this is where you do not have any grid, any Eskom grid or any power grid and we design a system around that. We’ve done quite a lot of systems for game parks and those sorts of situations where it’s too expensive for [inaudible] Eskom line [inaudible] completely off solar energy and batteries.

Emmanuel: OK and that must be the expensive one?

Jonathan: [ah] yes that is quite pricey, although as I said as technology increases, these systems are really becoming a reality. [um] Elon Musk with Tesler, they’ve set up an entire island, one of the islands of Hawaii, that are running completely off  grid.

Emmanuel: OK, so it’s not impossible?

Jonathan: No, not at all.

Emmanuel: OK, [righto] thank you for those insights.

Jonathan: Sure.

Emmanuel: Then if we can take it a step further and maybe you can cover the domestic [uh] dwellings as well [uh] as well as the industry but also let’s look at the [indus, uh] the domestic user. What are the benefits of the solar power? Top

08:43 Benefits of solar power to the domestic user.

Jonathan: Well firstly obviously, it’s the cost saving, so [um] although the pay back is still relatively long, [um] if you factor in Eskom increases, as you know are quite ridiculous sometimes there is definitely a cost saving. Another big thing is that you no so reliant on one sort of power source, the utility, whoever it is.

Emmanuel: Yeah

Jonathan: So, it really lets you be a bit more free if you will [uh] obviously we also a green company so we believe in reducing your carbon footprint and all those sort of things.

Emmanuel: [inaudible] yeah OK. Just on the [the] grid tied that you mentioned a moment ago.

Jonathan: Yes

Emmanuel: What happens if the system produces more electricity than the house or the office dwelling actually uses.

Jonathan: Very [very] good question. So, at the moment is South Africa there’s only 1 or about 3 or 4 municipalities that allow for feedback into the grid and you get [you get] a credit in your account. There is a push now, Tshwane municipality have sort of passed it through legislation, so it will just take a bit of time and they are also going to allow for it. It [it] is a reality that it has to happen especially as our grid is under so much strain this would allow for energy to becoming back to them, even if we not getting paid the full amount you’ll still get a credit. All over the world they allow for feedback into the grid, however in places where it’s not allowed yet we do put something on called a grid tie limiter which just prevents that feedback for now but in the near future hopefully all the municipalities will follow suit.

Emmanuel: Ok so there is uptake? I take it when you started your business [inaudible] that there were no municipalities buying back?

Jonathan: None

Emmanuel: Now there are. OK

Jonathan: Yes

Emmanuel: OK so there is a growth but slow. [uh] are you there Jonathan?

Jonathan: I’m here yes [yes].

Emmanuel: The other question is, what are your most popular solutions?

Jonathan: Our most popular solutions right now I would say in the domestic market would be our hybrid solution, as I mentioned it has solar panels as well as a battery bank so you are getting the best of both worlds [um] we set up these systems in such a way that we try get people say 80-90% off grid with them.

Emmanuel: OK

Jonathan: So, it can be quiet a big saving to a lot of people. On the commercial side its definitely our grid tied system where companies are now looking at a 3-year payback on their system.

Emmanuel: As quick as that? Wow.

Jonathan: As quick as that yes. Top

11:43 Wrap Up

Emmanuel: [inaudible] OK righty [um] Is there maybe anything else you want to cover? I’m drawing towards the end of…

Links:

www.livegreensmart.com

www.free-the-grid.co.za/

End of Transcript Top

Radio Live Green Smart Launch Podcast

Radio Live Green Smart Launch Podcast

Radio Live Green Smart Logo

      Radio-Live-Green-Smart-Launch
Radio Live Green Smart Launch Transcript

Radio Live Green Smart Launch Transcript

Radio Live Green Smart Logo

Title: Transcript of the Launch of Radio Live Green Smart
Presented by: Emmanuel van der Meulen
Date: 1 May 2017
Number of Speakers: 1
File Duration: 26:28
Transcriptionist: Jacqui Jonk

Links are at the end of the transcript.

Transcript Breakdown:
00:01 Introduction to Radio Live Green Smart.
02:12 How to promote the radio station using #LiveGreenSmart?
02:56 The birth of Radio Live Green Smart.
05:27 The hype of green living.
09:10 How to start living green.
12:44 Return on Investment of a smart green home.
16:40 The benefits of living in a green smart home.
22:48 Wrap Up

00:01 Beginning of recorded material:

Emmanuel:

It’s 16h00 GMT time or 18h00 SAT time. Welcome, this is our first presentation of Radio Live Green Smart. If you wish to call us you can on +27, that’s South Africa, mobile number 082 651 4273, I’ll repeat that + 27 082 651 4273. Or you can call on skype emmanuel.van.der. meulen (phonetic spelling follows), please call us anytime with questions about green living or to share any of your own contributions.

Radio Live Green Smart is launched today formally and we will have regular presentations, interviews, adverts, regular shows where anybody is welcome to contribute, [during the phone ins] during the interviews phone ins will be available. And it’s a forum about green living, eco-friendly living and then importantly where anybody experiences first hand where the environment is not [expected] respected we would like your contributions about such disrespect to the environment. We will assist to expose such environmental disrespect in various ways, we would also like people in the areas to join us and to assist us with such environment disrespect. In the time being you can send your details via the contact us and that will send an email to our back office and from there will address all such information that we receive. Top

02:12 How to promote the radio station using #LiveGreenSmart?

The radio station will be promoted using the #LiveGreenSmart as a mouthpiece for green smart living, eco living [friendly], eco friendliness, consciousness towards each other and the planet we inhabit.  Anyone is welcome who is interested and curious about living green and it is our contribution to reduce the carbon footprint of each user, each inhabitant of planet earth, as some people are saying we are currently getting close to using the carbon footprint of one earth and by reducing this we’ll extend the life of the planet and also enable our children and their children to live on this planet in the future. Top

02:56 The birth of Radio Live Green Smart.

The birth of the radio station came about as a result of building a green smart home. It is a home with a difference; it was built as a speculation home where as usually people who [live, buy,] who build green, build it for themselves. So, in other words the owner finds a contractor and then builds a home. In our case it’s different, we built a home ready built and this started for us from the recycling of plastic, metal, cardboard, glass and tin and also composting at home and then eventually building a home for the reason to reduce the cost of water, the cost of electricity which is steadily rising and also becoming independent of the grid as far as possible. Our approach was to build a luxury home with green smart features, which I’ll come to a little bit later what the green smart features are, now the interesting thing is we built the home and our approach was that we would do it as a proof of concept to see if there’s a market for green smart homes that are ready built and we found that it didn’t sell. The idea is possibly too new the main [the main] reason that we feel is that buyers do not believe a green smart home is cost effective or that it has a solid return on investment, that’s another topic I’ll also get to later on, and as a result of this home not selling we decided to spread the word and hence this radio station is launched today, Radio Live Green Smart. Top

05:27 The hype of green living.

The next question I’d like to cover is what is the hype of green living? It’s about preserving our natural resources, via our everyday choices. Another part of what the hype is about is saving the planet. One thing is becoming clear we all have a large stake in preserving the planet of the natural resources. A further part is our health, green living contributes to improving our health, and then furthermore the generous savings and investment in the future. So, living green would start at recycling 1 plastic bottle and slowly over time the momentum will increase and we’ll end up [or we could end up and we would end up] living in a green smart home, driving a green smart car, working in a green smart office and eventually living in a green smart city. This might all be farfetched but there are already signs that there’s traction towards this type of living and thereby improving our lives. And at this stage it’s still very [very] expensive and over time the costs will reduce and it will become more affordable and eventually implemented on a larger scale. Some of the numbers, some statistics for instance reported by [tream] team Tree Hugger in June of 2014: 86 million tons, [that’s 78 000kg] of material was recycled instead of ending up in land fill. Further 113 000 [cans, aluminium cans were recycled and by using the recycled cans 95% of the aluminium is saved] aluminium cans were recycled every minute of each day, 95% of the aluminium was saved. So, all these little bits over time will improve, increase and contribute to us conserving the planet [while] whilst having all the benefits of living green. Top

09:10 How to start living green.

How do we start living green? The latest discussions all revolve around recycle, reuse and reduce. And as I mentioned a little earlier on starting with recycling 1 plastic bottle, a tin, a glass bottle, cardboard and paper to eventually living in a green city, and with time collection and drop off points are springing up in different places making it easier to recycle. And it’s not about getting anything or being paid for it, those options also exist, there is even money in making available collection and drop off points as business opportunities, however in the meantime just by doing it from home recycle, reduce and reuse all contributes towards conserving the planet. Another easy way of doing it is replacing taps and shower heads to low flow. Taps and showerheads – those are small and inexpensive ways to reduce water usage. Another easy way and inexpensive way is LED lighting to slowly replace all [globes throughout the house] downlighters, globes with LED lights and another interesting way of reducing resources is by catching rainwater. Rainwater harvesting is getting traction and there are 2 fairly easy ways, the 1 is just tanks, placing a tank or various tanks underneath gutters and downpipes and then with a small pump. Installing a small pump this water can then be distributed through garden via irrigation or in a more formal and expensive way with automated irrigation. Rainwater tanks can be installed underground. Rain water is harvested via the roof and from that harvested rainwater on a much bigger scale automated irrigation is possible. It’s possible to save water when flushing toilets and also for the laundry, this is an expensive option but it is possible and it is of course required ideally when the house is being designed for all the harvesting and piping and plumbing to be installed during the construction of the house. Top

12:44 Return on Investment of a smart green home.

Earlier I mentioned about the return on investment with a green smart home; so, let’s explore that. What I’ve come to realise over the last number of years, is that the market is not ready for green smart homes ready built and that’s not due to it not being a solid investment, my view is that is not well known where and how it becomes a good investment. So, let’s take this example: a traditional house has certain costs, for instance the initial building costs, the loan costs, the registration costs and the monthly water and electricity costs. Now if we take all of that together on a traditional home and we compare that with a green smart home it also has the initial costs and let’s say the traditional home being compared to a green smart home is the same size, so the initial basic cost would be the same, then added to the initial cost would be the green smart costs. Then the higher loan costs and the higher registration costs of those loans or loan and then it’s important to note that the water and electricity costs would be much [much] lower, and another important point is that if you compare the traditional home with the extra costs of the green and you say let’s go and invest the additional spend on the green home as an investment and take the yield of that investment and how does that compare then to a traditional home? So, if we take these in summary over a ten-year period the traditional home has the initial costs, the running costs and a certain increase in value.

And in the same way the green smart home has the initial costs, the lower running costs, the increase in value over the ten years the loss of not investing the difference in the initial costs, and when all of this is taken into account the green smart home out performs the traditional home by quite a margin in the sense that the green smart home covers all its costs, covers the yield of having invested the money rather than using it to build the green smart features into the home. And in a future presentation I will break down those costs with figures so that it’s easy to understand that taking all those different costs into account and taking the savings into account the green smart home out performs the traditional home. Top

16:40 The benefits of living in a green smart home.

Now just at a very [very] high level what are the benefits of the green smart home compared to the traditional? Well first of all the home temperature is managed throughout the home, throughout the year in a cost-effective way due to the low running costs of the green features being built into the construction from the design. The smart technology used enables the monetary and management of each aspect of the consumption of such a home and as a result of the technology being used to monitor and manage the usage. It is possible to have heating and cooling across all the seasons during the year and throughout the home, and having this benefit fully maximised with no need to hold back whereas on a traditional home due to the costs the much higher costs of heating and cooling in conventional ways, the choice is usually made to keep the managed temperature to a minimum and to use it sparingly. So, in the case of the traditional home it’s used to the minimum the managed temperature, and also sparingly whereas due to the cost effectiveness and the low costs due to monitoring and managing the consumption of electricity to heat and cool the home there’s no need to use it sparingly, there’s no need to hold back and therefore the whole home throughout the year is monitored and the temperature is managed at an optimal level throughout the home.

A further aspect of comparing a green smart home to a traditional home is the green smart home allows less sound into the home and that’s simply because of the various insulations that is built into a green smart home, starting off with the ceiling insulation, the floor insulation the external wall insulation and the double glazing throughout the home and the external glazing so this means that the house has an envelope keeping elements in and keeping elements out, and therefore keeping the sound out as well and this insulation also contributes to the temperature of the home that can be maximized due to using very little energy. Then the green smart home is a healthier home, this is achieved due to the heating and cooling being radiant, in other words it radiates out of the floor, the hydronics which is the feature that’s used, its piping inside the floor is radiated out of the floor and does not use any air flow therefore debris [different debris] that might be blown through the air does not happen. Dust does not collect on heaters, germs that might be in the home [is] are not blown through the air and the temperature is stable throughout the home throughout the year.

So those are just some of the benefits, there are more these are the big ones. Another smaller one which is not really small, but it’s a huge [huge] electricity saver and water saver and that is hot water immediately on tap.  What that means is that a linked looped plumbing system is installed and whenever any hot water tap is opened the water is hot within 2-3 seconds. That is winter and summer. So, the linked loop plus water pipe insulation, the hot water pipe insulation, brings hot water to the taps within 2-3 seconds that means it’s less energy, less water wastage and you have the comfort of not having to wait for hot water to first run through all the pipes to the particular tap. Top

22:48 Wrap Up

So, the summary of all the green smart home features just at a very [very] high level is: harvested rain water is used for flushing toilets, for laundry and garden irrigation. In your green smart home, you would have an indigenous garden. Harvested rainwater reduces the use of water by roughly 60% over the year. Optionally photo voltaic solar panels are installed and combined with the comprehensive insulation results in a momentous saving of 50-95% in current energy utility bills. This is a grid tied system which maximises electrical stability and savings and when the house cannot produce its own electricity, because its grid tied it can then draw from the grid and also where the house generates [exce] electricity in excess of what is uses, that excess can be pushed back into the grid for a credit from the service provider. The comprehensive insulation covers the floor insulation, the roof insulation, double glazing, exterior wall insulation, water pipe insulation and that creates the envelope throughout.  The hydronics radiant heating and cooling provides for managed temperature throughout the home throughout the year. The hot water linked looped system provides hot water at each tap in 2-3 seconds, winter and summer and saves significantly on water. Materials used in the home is low maintenance and highly renewable. Products like bamboo, stainless steel and aluminium. In combination, such a home produces momentous savings on water and electricity and then of course while you are saving you are living in comfort due to the various features, and last but not least is the lower carbon footprint that such a house produces. So, effectively the home provides luxury living, covers all its own expenses, provides a profit and as a result also reduces the carbon footprint of the inhabitants of the house. Well that concludes this presentation, be sure to listen in on future presentations by Radio Live Green Smart- and over to some music.

Links:

www.livegreensmart.com

End of Transcript Top

What is a green smart home?

What is a green smart home?

You may have heard of green homes. Eco friendly living houses that are built using green principles to conserve resources and reduce running costs are slowly gaining traction around the world. As the green trend develops, smart technologies are being incorporated into green and eco friendly lifestyle homes to enhance their efficiency. The two work well together to enable monitoring and efficiently managing power and water resources. What does this mean for homeowners?

Increased energy-efficiency

Green and eco friendly lifestyle homes are desirable because they use resources efficiently. This is particularly important when it comes to power consumption. An ordinary home relies on the municipal electricity supply. As the price of electricity continues to rise, homeowners are looking for ways to reduce their consumption and to save money. And become less dependent of the resource providers. Investing in a green smart home maximises the conservation of precious energy and saves money in the process.

The smart technology continuously collects consumption data. The information is available on an app, on a laptop, desktop, and smart devices for any period. Up to the minute, hour, day, over weeks, months and years the information is available and enables extensive monitoring of the resources to track and immediately identify patterns. This information is invaluable to efficiently manage resource usage. Thereby providing facts to make important decisions about how the home is run.

Let’s use an example to illustrate this. As the weather cools down at the start of winter, we’d want to increase the temperature inside the home. The Hydronics Radiant heating and cooling system takes 24-48 hours to reach the newly required temperature. Almost immediately after adjusting to the newly required temperature, by monitoring the electricity usage it is possible to see how much more electricity it would use. By adjusting the temperature by a half to one degree or so while maintaining the comfort level within the home, it is possible to save on electricity costs. Without such a system, we’d need to wait for the next bill to see the cost of raising the temperature.

Bear in mind that green and eco frienldy lifestyle homes also make use of superior insulation to protect the home from temperature fluctuations. The comprehensive insulation prevents the loss of warm air in winter, and cool air during summer. This increases the efficiency of the Hydronics Radiant heating and cooling system. Thus, the heat pump does not use excessive electricity to retain the home’s temperature as the seasonal outside temperature cools down or rises.

Being able to monitor and adjust the temperature of the home might be considered a luxury. Ultimately though, it’s the ideal way to maintain the comfort level without resorting to drastically increase energy consumption. The smart technology provides the easy monitoring and efficient managing and to fine tune every element of the home. Thus, comfort and luxury at momentous saving of monthly running cost.

Heat pumps generates hot and cold water. Heated water is used by the Hydronics and in the bathrooms and kitchen; cold water is used by the Hydronics. Heating and cooling of water accounts for a large portion of the total electricity bill. Having the ability to manage the temperature by half or a single degree presents yet another good opportunity for reducing the monthly running costs. Once again, the real advantage of the smart technology lies in its ability to collect data. Over time trends and patterns are visible. This allows for planning future needs, budgets and expenses.

The water temperature and temperatures throughout the home is adjusted from a laptop or smart device app which means there is no need to climb up into the ceiling, as with traditional houses, to manually adjust the geyser’s thermostat. These are some of the reasons why smart technology is used. It offers an added level of convenience for running a green home efficiently.

Making every drop count

It is essential to use water efficiently. Therefore, many green and eco friendly lifestyle homes usually include a rainwater harvesting system. Untreated rainwater is used for garden irrigation, flushing the toilets and for the washing machine. There are two significant benefits to using rainwater for these purposes. Firstly, it helps to conserve one of our most precious resources by making efficient use of water which would otherwise be lost. Secondly, it presents homeowners with the opportunity to reduce the effects of water restrictions and price hikes.

Rainwater is free and green and eco friendly lifestyle homes should have rainwater tanks to capture and store rainwater. The rainwater harvesting system should be connected to the municipal supply, so the home always has access to water. Without the necessary sensors, it is cumbersome to monitor the water levels in an underground tank.

A rainwater level sensor needs to be installed in the tank that connects to the smart technology system. This enables the monitoring of the level and usage of the harvested rainwater in the tank simply by logging in and checking the data. This information is stored and enables seeing how the levels fluctuate over a period of days, weeks, months, and years. This information is used to adjust and manage rainwater usage. This is up to the minute data and is an accurate picture of how much rainwater is used. Calculating how much water is required for a water-wise indigenous garden then enables adjusting the irrigation exactly according its water requirements. Usually saving multiple times the water used for the garden when based on guesswork.

Efficiently managing resource usage

Until we have experience of green and eco friendly lifestyle homes and smart home technologies, it’s difficult to understand how practical and convenient it is, how empowering it is, how efficiently resources are managed to maximise saving of monthly running costs. The aim of using smart-home technology features helps to increase the effectiveness of the green and eco friendly lifestyle features. Smart technology with the green and eco friendly lifestyle home features is based on an easily extendable smart technology infrastructure which in turn enables home automation capabilities, in addition to the green smart home monitoring and management.

For example, it is possible to use the smart technology for added security. It’s simply a matter of adding the relevant interior and exterior movement sensors and connecting them to the system. When the sensors are triggered, in addition to setting off an alarm that alerts us to an intruder, the following alerts are also possible.

Triggering the lights to come on, the blinds to open, and loud music to start playing: Thus, alerting anyone in the home and the neighbours, to a potential break in and has the potential to severely startle and repel the intruder.

Yet another way in which smart technology adds value to our homes. When we sell on our green smart home, this is a feature that is sure to appeal to future buyers.

Added convenience with an app

Smartphones, smart devices and personal computers have dramatically altered the way we stay in touch and access information. It’s therefore not surprising that smart home technology includes an app. This allows us to access the system from anywhere in the world through our smartphone, tablet or laptop. That means we could be away on holiday, or on the other side of the world, and still be able to monitor and manage our home.

We are able to adjust the various green and eco friendly liifestyle features from the app. For example, adjust the temperature of a room simply by logging in and tapping away on our smartphone. The system is easy to use, and user friendly and doesn’t require any additional software. It’s simply a matter of downloading the app and logging into our account.

We have access to all the information that is being collected by the system from the beginning. Smart home technology isn’t complicated or time-consuming. In fact, every effort has been made to ensure it makes running our home simpler and convenient. When we’re familiar with social media, or the Internet we’ll have no trouble using the app to monitor and manage our home remotely from our laptop, smart phone and smart device.

Enhancing our green and eco friendly lifestyle home

Ordinarily, smart home technology and automation may be seen as a luxury. We might think that it’s not necessary to adjust the temperature of the Hydronics Radiant heating and cooling system when we’re not physically at home

The true intention of the smart system is to increase the efficiency of the green and eco friendly lifestyle features. The real power of the smart system lies in its ability to collect data on the way we use electricity and water in our home. For those who aren’t familiar with the concept of green and eco friendly living, it’s easy to imagine that it’s all about saving money. In fact, there are real environmental benefits to conserving these resources.

Monetary benefits

Those who embrace these new green smart home technologies to monitor and manage their homes are able to enjoy the benefits of authentic green and eco friendly living. Although investing in a green smart home requires a larger investment initially, it is possible to recoup this through the momentous monthly savings. The green and eco friendly lifestyle features and the smart home technology also adds value to our properties. Not only do we start saving money immediately, we’re able to command a higher price should we sell on our home. Future buyers will be on the lookout for green smart homes as the trend develops.

From the aforementioned it is fair to conclude that a smart green home offers more than the ability to save on monthly running costs. It gives us the opportunity to understand exactly how we use resources such as water and electricity to maintain our standard of living and lifestyle. We monitor and efficiently manage our home which allows us to adapt it to suit our needs.

Being able to create a comfortable, efficient home is a true luxury. While green and eco friendly lifestyle homes offer us the ability to save money and resources, smart home technology takes it one step further. We maximise the efficiency of the green features included in the design and construction of our home. In the future, this will be the standard by which all homes are measured. Why merely invest in a green home? Rather invest in a green smart home!

The benefits of living in a green smart home

The benefits of living in a green smart home

What is a green smart home? It’s a home that combines green and eco friendly living features with smart home technologies to maximise energy- and water-efficiency and comfort. You may already be aware of the benefits of greener and eco friendlier living, however, people don’t generally know that smart home technologies are used to manage and maximise the efficiency and costs of running the green and eco friendly lifestyle features while making our lives simpler, easier and cheaper. Let’s explore how living in a green smart home makes a difference to our lives.

Green smart homes enable us to monitor and efficiently manage the green and eco friendly living features

Smart home technology has moved with the times and most systems include an app that provides access from our smartphone or computer. This means that we easily manage all the green and eco friendly lifestyle features of our eco friendly living home from wherever we are. That could be anything from monitoring the water level of the rainwater harvesting tank to adjusting a zone temperature of the Hydronics Radiant heating and cooling system.

Imagine how much simpler it is to manage our home when all we need do is log in to the program, adjust the particular settings and let the system carry out those adjustments. When it’s time to turn down the temperature of the heat pump, thats done in a matter of minutes. And while at it, changing the temperature of individual zones in the house, in fact, even setting up schedules to take care of everything.

This provides us with capabilities to monitor and manage our home, our energy, rainwater consumption, all with our comfort in mind. Thereby maximising the energy- and rainwater-efficiency of our green and eco friendly lifestyle home with ease. And because we’re able to access the app from our smartphone, changing settings even while on the go. This is ideal where we’re short on time. It’s all at our fingertips. This is especially handy to make finer adjustments to our home.

We save money every month with our green smart home

Eco friendly living homes are designed to be energy- and water-efficient. They include features such as Hydronics Radiant heating and cooling systems, heat pump solutions that use less power. The green and eco friendly lifestyle features save us money by reducing the amount of energy and water our homes use. By connecting these elements to the smart home technology, we’re able to use the information collected by the system to reduce your energy and water consumption.

Here’s an example of how that would work. With the Hydronics Radiant heating and cooling system being connected to the smart home technology, and with the arrival of summer, we’ll want to lower the temperature in our home so it’s comfortable. And we adjust the relevant settings to the required temperature, say 21°. The system goes into action to make those adjustments and its done between 24 and 72 hours for the rooms throughout the home to reach the new temperatures we’ve set. Finer adjustments to the temperature works in the same way.

As the smart home technology collects information of our energy consumption, we’re able to monitor data and see the effect of our changes. At a glance, we’ll note whether lowering the temperature on the Hydronics Radiant heating and cooling system made a big or small difference to the electricity used immediately after the adjustment. If the electricity used to adjust the home to the newly set temperature is too high, changing the temperature by half or a full degree, again immediately shows up in the electricity consumption. Repeating such minor adjustments enables us to determine the balance between comfort and electricity efficiency. The energy consumption data is available to see the patterns immediately and over the past month or year. Interesting to note, that cooling our home uses more energy than heating our home.

This information is empowering. Homeowners that make the move from traditional homes to eco friendly lifestyle homes know that they’ll save on their monthly running costs. They see the difference in their monthly utility bills, and they’re able to calculate how much they’ve saved by living green and eco friendly. And until we’re able to monitor and efficiently manage our home we’ll not be able to balance comfort with cost efficiency.

When we have a clear picture of the costs involved in running our home it’s easier to budget and plan. We’re able to budget accurately, save more money and introduce new methods to increase our savings. We might discover that with the extra money we’re saving to add further photovoltaic solar panels. Or further invest in backup batteries to run our home longer at night. Green smart homes don’t just make our life easier, they provide us with valuable information enabling us to save money while living a luxurious lifestyle.

Green smart home luxury

Imagine it’s the dead of winter and as the alarm goes off we slide our bare feet out of bed onto the tiled floor. It’s still dark out and as we turn on the shower hot water tap, hot water comes out almost immediately, well in 3 – 5 seconds. Once ready for work, taking a look out of the double-glazed windows we see there’s an icy wind whipping the trees in the garden; we make a mental note to grab our jacket before heading out the door.

If that sounds like luxury and expensive, it’s surprisingly affordable to live this way. The Hydronics Radiant heating and cooling system in eco friendly living houses works so well that we would place our bare feet directly on the tiled floor in the middle of winter finding the tiles warm. Smart home technology enables the use of sensors to detect movement and turn the lights in our home on and off without us having to reach for the switch. A linked-loop system provides us with hot water on tap saving both electricity and water. The double-glazed windows prevents cold air in during winter and warm air in during summer. In fact, they’re a small part of all the insulation used in the design of green smart homes that make our living comfortable all year round.

Eco friendly lifestyle homes are designed to use energy efficiently and that’s why, in the long term, investing in a green smart home is affordable. Giving us these creature comforts without the continuous rising costs of basic services. And because we’re able to monitor our energy consumption, we’re able to manage the costs efficiently. The information the system gathers on a continuous basis empowers homeowners to maximise the energy-efficiency of the home while they live in comfort and convenience.

Green smart homes grow with us

Technology improves all the time. A perfect example of this is the smartphone market, where new and improved models are released every year. With green smart home technology our home gets smarter too, we’re able to download new software and keep our system up to date.

We’ll be able to add on features as we need them, or as we budget to. For example, we could add an alarm system that works with our smart home technology. Adding sensors to detect movement and set off the alarm. What about combining the alarm with the blinds and lights so that the moment the alarm is triggered, our blinds open and our lights switch on as an immediate alert.  By adding an alarm to our smart home system we’re also increasing our property value.

With more sensors we’re able to set schedules for the lights. While away on holiday we could set the curtains to open and close and lights to turn on and off as if someone was at home. There are many ways that smart home technology as the foundation has the capability to make our green and eco friendly lifestyle home a smarter and safer place. Like, setting schedules to manage our blinds and lights according to our routine. Like, waking up with the sun, and setting the lights to come on every evening without doing it manually, by programming the system from the laptop.

The technology is in place so these are possible by adapting your home to suit your needs. Smart home technology allows you to manage many elements of your home and doing it remotely with the app on your smartphone or laptop.

Green smart homes are valuable

The truth is that eco friendly living homes are more expensive. Investing in property always pays dividends. And green smart homes will only become more desirable with time. Both the concepts of green and eco friendly  living and smart technology taking off as more people come to realise the potential savings they offer.

In the future, new home buyers will be looking for properties that are energy- and water-efficient, comfortable and don’t require significant maintenance. Due to the nature of green smart homes, most of the features included in green smart homes are built to last. They need little maintenance and don’t require regular repairs. Photovoltaic solar panels last up to 20 years and don’t have moving parts that would easily break. And underground rainwater harvesting tanks are mostly self-cleaning; they require periodic rinsing if the finer filters.

As mentioned earlier, green smart home technology software is easy to upgrade, we’re thus able to access new features as they’re made available. We’re able too, to start with the basics and add extra functions to the system whenever needed. All of this adds value to our homes which means we’re in a position to command a higher price, when selling the green smart home on.

It’s no exaggeration to say that green smart homes are the future. The initial costs of investing in a green smart home are completely outweighed by the future savings and immediate comfort and convenience they offer their owners. As both developers and home owners come to realise this, more green smart homes will be built. With monitoring, managing, more knowledge and greater comfort, a green smart home gives us the kind of lifestyle we’ve always unknowingly dreamed of.

Do green smart homes offer a sound return on investment?

Do green smart homes offer a sound return on investment?

When owning an eco friendly lifestyle home we’ll command a premium when the time comes to sell. Investing in a green and eco friendly living home will not only save money while living in it, it will increase in value with each years. Future buyers will be better educated about the benefits of greener and eco friendlier living and actively seek out homes that already have green and eco friendly features. Even seek out purpose built eco friendly lifestyle homes. And with the added benefits of smart home technology, the value increases even further. Buyers will come to expect eco friendly lifestyle homes combined with smart home technology.

What is smart home technology?

Smart home technology refers to the use of computers to manage functions and features of a green and eco friendly living home such as the electricity consumption, heating, cooling and the water usage. Such homes are referred to green smart homes. The smart technology infrastructure includes that the home’s data is easily accessed from a smartphone app or computer. The smart technology enables the monitoring and managing of a smart home from our smartphone or computer.

This enables that we efficiently manage our green smart home from within the home or from remotely. It makes running our home convenient and adds an extra layer of security to our property. With some systems, it is even possible to set schedules for lighting and the home’s temperature. Or, we’re able to rely on sensors to automate certain features. For example, before leaving the office, we’re able to turn on the lights so we arrive home to a bright house. Or, a sensor could detect the morning sun and automatically open the blinds and curtains, and the converse in the evening.

What is a green smart home?

Smart technology infrastructure is the foundation of a green smart home. Because, along with making it convenient to manage the green and eco friendly features, the smart system enables us to monitor various main features, like the energy and water consumption. Smart home technology continuously collects data of the home. This data is used to maximise the efficiency of all the features of the home. The efficiency translates to increased savings of the monthly running costs. And as the cost of basic services continues to rise, we enjoy greater savings without having to change our lifestyle. In addition, with a green smart home, luxury features are implemented in the most cost effective way. For instance, such a home is constructed taking many things into account. The green smart home being fully temperature controlled throughout the year with the electrical costs even multiple times lower than the traditional home equivalent, while sporting the luxury of being fully temperature controlled.

How do green smart homes increase our return on investment?

Eco friendly lifestyle homes are more expensive than traditional ones. That’s because they include features that cost more to implement during the building phase. And, the value of a green and eco friendly living home lies in the fact that our monthly utility costs are significantly reduced. The money that we save every month on electricity and water is available to, for instance, put towards paying off our home.

And this is how green smart homes increase our monthly savings:

  • Tracking our power consumption

The smart home system can be connected to a Hydronics Radiant heating and cooling system and heat pump. Both of these features use electricity efficiently. And because we can track our energy consumption over days, weeks, months and years, we have a clearer picture of exactly how much energy our home uses.

If we raise the temperature of our home in winter, within minutes, we are able to see the impact this has on our costs. We then have the option to make an informed decisions about our comfort level versus the costs involved. With a smartphone app, we are able to log in to the system at any time and make adjustments to the Hydronics Radiant heating and cooling system. Though reducing the temperature by half a degree or by one degree would not make much difference to our comfort levels, it would in fact make a significant difference to the cost of running the system.

The same applies to the heat pump. Hot water accounts for a significant portion of our monthly electricity bill. A heat pump uses electricity efficiently, so it already saves us money. When adding a linked-loop system, we have hot water on tap, which saves on water. Instead of running the tap for what feels like minutes while waiting for the hot water to reach the required temperature, the water is instead at the temperature you need within seconds.

With traditional geysers, adjusting the thermostat is cumbersome, which is why most people set it and forget it. We’re able to reduce our electricity usage by adjusting the temperature every season. We don’t need the water to be as hot in summer as in winter. And with a green smart home, it’s easy to adjust the temperature from our smartphone. Plus, we’ll be able to see immediately how dialing the temperature down a few degrees impacts our electricity consumption.

Once again, we’re able to monitor and manage our power consumption while maintaining our comfort. People generally don’t realise that greener and eco friendlier living is luxury living. Imagine, living luxuriously, while saving money. Having full access to monitor every element and every feature of our home empowers to make choices and to manage our home efficiently, and to maximise the savings of our monthly running costs.

As we use the smart home technology to track our power consumption, we increase our understanding of how our lifestyle impacts our home’s running costs. Over time, we’re able to identify patterns and budget accordingly. Or, find new ways to reduce our consumption and be able to track the results. Simply being aware of our energy consumption makes a big difference to the way we live. It encourages us to use energy wisely, save money, while incidentally easing the strain on the municipal supply and the planet. It’s all about balance.

Smart home technology adds value

The features discussed above have already been implemented in some green and eco friendly homes. The aforementioned are some of the benefits of smart home technology. Expanding the system is possible and includes other features and benefits of the green smart homes such as:

  • Security: Add an alarm to the system which works with motion sensors. When the alarm is set off, it triggers the blinds to open, switches on lights and play loud music. This takes the intruder by surprise. Having an alarm system will also lower our insurance premiums and again we save money.
  • Setting schedules: By developing the smart home technology system further, to set schedules for the lighting and blinds. For example, turning the lights on shortly before arriving home at night. Although a new technology, we’re able to add many features to the smart home system.
  • Remote control: By adding additional sensors to appliances, we’re able to set the washing machine or dishwasher to run while out of peak period. Smart home technology offers us the ability to interact with our home, even when we aren’t there.

When selling our green smart home, we’ll have more to offer potential buyers than what a traditional home offers. The green and eco friendly living features alone already add tremendous value to our home. Future buyers will be more aware of how much they’ll save while living in a green and eco firendly lifestyle home. From a cost-effective Hydronics Radiant heating and cooling system, to underground rainwater harvesting tanks, buyers will appreciate that a green smart home saves them money from the moment they move in.

Combined with the smart home technology, we’re offering buyers a modern, luxurious lifestyle that contributes to their saving from when they move in. We have already become dependent on our smartphones for access to information, and smart home technology does the same for our green and eco friendly lifestyle homes. Tech savvy buyers will appreciate this added levels of information that the system offers. And once we’ve experienced it for ourselves, we’ll be able to show them why it’s valuable.

Save now and increase our return on investment

By combining green and eco friendly living and smart home technology, we push the energy-efficiency of our homes. We’ll gain a deeper understanding of our power consumption, and have at our finger tips features that make our lives comfortable. With the knowledge, it’s easy to implement other features to further increase our comfort and savings. That’s money to put towards paying off our home faster, thereby investing for our children’s future and for our retirement.

After experiencing all the benefits of living in a green smart home, we’ll get a good return on our investment when selling our green smart home on. Studies in the USA have already shown that green home owners command a higher price for their property. And by adding smart home technology to the mix, we increase the value of our homes even more.

With that in mind, it certainly makes sense to consider investing in a green smart home. Property has always been considered a sound investment. We’re able to maximise the value of that investment by looking at green smart homes.

Consumers are already aware of the benefits of greener and eco friendlier living. Some new residential developments have added green features. That’s because they know they’ll save on monthly running costs and are less dependent on the utility service providers. The rising costs of electricity and water have contributed to this and it’s likely that costs of these basic services will continue to increase.

Buying any property will be the biggest financial decision we ever make. By choosing wisely, and investing in a green smart home, we’ll save money now and reap the rewards of a good return on our investment in time to come. Green smart homes offer us more financial benefits than traditional properties ever will.

How smart technology contributes to the efficiency of a green home

How smart technology contributes to the efficiency of a green home

Eco friendly lifestyle houses are designed to be energy-efficient. Every element of their construction exists to make the most of resources such as power and water. And when combined with elements of smart technology, eco friendly lifestyle homes maximise energy-efficiency and save homeowners even more on their monthly running costs.

Here’s how smart home technology turns a green and eco friendly lifestyle home into a green smart home:

Monitoring and managing energy usage

When not living in a green smart home, the only way to keep track of energy usage is looking at our monthly electricity bill. And seeing it increase at certain times of the year would indicate more power was used to run the home during that time. For example, in winter the higher electricity bill is attributed to using heaters to keep warm.

When adopting some energy saving habits, such as turning off the lights in rooms that aren’t occupied, we then wait to see what effect it has on the electricity bill. Or perform an energy audit on all the appliances in the home to work out how much is spent on heating, lighting, cooking and cleaning.

All these methods are helpful, though they cannot give the detailed information really needed to get a handle on our power usage. And if we want to achieve maximum energy-efficiency, it would take months of trial and error to find the most effective techniques for reducing our energy consumption.

By contrast, smart home technology constantly monitors the energy used to light, heat and run a home. We have instant access to information on how much power our home is using at that instant. And, we’re able to look back over days, weeks and months of data to identify patterns. Without smart home technology, it would be impossible to gather this information and have it readily available at our fingertips.

This information gathering, by the way, also applies to the usage of harvested rainwater.

The real benefit of monitoring our power consumption is what we can do with it. Information is empowering, and with large amounts of data it’s easier to manage and make decisions about our energy usage – accurately budgeting our expenses well into the future and calculating precisely how much energy we’ll save by implementing new features, such as a photovoltaic solar power system.

We’ll immediately see the effect our new green and eco friendly living habits have on our power consumption. Smart technology allows setting the temperature for individual zones within the home. During the summer, the temperature is turned lower so the home is cool and comfortable. Within 24-72 hours, it will have reached the desired temperature. The adjustment in the required temperature is immediately visible via the home’s energy consumption system. Adjusting the temperature up or down by a degree or so will immediately reflect on the electricity usage, and the same will occur in the winter. The efficiency is immediately evident.

Green and eco friendly living is luxurious and with the addition of a smart home technology system, it is possible for homeowners to enjoy luxury using energy and money efficiently. Not only is the Hydronics Radiant heating and cooling system remarkably efficient at maintaining a comfortable home environment throughout the year, the smart home technology makes it easy to monitor power consumption and manage efficiency and costs.

Manage everything from the computer or smartphone

No matter where we are, we can access the smart home technology system from our smartphone app, computer or laptop. And that means we are able to adjust the Hydronics Radiant heating and cooling system, or monitor our electricity usage even when not at home.

Smart home technology isn’t complex. The system is simple to navigate and allows checking on our home no matter where in the world we are. We don’t have to be home to change settings, we easily do it from our smartphone while on the go.

And there’s another example of how smart home technology contributes to the energy-efficiency of a green and eco friendly home. Because we have access to the system whenever needed, we stay informed of our energy consumption and are able to take the necessary steps.

With a few taps of our smartphone, we log in, check our power consumption and make the necessary changes. This technology not only helps us run an energy-efficient home, it saves us time and effort too.

Living green and eco friendly is a way of life. It’s about more than doing the right thing for the environment; it’s about taking control of the resources we use every day, and finding ways to use them efficiently. We’re thus not taking our electricity usage and its associated costs for granted.

After all, reducing our power consumption is a good way to cut down on our monthly expenses. We don’t have to sacrifice our comfort and convenience to keep our electricity bill low. The addition of smart home technology to eco friendly lifestyle homes means that energy-efficiency can be maximised. Greater savings make sense for homeowners and the environment. The idea of constructing homes with a combination of green and eco friendly living features and smart technology is the future of housing developments all over the world. And that’s because they both offer homeowners the ability to manage the resources they use, without giving up modern conveniences. The smart home technology simply offers us the ability to manage power consumption in our home efficiently, conveniently and from wherever we are.

Eco friendly lifestyle homes have become more than simply ‘green’ homes, thanks to the addition of smart home technology. As people have become aware of how easy it is to monitor and manage their power consumption, they rely on smart home technology to run their homes efficiently. Monitoring and managing the power consumption from our smartphone has become a natural phenomenon. We’re always connected to our green smart home, making our lives comfortable and cost efficient.