September 12, 2011
| by Steven Castle
Finally, here comes energy monitoring being integrated into home control systems.
Home control company Savant debuted an energy monitoring system that is integrated into its Apple-based controller, at last week’s CEDIA Expo in Indianapolis. The SmartEnergy Monitor may be available by the end of the month.
The cool factor behind Savant’s SmartEnergy Monitor is that is shows relative energy use for HVAC, lighting and other systems in a pie-like chart, and users can press on that slice to go to control screens for those systems. “We’re trying to make the path between energy monitoring and control shorter,” says Michael Silva, Savant’s chief technology officer.
It’s not quite “set-it-and-forget-it” automation of energy management, but we’re getting closer.
Each processor has 24 ports for circuit-based monitoring via current transformers (CTs) that clamp around the mains and circuit wires of an electrical panel. Multiple processors can be ganged together for additional circuits.
Savant says the system can also monitor individual lighting loads via CTs that can clamp around wires behind switches, though wiring them to a centrally located or nearby processor could be an issue.
The system can also be used to automatically shut off devices or dim lights when preset energy ceilings are reached. However, that will require additional programming.
Pricing is not yet available.
Steven Castle is Electronic House's managing editor. he has been writing about consumer electronics, homes and energy efficiency topics for two decades. He is also the co-founder of GreenTech Advocates