December 16, 2011
| by Steven Castle
Higher-end automation systems may only pay a return on investment in large homes that use a lot of energy. Then again, whoever bought a big home automation system expecting a return on investment? Now we’re going to expect that to save some energy?
You can always start small, with Z-Wave-based do-it-yourself or systems from the big service providers, which also use Z-Wave. And build up, or even get “starter” home control packages for a room or two for under $1,000 and build from there. Other mid-priced and more affordable energy management systems are also becoming available.
We’re all learning to appreciate energy efficiency more and the need to curb our energy use as much as possible—but as the Shelton Group’s findings show, we can use help from technology to do so. In fact, we could use as much help as we can get.
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