A technology that consists of hardware and software which are linked and integrated to monitor energy usage, providing feedback on energy consumption and enhancing control over appliances and devices that use energy in the home. Simply put, these systems allow households to manage their energy consumption more effectively. Most importantly, home energy management systems allow users to have more control over power intensive loads and at the same time, customize power consumption to their specific needs.
Home energy management systems normally consist of a device which serves as the platform upon which communication between the user, the household appliances and devices and sometimes even the utility firm takes place. There are two main ways to install the device; physically on the electrical switchboard of the house or virtually especially in cases where the system operates entirely on a wireless network.
The software used in home energy management systems is responsible for the moderation of incoming and outgoing data and communication. For example, software, through the interface, allows users to have access to the monitoring and controlling functions of the home energy monitoring system. Monitoring allows consumers to get various feedbacks from the system including which devices are turned on/off and even the individual energy consumption of specific devices.
On the other hand, the control function allows users to control appliances either via a user interface (known as a remote control) or through rule-based control which is based on scheduling and optimization. For example, a user could schedule an appliance to switch on at a certain time.
A technology that has emerged in recent years with the purpose of enhancing the sustainability of energy consumption is the smart grid. This technology is the industry’s response to the rising demand for electricity as well as the need to reduce carbon emissions and in so doing, conserve the environment. Indeed, smart grid technology makes use of computer technology to enhance the functionality of the power system and in so doing, helps to optimize the system’s capabilities.
Enhancing the network