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Green Tech: Energy Efficiency Trends for Electrical and HVAC Contractors
According to a Demand Institute poll, 71% of respondents deemed household energy efficiency as “important.”
Strategic implementation of energy efficient systems for electricians and HVAC contractors is becoming increasingly important.
With growing demand, business owners can often command a higher rate for energy-efficient services and products. Energy efficient products are making their way into homes and business and that’s why it’s important for contractors to implement these solutions into their service offerings and projects.
Energy Efficiency in Electrical Systems and Services
Focusing on energy efficiency for electricians can primarily be segmented into categories: strategic and tactical improvements. Some electricians also focus on arrangements to sell and buy energy.
As energy efficiency begins to take priority for consumers and your industry evolves to meet this growing demand, it’s important to keep up with trends to better service your customers. So what trends and products do you need to keep an eye on?
Green Home Energy Management
For a broader look at energy efficiency, many consumers look to smart home technology, which allows households and companies to monitor and control energy consumption. Understanding the ins and outs of this technology will allow you to effectively consult your clients on the advantages and disadvantages of these systems.
Below are examples of smart home technology to familiarize yourself with.
- Smart meters enable two-way communication between the consumer and his or her energy provider. These meters are installed in place of mechanical meters and allow a consumer’s energy provider to deliver signals about his or her energy consumption. This communication can help the consumer keep energy costs down while allowing utilities to gather information about energy consumption in a particular area.
- Home Energy Management Systems (HEMS) allow consumers to monitor energy consumption and prices, as well as set limits on power usage within the household when energy demand is high.
- Smart appliances are linked through an energy management system, which lets consumers track energy usage of individual appliances. Users can also set limits on energy usage for these appliances.
- Home power generation includes systems like rooftop solar and wind turbines. As these systems become more attainable, it’s likely that these will be connected throughout communities and this power will become a shared resource.
Energy Efficient Products
Some consumers don’t have the time or money to look for a full energy efficient solution. If your client or customer falls into this category, there are alternatives you can offer to help them attain a higher energy efficiency level.
Recommending energy efficient electrical products can be an effective short-term solution to energy consumption. These may include:
- Occupancy and vacancy sensors override manual switches, which help control the costs of lights left on when not in use. These are available with an array of different sensor types, from infrared to ultrasonic.
- Localized switching can be an effective recommendation for a large space, allowing individuals to control the lights within their immediate environment.
- Daylight linked controls work to equalize the sum of daylight and electric lighting to the specified level. This can be used to turn lighting on and off, or it can be used as a dimmer.
- Maximum demand controllers can help high-tension consumers control energy usage and keep their maximum demand charge low. These systems reduce and turn off non-essential loads during high power usage.
- Energy efficient transformers help to decrease energy loss from heat and vibration through the core.
Energy Efficiency in HVAC Systems and Services
Energy efficiency trends for HVAC technicians often parallel those of electricians, particularly when it comes to smart home technology. Due to the growing demand of energy efficient systems, it’s crucial for HVAC contractors to understand the ins and outs of this new technology. If they haven’t already, you should be prepared for your clients to ask you about it.
Smart thermostats have emerged as a major player in energy efficiency trends, growing 123 percent globally in 2015. From options like the Nest, which learns habits and temperature preferences, to the Ecobee3, which is Wi-Fi enabled, this is the new wave of HVAC technology.
Smart thermostats simply make programming easier, which, in turn, helps the consumer save money. These systems can program themselves and offer remote access capabilities, making it more likely that a consumer will save money if he or she isn’t going to take the time to program the system.
High-Efficiency HVAC Systems
High-efficiency HVAC units today are built with desirable eco-friendly features, such as adjustable speed drives and innovative supply fan technology.
Some consumers may even specifically search for ENERGY STAR heating and cooling products. This label claims 85 percent public awareness that the label is a symbol of energy efficiency, so be aware that some clients and customers may have questions about the label, which helps identify and promote energy efficient products, homes and buildings.