As part of Consumer Electronics Show 2021 this week, Schneider Electric expanded its Wiser smart home ecosystem, furthering discussion around the smart and sustainable Home. Anchored by the Square D Energy Center, these industry-first products enable unprecedented residential insights and monitoring capabilities for homeowners to control and lower their home’s energy consumption and electrical heating and cooling costs by up to 50%.
“Our homes are expected to become the single largest greenhouse gas emitters over the next decade,” said Manish Pant, Executive Vice President, Home and Distribution Division at Schneider Electric. “As consumers equip their homes with more connected devices, the ability to control and manage home energy consumption will be non-negotiable. A secure, interoperable power management system is key to ensuring consumers live sustainably even at home, by keeping energy cost and CO2 emissions to a minimum. Our new product empowers consumers to make better energy choices, and to take active control over their energy needs.”
The Square D Energy Center connects a smart thermostat, a smart meter, a back-up generator and a solar inverter with an AI-driven energy management system. It takes a proactive energy management approach, addressing key pain points of resilience and effective energy management in the home.
The Schneider ecosystem includes:
• Square D Energy Center – A more resilient, efficient, and aesthetic all-in-one home energy system solution designed for smart homes offering homeowners personalized digital control over their residential energy.
• Wiser Home Energy Monitor – A connected solution integrated into the home’s electrical panel providing real-time information to optimize home energy usage and track savings.
• Square D Wiring Devices – High-performing, multi-tasking, connected light switches, dimmers, outlets and combination devices that can control room lighting, provide energy monitoring, and send alerts by phone or voice activation via Alexa or Google Assistant.
New Square D Energy Center features
Control home energy loads from grid-to-plug: All electrical energy from the home and grid now converges in a single panel where load control is managed directly: from grid to plug. From swimming pools to heating to appliances, like freezers and washing machines, in two parts: critical and normal loads. If an outage is caused by adverse weather, for example, the panel switches to ‘critical load’ mode. At this point, it decides if appliances like the fridge are ‘essential’, then the energy supply is switched to these appliances only.
Resiliency through different sources: The Square D Energy Center seamlessly enables the convergence, scalability, and optimization of residential distributed energy resources, including utility power, solar power, energy storage, future smart home devices and generators. With digital control from a single app, the power source can be changed to ensure resiliency and to reduce costs.
Charging without being over-charged: The Square D Energy Center panel can monitor solar energy usage and track against the costs of utility power to optimize energy sourcing to reduce costs. For example, electric vehicles are high load and expensive to charge if you need to do so at peak time. The Square D Energy Center panel can help to manage these costs by identifying the best time of day to charge your vehicle or switch to solar for charging to avoid higher energy rates.
Intuitive installation and usage: The Square D Energy Center embeds seamlessly into properties, integrating batteries and energy measurements from both the grid and the home. There’s no need to make a gateway or new protocols as it fits straight in with existing home energy management systems, controlled by the homeowner from a single app. Electricians can save installation time as the pre-wired panel arrives already assembled.
Across the United States, Schneider Electric is working with home builders, offering them solutions that focus on the four key areas that enable them to build top-of-the-line homes: providing best in class safety and protection, creating an enhanced lifestyle with connectivity, incorporating AI and machine learning, and embracing modern aesthetics and modular designs.
“We recognize the impact residential energy use is having on the environment and the need for new technology to help consumers increase their energy efficiency and reduce their energy costs,” said Richard Korthauer, Vice President, Home & Distribution, Schneider Electric. “We are working with industry-leading builders to incorporate new solutions into their designs to create sustainable homes of the future that allow residents to view, manage and track their home’s power using a single device. By seamlessly integrating this technology into their home, homeowners have greater peace of mind and energy savings, without sacrificing comfort.”
As an example, Schneider Electric and Providence Homes, a builder of energy efficient homes in Northeast Florida, are working together to create energy efficient residential ecosystems and empower home buyers to better control their energy costs.
Providence Homes is integrating Schneider Electric’s Wiser Energy Monitor into more than 250 homes, giving those homeowners 24/7 real-time access to energy usage, track savings and set energy goals to optimize their home energy.
“We take great pride in building 100% ENERGY STAR Certified homes that can keep up with the energetic families that live inside them, while offering a cleaner, healthier environment for all. When showing our homes, we are excited to share how our homes outperform traditional code-built homes in all aspects of design and performance,” said Charles Roberts, Vice President of Operations. “By incorporating the Wiser Home Energy Monitor, our homebuyers can easily see the cost-savings in action and the value speaks for itself.”
“We see our relationship with Providence Homes as a blueprint for builders across the country in how to embrace digital transformation and create homes that meet the demands of consumers today and in the future,” said Bradford Wills, Director: Strategic Customers & Programs, Home & Distribution, Schneider Electric.
— Solar Builder magazine