Finally, a home energy monitor that understands us! That’s the idea, at least, behind a new system called the Wattbox, currently under development in the UK.
When it comes to energy management, it seems, the first step is understanding how much energy your home is using, and the second step is actually doing something about it. While many nifty energy management systems that have come out recently are big on the first, this system seems to put a lot more emphasis on the second–by learning when we tend to use hot water, for example, and switch on our electrical appliances. From here, it sets a thermostat for maximum energy efficiency with maximum comfort. The device comes with a simple display with buttons for ‘More Heat’ or ‘Less Heat’ in case you need some variation; hot water is provided just before its normal time of use to save energy, with the display turning red to let you know the water is ready.
“These devices work because we put people at the center of our research,” says Peter Boait of De Montfort University, Leicester, England, according to Gizmag, who designed the intelligent heating controls as part of a multidisciplinary project from the University’s Institute of Energy & Sustainable Development. The first working prototype of Wattbox increased overall household energy savings by15.7% during the winter months and 34% over the summer.