We have all seen the headline news with the rising cost of energy and the need for sustainable living. We cant all afford to get renewable energy like solar panels bolted to our roof so I have taken a few steps to manage the energy my home needs to tick over and save some money along the way.
Time of use energy supply
Energy tariff’s where the price drops at certain times of the day aren’t just for posh electric car drivers. I am on Octopus Energy’s “Go” tariff which gives 4 hours of cheap energy between 12:30-4:30.
We don’t have smart appliances so we use the delay timers on them to make sure that the dishwasher and washing machine will only run when energy prices are cheap. A timer in Home Assistant shows the time left until the cheap electric time.
Probably the first thing that most people turn to when setting home automation. Smart lights paired with a motion sensor\light level sensor we can make sure that the lights are turned off when the room is empty and only turned on when the room is dark.
Bonus Tip: Create a “virtual switch” (called a helper in Home Assistant) to enable or disable the automatic light feature for each room, this lets you override then lights for things like movie nights.
In the UK we rarely have to think about cooling of our houses so I have only setup heating controls in our house. So now we just need to be sure that were only heating the house when we need to.
Using contact sensors on all windows\doors and a smart TRV on each radiator we have automations to drop the target heating temperature when a window or door is left open.
Rooms that have very little use only turn the heating up when we are using them and our bedrooms have the target temperature set based on our mobile phone morning alarms.
Obviously we don’t want to use energy heating our home when were not there so that target temperature is dropped as soon as we all leave the house based on the geolocation of our phones.
Bonus Tip: Create a virtual switch as an over-ride to make sure that the temperature us not dropped if guests are in the house without you.
When no-one is home our house should be using a little power as possible, so our house does all of the stuff below when we have all gone out exploring. They are not just energy saving, some are just for fun :-).
- Drop target heating temperature.
- Turn off all the lights.
- Turn off non-essential switches (TV’s, Office etc).
- Set the Alexa based home alarm.
- Send notifications to our phone if we have forgotten to take our medication.
- Turn off music playing all Alexa’s in the house.
- Close the curtains if the sun has set, or wait for the sun to set if it hasn’t already.