As an independent body, Choice aims to provide fair and expert advice that benefit consumers across Australia. In an in-depth article, author Alison Potter takes a look at what defines a home energy management system and why their popularity is continuing to grow.
Potter dissects the rise of smart technology in Australian households, and how this tech is helping to combat rising electricity prices across the country. After rigorous testing, she provides analysis on the HEMS market; specifically by comparing carbonTRACK to Solar Analytics. For your ease, we've featured a relevant extract from the article below, but visit Choice for the full article...
'The carbonTRACK platform is comprised of a hub installed next to the electricity meter. A hub can monitor four circuits.
It also has 'smart plugs' that fit between the wall socket and the appliance's plug. They connect wirelessly using the 4G network to send usage information, and they can be remotely turned on or off via the app or online. The more smart plugs you use in your home, the more insight and control you have.
carbonTRACK lets you remotely control the appliances you're monitoring, turning them on or off or putting them on a timer.
carbonTRACK also has plugs to control split-system air conditioners, and a range of sensors with programmable lifestyle features.
A HEMS can help households with solar PV systems save additional money by programming their system to run certain appliances when the sun is shining.
For example, excess solar energy could be directed to power an electric hot water system, effectively storing that solar power.
According to carbonTRACK, "Our customers can save up to 30% on utility bills by ensuring that their home's appliances are utilised in the most intelligent, efficient way possible when combined with PV solar, thus increasing the ROI of the system."
And if you're in the market for solar or batteries, "The insights will help you size up a system that is suited to your needs and budget, after helping eliminate inefficiencies in the home."
HEMS focus on managing electricity use to reduce costs and emissions. They aren't the same as home automation systems which manage the lighting, appliances, entertainment systems, climate and security of a home to increase convenience, comfort and security.
However, a HEMS can play a role when integrated with a home automation system to maximise energy savings and efficiency. CarbonTrack integrates with Google Home and Amazon Alexa.'