The Cost of the Connected Home

connected home cost

Are new home automation products worth the cost and effort?

New consumer research* reports that three in 10 Internet users now own at least one connected home device. Of those, nine in 10 would recommend the technology, and 87% said these types of products made their lives easier. When non-adopters were asked what was their biggest impediment to purchasing connected home products, 44% listed price as the reason for their hesitance.

Despite being ready for a connected home and understanding all of the benefits of home automation, consumers still wish it were less expensive to purchase and implement. But this cost perception might be a little short-sighted. Below, we selected one product in each of the top three connected home categories contributing to the biggest drain on home energy use to break down the costs, benefits, and return on investment.

 

LIGHTING

Product:  Basic Connected LED Light Bulbsconnected home

Value Proposition:  Remote control of home lighting, easily adjust dimming and automate lighting for your schedule.

Initial Cost per Item: Approximately $15/each (on average for a 60-watt equivalent bulb)

Initial Cost per Household:  The average household uses approximately 47 light bulbs so refitting an entire house would run approximately $705.00. (Standard 60-watt bulbs cost an average of $0.75 cents/bulb for a total household cost of $35.25)

Energy Savings (estimated):  The average household uses approximately 47 light bulbs and the average cost for electricity is 11 cents per kilowatt-hour. Hours used per day varies pretty widely, but for purposes of this example, let’s assume that both of the homes are using 60-watt or equivalent bulbs and that the home using standard bulbs would be in use for 5 hours per day and the home using connected LED bulbs would only be in use for four hours per day.

Total Savings (estimated): Standard 60-watt bulbs typically have a bulb life of 1,000 hours while the LED bulbs can last up to 25,000. That means you’ll be buying new standard bulbs approximately every 6 months, and won’t need new LED bulbs for another 17 years.

Standard Bulbs:  $566.11/year

Connected Bulbs:  $90.58/year

Estimated Annual Savings:  $475.53 (Over 17 years, you could save more than $8,500.)**

**Formula for calculation: kW used X Cost per kWh X Hours Used = Annual Lighting Costs)

 

SECURITY

connected home Product:  DIY connected home security systems (sensors, motion detector, sirens), and smart door locks

Value Proposition:  Protect property from intruders with remote control of home security. Sensors and detectors alert homeowners to open doors, windows and movement. Can trigger other actions like lights or sirens. Save on costly security system monthly fees.

Initial Cost per Item:  Connected security systems can range from $100-$300 for basic equipment package. Smart door locks run about $200/each.

Initial Cost per Household:  Assuming the average household would need 1 system and 2 locks, total estimated initial cost would be approximately $600.

Annual Savings (estimated):  Traditional home security monitoring companies typically have an equipment fee in addition to a monthly monitoring fee. The average equipment cost is $100 and the average monthly fee is $20***. Over 5 years, the homeowners that chose the DIY connected home security option could save $700.

Additionally, some insurance companies offer homeowners rebates on home-monitoring equipment and, in some cases, discounts on home insurance premiums. The U.S. average for homeowners insurance is $952 per year. A 10% discount for a home security system could save an additional $95/year. Interested homeowners should contact their local insurance agent to confirm specific offers.

Total Savings (estimated): Based on above estimates and assuming a 10% discount on home insurance, a homeowner could potentially save $1,175 over 5 years.

DIY Connected Security:  $600/first year

Traditional Home Security:  $340/first year and $240/following year

***Source: http://www.asecurelife.com/home-security-systems-comparison/

 

HEATING & COOLING

Product:  SensiWi-Fi Programmable Thermostat

Value Proposition:  Remote control the climate in your home from anywhere using an intuitive mobile app. Sensi thermostat is loaded with features such as current temperature, local weather information, humidity levels and seven independent day-scheduling options to make it easy and convenient to achieve the perfect level of personal comfort.

Initial Cost per Item:  Some Wi-Fi thermostats can go as high as $250 and that’s just for the device. Many require an engineering degree to install and can require costly service visits. Even others charge monthly fees. (Click here to learn more about choosing a Wi-Fi thermostat. Sensi thermostat is one of the lower priced options, has no monthly fees and includes a free mobile app. Before you purchase, check online to see if you qualify for a rebate from your local utility provider. Some rebates are as high as $100, which nearly pays for the entire thermostat. Assuming an average rebate amount of $25, a new Sensi thermostat would cost approximately $100.

Annual Savings (estimated):  The amount of effort your system takes to heat and cool your home directly impacts your energy usage and your energy bill, so being connected makes it easier to reduce energy costs. Just turning the dial down a few degrees when you aren’t home or when you are sleeping can result in up to a 30% energy savings.  Additionally, Sensi thermostat delivers the most precise temperature control with +/- one-degree (F) accuracy and is one of the few Wi-Fi choices that is Energy Aware Qualified®.

The average annual energy bill for a typical single home is approximately $2,200****. More than half of your home energy use comes from heating and cooling your home. Since energy savings is relative to your scheduling options and geographic location, below are examples of the types of savings you could see based on the above statistics:

10% energy use reduction:                $110/year

20% energy use reduction:                $220/year

30% energy use reduction:                $330/year

****Source: Energystar.gov

Additional Savings:  Just making mild adjustments to your home temperature could pay for the initial purchase price. But Sensi thermostat will also send you alerts if it senses a problem on your property, such high or low home temperatures, high humidity levels, or a loss of heating and cooling. This will help you stay on top of your HVAC equipment maintenance so you can arrange for a service call before the problem gets too big and too costly.

 

As you can see, there is so much more to consider in a connected home than just the initial equipment price. The value can extend into year-after-year savings, increased security, optimized personal comfort, and peace of mind. What are you waiting for?

 

*June 2015 study from Coldwell Banker Real Estate and CNET conducted by The Harris Poll

Interior Design Saved My Energy Bill

interior design to save money on energy

Use interior design to save money on energy bills! 

Fall is the time of year when homeowners should be preparing their homes in anticipation of colder weather. In addition to clearing the leaves, sealing doors and cleaning the gutters, you should also be readying your heating and cooling equipment for winter. (If you haven’t started, yet, click here for an easy checklist.). Also, Sensi Wi-Fi Programmable Thermostat is certified Energy Aware Qualified® so its precision temperature control will help to manage the your energy bill in the upcoming months. But did you know that you can use interior design to save money on energy?

Carpets & Area Rugs

Hardwood floors, while beautiful, are not the best insulators. If you’ve ever had to walk in bare feet on floors in the coldest winter month, then you already know this to be true. A great life-hack is to adjust the temperature with your Sensi mobile app so it’s a little warmer when you awake. Another is to consider installing wall-to-all carpet. But carpet can get expensive, so if you’re looking to for a cheaper alternative, purchase large area rugs and place in high-traffic areas. Area rugs come in all kinds of designs and colors so they can contribute to your home décor and also keep the heat from escaping. Lower energy bills, stylish home, warm feet. Win!

Curtain Treatments & Tapestries

interior design to save money on energy Other culprits that contribute to your higher energy bill in the winter are your windows. Especially if you happen to have a heating vent located nearby. Ideally, you should install energy-efficient windows, or at the veryleast, replace the sealing. But if this is out of your budget, window treatments and curtains are an inexpensive option. When the weather starts to cool, replace those airy summer curtains with heavier drapes or curtains. Make sure they extend a little past the window sides, and ideally, have them go all the way to the floor. Other energy bill offenders are your walls. While not as obvious, walls can also leak heat, especially if they aren’t properly insulated. Take a tip from the medieval interior designer, and decorate your castle with wall tapestries.

Curtain and tapestry fabric “seals” will help to keep the cold air out and the warm air in, give your home style and sophistication, and keep your energy bill low.

Paint Color

The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that lighting accounts for 11% of residential electricity consumption. Replacing your light bulbs with Compact Fluorescent Bulbs can help to save money on lighting, but so can the paint color on your walls. Lighter colors reflect more light while dark walls will absorb more light and reflect less. So, to keep your lighting a minimum, lighten up the color on you walls. You can also look for the Light Reflectance Value (LRV) when you are picking out paint colors. The higher the number, the lower number of artificial light sources you will need. But this doesn’t mean you need to go crazy and paint every room color white. Perception is everything and the color of a wall can change how a person acts, thinks, spends, and feels. Warmer colors like yellow, orange and red can influence people to perceive that the room temperature is warmer than it actually is. Contrarily, cooler temperatures like purple, green and blue will make people think it are colder. Don’t want to have to paint your walls twice a year? Consider updating just the entry way or hallway to let the first impression be that of warmth.

 

Using these tips for interior design to save money on energy will help your home to be both stylish and energy efficient.

Your Sensi Support Team – Meet Christian!

Support Team

Get to know the support agents behind our world-class service

Calling a customer service hotline is something that most people dread. The experience can seem disingenuous and impersonal and you are often left wondering if the person on the other end of the line even cares. Fortunately for Sensi Wi-Fi Programmable Thermostat customers, a call to the support team is drastically different. Here, our agents take great pride in their work and are highly valued. Their unique talents and extensive knowledge directly contribute to your experience. Each one is truly a “people person”, a problem-solver, an expert, and above all, personally committed to giving you 5-star service.

In the second installment of this blog series, we’ll introduce you to another one of our support team agents, so you can get to know the people you’ll be speaking with should you ever need our support.Support Team


Meet Christian!

Christian has his Bachelor of Science in Information Technology and is also completely self-taught in Japanese. In his free time, he likes to watch movies and television shows, build PCs, play video games, watch anime, and read science fiction and fantasy book.s

 

Describe a typical day at work.

“I can sum it up in one sentence: I help people. I help you get you started with one of the easiest tools for remote control of your home HVAC equipment. When you have questions, or are lost and when you stumble on your way, I’m there to help, listen to you, and point you in the right direction. And I don’t just do that for callers, either. In the Sensi support team, we help each other out all the time. I’ve helped to develop training guides and even helped to train some of my teammates. I also generated reports for our managers so that they can be assured that our team is making your call a wonderful experience.”

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Sensi Support Team?

“Being part of Emerson isn’t like any other job I’ve ever had. Being part of such a great organization, and part of an even closer group like the Sensi support team, is truly eye opening. Our management team is world class, and as for the support? Well, when we can’t figure out your problem, we have a team of experts that we can easily consult and get a relatively quick response from to get you the solution you need. Once you call us, you can consider it solved!!

What is your favorite thing about the Sensi Thermostat?

“It’s a device you can access and control remotely from anywhere in the world through the Internet, but I think the better question is, “What’s not to like?” With more and more connected home products on the market, a devices like Sensi thermostat is just one step closer to the futuristic automated home we’ve been wanting since first seeing in “The Jetson’s”. First, a remote control thermostat, then, flying cars!! Well ok, maybe not flying cars just yet, but still…”

What is one piece of advice that you would give to customers before they call you?

“Have you tried turning it on and off again? Just kidding. The app is your friend. It is really quite user friendly and easy to learn. It will walk you through the entire process from the installation, to the Wi-Fi setup. Just take the time to read and understand the instructions in the app carefully.”

Sensi thermostat customer sings Christian’s praises

“Great customer support! It’s nice when a support person actually knows what they are talking about.” – Jay T.

Think You’re Ready for a Connected Home?

Blog-9-23-smart

Take this connected home quiz and find out! 

If the idea of a smart, connected home sounds too “techy” for your tastes, or you think these kinds of products probably cost an arm and a leg, think again. The future is now and it’s completely accessible. Plus, there are a lot of hidden benefits to automating your home that you might not have thought about before. There are tons of benefits to home automation and Sensi™ Wi-Fi Programmable Thermostat is the perfect entry into a connected home.

Think you’re ready? 

Connected Home