New home energy control service launched
Samsung and Bulb have announced a new home energy control service designed to help people understand their energy usage and make greener decisions at home.
'SmartThings Energy Control' runs alongside an app aimed at helping those with smart meters monitor their energy use in real-time from their smartphone or tablet.
It tells users exactly how much they have spent in a day on energy, at what time of the day they have used the most - as well as seeing how much energy each device has used.
Customers can also turn devices on and off from the app when they are out of the house, as with popular smart home tech devices Hive and Nest.
The app, called SmartThings, will also provide data on carbon intensity so households can make greener decisions about when to use energy, in the hopes of cutting down on their carbon impact.
In the next few months, the SmartThings app will integrate with Bulb's Smart Tariff and will advise customers how much they'll be able to save if they move some of their energy use out of the peak hours.
Hayden Wood, CEO of Bulb, said: 'Smart meters are a foundational element in making energy simpler, cheaper and greener. To make the most of them, our members need useful digital tools to help them understand their energy usage.
'That's why we're excited to announce this new tool which will help our members to use less energy, save on their bills and lower carbon emissions.'
Customers will be able to see how much energy each device is using, for example, how much electricity a dishwasher uses in a wash and how much gas a hob uses when it is on.
It will also provide data on carbon intensity so households can make more environmentally conscious decisions about when to use their energy.
Customers can, for example, run pre-set oven programmes or dishwasher cycles outside of peak cycles.
Teg Dosanjh, Director of Connected Living at Samsung Electronics UK and Ireland, said: 'We know that up to 40 percent of UK carbon emissions are created in the home.
'While smart meters help increase awareness of energy usage, digital technology can help to create the behaviour changes required to really make a difference to people's pockets and their carbon footprint.
'With SmartThings Energy Control, we're taking energy data off the wall and putting it into people's hands.'
SmartThings Energy Control is available today to current Bulb customers who have a second generation (SMETS2) smart meter installed. These consumers can simply download the SmartThings app on an iOS or Android device.
Anyone else looking to join will need to have a SMETS2 meter installed before they can use the SmartThings service.
How does this compare to other smart home tech?
The SmartThings service bears many similarities to other smart home tech products. There is a growing number of new products being introduced, all aiming to make customers lives easier.
Hive is one such example of a smart energy service that more and more people are having installed in their homes.
Similar to how Bulb customers will be able to control their energy usage from their phones and tablets, Hive users can turn their heating and hot water on and off from their phone.
Hive claims that not having to heat an empty house can save customers £120 a year.
Nest is another brand that offers a similar service - it also learns the temperature you like when you're at home and turns itself down when you’re away.
Philips also offer energy saving lightbulbs. The Philips Hue starter kit contains lightbulbs that then let the user set them to come on at certain times of day, for example, to slowly wake them up in the morning. The lights can also be turned off or on from your smartphone.
Smart plugs are another piece of smart home technology helping customers reduce their energy usage and giving users peace of mind.
They allow people to control items plugged into the smart plug through their phone or tablet.
For example, if you forgot to turn the iron off at home and it was plugged in to a smart plug, you would be able to turn it off without having to return home.
One of the plugs that comes highly recommended is the Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug with Energy Monitoring from TP-Link.
This plug tracks your device’s power consumption in real-time and can give you weekly and monthly summaries. It can also be voice controlled when paired with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant or Microsoft Cortana.
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