Energy Efficient Homes and Business

Nick Holland
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It goes without saying that saving money is a fundamental part of any home or business. Lets be honest here, as great as Earth Day and being green is, there is no more incentive than spending less in necessities like power, to be able to spend more on the important things in life, like cool gadgets.

OK, so maybe not always gadgets, but whatever your reasons it’s worth thinking about it for a few seconds – do you leave your PC on all day? Could you replace your PC with a laptop? You could still use the same keyboard, mouse and even monitor if you really needed.

Laptops use a fraction of the energy of a PC, however if you still cannot live without the full PC experience then ASUS’ motherboard technologies like EPU and TProbe will help minimise power loss, and in addition to equally recent innovations like 80 Plus Gold power supplies and ultra low voltage DDR3, this all helps keep your performance per watt factor in check.

Lets think bigger though – how about whole home technologies? Home automation is nothing new,  but expanding it into remote management to “save money” is an enticing excuse to geek out your house. Ahem, I mean, upgrade it to be greener.

Intel is keen to jump on the trend of home automation and energy management, recently concluding that the energy management and saving money angle will be the key to swing people in the direction of teching out their homes. Intel wants it because it’s a massive new market where it’s considerable product portfolio could quite easily be ported; just like it wants in on the even more lucrative home healthcare market, but that’s another story entirely.

Apparently fifty-one per cent say they would pay more for consumer electronics with embedded capabilities to tie into home energy management systems, but ultimately this depends if there’s a uniform standard that everyone adheres to. Obviously, Intel is a company not shy of creating new standards, so expect it to jump in with two feet and a big smile.

Energy management moves beyond the home automation of turning lights on and off, as it can remotely see how much power has been used, which device is the most power hungry and it can potentially control appliances too. With the market shift towards hybrids and electric vehicles as as well as home installation for solar cells, this only further goes to validate the need for a management hub.

Inevitably the interface will become people’s TVs, and with a growing trend to internet-enabled HD sets, the TV is becoming ever more the all-in-one. That is, if you can’t wrestle the remote from the kids though; the alternative is an Eee Top with touchscreen interface that offers an instinctive direct control method of “the finger”, or any laptop or PC in the house should also run the software. Remotely managing your whole house from work or even abroad is extremely useful to check you haven’t left the iron on or that your home hasn’t been broken into.

So from the little pieces to a whole system, the power saving and management theme is already important subject to consider, but the bigger we go the more it’s yet still only “potential” rather than a complete solution. All indicators point towards that to changing soon.

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