This app from Schneider Electric can help you optimize your home’s energy use – for a price

Do you know exactly how much power do your gadgets and devices consume when you are not at home? Or how often energy costs fluctuate? These factors are increasingly important to consider electricity prices rise and malfunctions a more common occurrence. It’s something Schneider Electric wants to help with.

The energy management company recently announced this Schneider home, a system that promises insight and control over the electricity in your home via an app on your phone. It includes a smart electrical panel, backup battery, electric vehicle charger, solar inverter, smart light switches, dimmers and smart outlets. Of course, it’s not cheap, costing around $10,000 for a complete system. Not to mention, the installation will be disruptive.

The United States Department of Energy sees home energy management systems (HEMS) as an important piece of the puzzle in working towards a smarter network. But HEMS come in many shapes and sizes. Many of us have already cobbled together retrofit systems with smart thermostats, smart plugs and Wi-Fi connected devices. By adding solar panels to generate electricity and batteries for storage, with a control system on top, people who can afford these systems can significantly reduce their energy consumption.

Schneider’s method aims to simplify the whole process. With a full setup, you can track electricity usage throughout your home, view usage by device, and see exactly how much it all costs. You can set up automation to reduce wasted energy. For example, you can set various outlets and lights to turn off automatically when you’re at work, which can cut power to TVs, smart speakers, and other non-essential vampires on standby, while specifying that devices like your fridge be on have to stay. You can schedule EV charging during off-peak hours or at night when electricity is cheapest. With the home battery and solar panels you can store energy during the day and use it during peak hours to save money. A battery also allows you to keep power on for specific outlets if there is a fault.

Modular home energy management

Photo: Schneider

The brain of this system is the Schneider Pulse, a smart electrical panel capable of connecting energy sources in your home, giving you granular control through the Schneider Home app. This allows you to balance the power distribution, which can be especially useful for people with a capacity limit. The system has the smarts to balance your load, perhaps shutting down your EV charger when you’re cooking and restarting it after you’re done reducing the load.

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