[BeEnergyWise Series] Step 1: Getting started with a Home Energy Management solution (HEMS)

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In today’s rapidly changing energy landscape, where prices are continually on the rise and tariffs are growing increasingly complex, finding ways to save money on your energy bill can be a daunting task. The integration of renewable energy and the influx of new loads in homes further complicates the equation. To navigate these challenges and help you save both energy and money, implementing a home energy management system like Wiser can prove to be a valuable solution.

A home energy management solution like Wiser by Schneider Electric plays a crucial role in not only saving energy but also enabling you to make wise consumption decisions. Wiser sets itself apart from all other systems thanks to the built in artificial intelligence, which enables to shift energy loads consumption to the most cost-effective hours and support households towards self-consumption. By doing so, a home energy management solution like Wiser ensures that your energy usage is both efficient and avoiding waste, ultimately helping you maintain a balanced budget.

With its modular and integrated approach, the Wiser app allows you to control and optimize your equipment’s consumption in one single app.

Not sure of where to start in making your home energy efficient? Let us guide you!

1. Getting to know your home

To save energy, you need to know how much and when does each appliance and equipment  consume. In other words, step 1 is to visualize the energy consumed. It will help you identify the biggest energy guzzlers, that should be tackled first as this is where you’ll be able to make the biggest savings.

How can you make it happen?

All you have to do is to have installed some energy meters in your electrical panel, on top of the breakers. This is what PowerTag plug-and-play energy sensors exactly are. These tiny sensors enable you to measure the energy consumption by the different breakers that power your home. The main difference with the energy meter that is installed by the utility provider is that PowerTag gives you the consumption real-time. That is a real game changer to your capacity to act!

The data collected by PowerTag are given to you in the Wiser app through the Energy Dashboard. Thereafter, you’ll start to have great insights on what is usually invisible! Here are some of the findings you might encounter:

  • Fridge is overconsuming or consuming abnormal
  • Heating represents more than 50% of your bill
  • Lighting only represents less than 5% of your bill
  • The peak of your consumption happens from 7 to 9pm while the tariff of electricity is higher at this time of the day

By closely monitoring your consumption and your bill, you can make informed decisions. On an average, people who start to visualize their energy consumption make up to 8% savings.

These PowerTag energy sensors are installed inside your electrical panel. ​ You have the option to install either one or several, depending on your needs.

2. Do control what weighs most on your bill

Once the most power-hungry loads have been identified, it’s time to control them. Most of the equipment and appliances can be easily controlled. Here’s how you can do that…

Get smart connected devices, such as thermostats to manage your heating, or micromodules to manage your water heater and/or roller shutters, to be installed. For the most skillful of you, you’ll find it easy to install yourself.

Thanks to the control of the devices, simple automations can be put in place:

  • The house is empty most of the day, only set the heating schedules at times when your family is back from work or school
  • Your kids are away one week after the other visiting their dad you separated from, you can set to pause the heating of their bedroom while it is empty
  • Set the water tank heating in the middle of the night or whenever the tariff of electricity is cheaper

And the more you connect devices, the more you’ll be able to better understand your energy consumption patterns.

In general, more than half of a home’s energy consumption is devoted to heating.  It’s crucial to efficiently and smartly manage one of your home’s primary power loads. 

Is your hot water tank overheating the bill? It’s time to optimize that load usage with the Wiser Power Micromodule embedded in the Wiser Home app. Here is a practical example: Wiser will start heating your hot water tank at the time the electricity rate is the cheapest, so you can take a hot shower as you always do at 7am. If you are equipped with solar panels, Wiser prioritize to heat the water when power produced by the sun is at its maximum. So it can sort of store the energy in the water tank, in other words, you can use your water tank as a battery.

Are the costs of charging your electric vehicle significantly impacting your bill? Here’s a solution to optimize it. With Wiser and Schneider Charge, you can activate the Reduce My Bill charging mode to charge automatically again when the tariff of electricity is the cheapest or during the sunniest hours when you have solar panels.

Learn more about building sustainable homes of the future with a home energy management system like Wiser.

Want to share any feedback, questions or comments? We’d love to hear them! Email Schneider Electric: johanne.guigue@se.com

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