Energy Management and Automation Integrators Speak Out
Energy management and automation systems have changed dramatically within recent memory, but that’s not all that’s driving innovation in the category. Consumer perception of their utility and value has moved just as smartly along the same developmental curve. That’s what integrators who specialize in installing these products are telling Technology Integrator.
Customers want to be able to control not only their audio and video with their smartphones and tablets, but all other aspects of the immersive experience that is their home—and that includes total ambience control. Here are some comments about trends, popular solutions and systems, and what’s ahead for these interrelated categories.
Technology Integrator: How are energy management/automation products and systems changing?
Jason Beatty, Vice Presidsent, Cyber Sound and Security, Scottsdale, Ariz.: As more and more products are entering the realm of IP-based control, a more robust network is used to access energy management from within the home and remotely. New products are released, often building on the previous success of models of everything from lighting control to HVAC control. Companies are now offering better and easier-to-use graphic interfaces to display actual energy savings. Companies like Savant, Lutron, and Powerhouse Dynamics are at the forefront of this within our industry.
Shawn Hansson, CEO, Logic Integration, Lone Tree, Colo.: The main change we’re seeing is that systems are becoming more centralized and are also becoming interactive with other systems. We’re also noticing that companies and building managers are becoming more aware of energy management standards, and automation products and systems are much easier to use through features like centralized GUIs.
Managers of large facilities are realizing how much energy is wasted at certain times, like overnight and during holidays. So many buildings neglect turning off little functions that consume a lot of energy over time, like lights, bathroom fans and the HVAC systems. Awareness is increasing, however, and managers of facilities and within businesses are becoming more conscious of how appropriately managing energy can affect the bottom line. We are seeing a lot of managers across industries upgrading and migrating to new systems that will save them money.
Control codes and commands are becoming more universal, which helps separate systems, like lighting and HVAC, better cross-communicate with automation systems. Companies like Crestron are doing an incredible job with their software and GUI (Graphical User Interface), so the end user has an easy-to-operate system.
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