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Unlocking Energy Efficiency: How Smart Thermostats and the BER Scale Revolutionize Energy Management

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Hub Controller Blog US Energy Grid

The beginning of the new digital age has brought numerous pleasantries and benefits to both enterprises and consumers alike, adding ease and optimization to a myriad of daily tasks. However, the young digital age has certainly come with drawbacks as well, with the most notable current consequence being the increased demand for energy globally, at both the business and consumer level.

The urgency for large amounts of energy to power a variety of innovative devices and applications has brought global attention to the need for enhanced energy efficiency. At the enterprise level, nearly 30 percent of the energy consumed in commercial buildings is wasted, which deters a business’ ability to optimize processes, reduce emissions, and overall save money.

At the household level, energy efficiency is even worse, with 67 percent of the energy used in homes today falling under the category of wasted. This amount of energy waste can significantly cripple an individual or household from a financial standpoint, given that 44 percent of United States residents have to spend almost 10 percent of their salary on energy, as well as nearly 60 percent of residents having to often decide between paying for energy or groceries.

This has sparked a desire by both enterprises and consumers not simply to improve their energy efficiency but also to find a way to quantify their current energy efficiency. Being able to put a numerical value to one’s energy efficiency can help identify not only the current state of their energy use but also what areas of energy in specific may need improving. For both individuals and organizations, the Building Energy Rating (BER) scale can aid in evaluating their overall energy efficiency.

The BER Scale in Action 

The BER scale was created and is mainly used in Ireland, though similar energy rating scales have begun to be leveraged in other countries. However, as for the BER scale, ratings can go from A, the highest, to G, the lowest, and it is a good indicator of how much a building will spend on energy and how much carbon it will need to produce to heat the building to a comfortable level adequately.

The BER scale was put into action recently, as a study done by the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) leveraged the BER Scale in order to determine household energy efficiency across Ireland. The ESRI calculated a household’s overall energy efficiency with the BER scale via two main statistics: energy use in home heating and home heat retention.

The ESRI analysis was based on detailed information collected every three minutes over a span of two years, obtained from Hub Controller’s very own smart thermostats powered by the HubBrain. The data the ESRI collected from our smart thermostats included household thermostat set point, indoor temperature, and heating unit operating status, giving the ESRI extensive information when calculating a household’s energy efficiency.

By the end of their study, with the use of the BER Scale, the ESRI found a direct correlation between overall energy efficiency and heat-related energy use. The report found that households with better energy efficiency generally used less energy to heat their homes, and they had better heat retention, especially during the winter months.

The report also concluded that overall energy efficiency provided other benefits apart from heat use and retention, with households that had a higher rating of energy efficiency also seeing monetary advantages, thanks to their overall less energy use. Furthermore, the enhanced heat retention during the winter months was found to play a role in fighting seasonal depression, given the decreased exposure to the cold.

Hub Controller Here to Help 

We’re honored to have our Hub Controller smart thermostats leveraged by the ESRI for their recent study, as it’s a part of our mission to have both consumers and organizations recognize some of the benefits of energy efficiency that were originally unbeknownst. However, knowing is only half the battle, but thankfully, at Hub Controllers, our intelligent energy solutions powered by our HubBrain can help businesses and individuals take the first steps towards enhancing their energy efficiency.

With over 12,000 installed units generating an average of USD 800 or more in annual savings, the Hub Controller has been proven in Europe and is now available in the United States and North America. With several years of data, we have built a fully automated intelligent system that helps consumers take control of their energy usage with very little effort.

Our system is affordable, easy for service providers to install, and intuitive to use because the system is continually self-learning. Consumers simply set their basic parameters, and the system then monitors and adapts to ensure energy is never wasted. Remote accessibility and customized scheduling help consumers ensure their energy use is optimized at all times, even when they are miles away.

Our Hub Controller systems also come equipped with automatic energy reduction (AER) capabilities to ensure the most efficient use of energy. AER is what delivers the majority of your energy savings by reducing the amount of boiler-on time through intuiting a household’s preferences even more accurately than a human could. This makes it easy for consumers to save on energy, which is found to be, on average, 36.63 percent worth of savings, even if they forget to monitor their energy use themselves.

Overall, our goal is to reduce the gap in energy inequity and aid those struggling to pay their utility bills by installing our Hub Controller systems. By first using the BER Scale to determine where one’s energy flaws are, our Hub Controller can then help companies and individuals understand how to save money and stay comfortable.

Through intelligent design, our system enables building owners, managers, and consumers to take control of their heating and cooling automatically and begin to reduce their energy waste, providing health, financial, and overall sustainability benefits that can help bridge the energy inequity gap around the world.