Home automation is far from a new concept, but it sure has taken its time becoming standard in homes. That’s about to change: In a world where we practically run our lives through mobile devices, the so-called Internet of Things (IoT) is the next trend upon us. It is estimated that by 2022, the average home could house up to 500 smart devices. We’re talking everything from temperature and air quality sensors to lighting systems, coffee makers, televisions, stoves, blinds, etc. Your home will learn how to wake you up, usher you out the door, and welcome you home as programmed by you. We are beginning to see how IoT systems will change the way we manage our comfort and the way we save money on energy.

While energy savings is often a primary factor in driving commercial and industrial buildings to adopt Building Automation Systems, Energy Magazine stresses that the home consumer is more focused on new features and services when considering connected devices or controls  (Editorial: The Body and Soul of Connected Devices, August 2016). Still, with the price of a kWh only going up and the data-collecting and communication capabilities of control devices increasing, the average home consumer would do well to eventually recognize the advantages of monitoring and micro-managing their power consumption.

Of course, along with the tech, come the questions, and Energy Home Magazine asks some pertinent ones: Since many of a connected device’s operating decisions are made in the cloud, how are legal and liability issues dealt with? After all, a consumer may own the hardware on the premises, but who owns the data the unit provides? Which company’s algorithms are best for saving energy? How do we determine that? Standards will need to be set, and it will be interesting to watch their development.

One thing is clear: Fitting or retrofitting buildings and homes with IoT technology that benefits the wallet and the environment will demand the expertise of engineers who keep up with the tech and specialize in sustainable energy. Haglid Engineering & Associates, LLC and BPE, Inc. are ready to help implement the best solutions for saving energy and money. And when it comes to installing those controlled devices, they only work with control pros who can boast at least fifty success stories throughout a minimum of twenty years in the industry.