How the Smart Home Can Help Halt Climate Change
Oftentimes, when the world gears up for big climate change conferences many speculate on the big declarations to be made at such events. Increasing pressure is being placed on world leaders to accelerate national actions towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. But should we only expect politicians and big industry to secure global net zero by mid-century? What if real change actually begins at home? After all, it is estimated that homes produce around 30% of global CO2 emissions.
Smart Home tech is increasingly reshaping the art of sustainable living. Intelligent thermostats, smart light switches, automated energy management systems - these types of smart home technologies are directly addressing the growing need for low carbon emission-oriented solutions to reduce environmental damage. Remote home monitoring systems, earthquake monitors, access control kits, et al, foster security and stability as we seek to protect our biggest assets and the loved ones housed within them. And smart white goods, voice control systems, discrete cameras and sensors can empower people to live sustainably with more confidence.
Attempting the trifecta of a safer, greener, more efficient existence, connected home devices increasingly play a critical role in meeting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals aimed at enabling peace and prosperity for current and future generations to come.
At Silicon Labs, we help customers build connected devices that measurably solve global development challenges. This includes bringing about improvements to energy efficiency, better health services, infrastructure innovation, sustainable cities, responsible production, and much more. It’s our purpose to make it really easy for developers to solve complex wireless challenges and get to market quickly with their innovative solutions that transform industries, grow economies, and make our lives more convenient and sustainable.
When it comes to climate change-tackling tech… We’re seeing some fantastic Smart Home applications hit the markets.
Smart Lighting & Heating Systems
In the home, connected LED lighting can not only personalize living spaces but generate huge energy savings to boot. Did you know that motion-based smart lighting uses 35 percent less energy? And home automation can reduce energy consumption by 15%. This represents a potential to prevent 200M tons of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere in the US.
With Google Nest, it’s possible to schedule and control multiple LED lights. But the real magic happens when these routines tally up with Google Nest’s Learning Thermostat, which also manages a home’s energy needs based on occupant behavior. However, earlier this year, Google announced a new ‘Nest Renew’ Service, which allows these thermostats to directly communicate with energy providers to allow for automatic shifting of heating and cooling time to when energy on the local power grid is cleaner. It’s estimated that this service could remove a further 50 million metric tons of CO2 annually from the atmosphere should 10million households buy into the service.
Environmental and activity sensors can be embedded virtually anywhere; inside drywall, inside furniture such as beds and floor mats; inside appliances of every size. By making appliances smart, it is possible to reduce electricity consumption and enhance safety through the provision of predictive maintenance alerts. In fact, the larger the appliance, the higher the risk of accidental fire. According to Electrical Direct, appliances caused 15000 accidental fires in England between 2019-2020.
In recognition of diminishing freshwater resources coupled with rising world population, the UN established a Sustainable Development Goal to ensure the availability and sustainable management of water. Homeowners can become great stewards of this precious resource. For example, smart irrigation systems gather data from sensors and send predefined user orders to actuators, indicating when a garden water sprinkler should be put into use.
As the fight against climate change continues, we recognize the incredible power of harnessing the global developer community to win. These guys are heroes. We will continue to support them through the provision of simple, highly reliable, robust IoT solutions, including mesh technologies that extend network reach in complex RF environments like homes.
We’ve assembled a selection of materials providing the full scope of smart home device benefits and instructional ideas on how to bring high-quality devices to market easily, quickly, and economically.
Discover how to Smart Home: LINK.