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We’re very proud of our independent Excellent Trustpilot rating, backed up by the many repeat customers we’ve been supporting for years.

 

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World-Class, Industry-Leading Technical Support - Forever Free

You’ll always have FREE access to our technical knowledgebase, application guides, YouTube tutorials & Customer Services, as well as all other online resources, help, white papers and articles.

If none of these answer your query you can also raise a ticket and get direct access to our team of smart home specialists for for assistance.

 
 

Access to technical specialists
100’s of in-depth help resources
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The Vesternet Promise

As Founder & CEO of Vesternet, I personally guarantee your 100% satisfaction on any purchase.

I’d never want you to be unhappy with something you buy from us, so here’s my promise - you can return any unused products within 365 days. If you have problems with a new purchase, our support team will work with you to resolve. And if you still can’t get it working then you can return it within 14 days for replacement or refund. For full information take a look at our full returns policy.

In addition, here’s my personal email should you ever have any problems or feedback: dave.bell@vesternet.com

We’re not just a shop, we’re with you all the way on building your smart home.

 
 

Energy management

Your home’s energy bill is probably one of the most costly you get, and it’s only going to get worse as energy prices continue to rise. Unless you take control and use your energy more intelligently.

In this article we’re going to look at using home automation to monitor and control your home’s energy use and see whether it can actually make a difference - helping you to save money.

Some Facts About Energy Consumption

Why save energy?

There are only two reasons why we as consumers want to save energy - the obvious one is to reduce our bills and the other is to help reduce greenhouse gasses and pollution. And if we’re being totally honest, we won’t spend money to make changes unless it’s going to save us money at the same time.

Waste of Money!

By hoping for the best and leaving your house to look after itself will waste energy and is simply a waste of your money!>

Here’s a simple test. Walk around your home - how many little red lights you can count? Sure it’s nice to have those devices waiting in standby for you to turn them On, but those devices are using a stack of electricity - typically 20% of what they would if they were on. And they’re either fully On or in standby for 24-hours, 365 days a year!

Saving energy is quite straightforward and even simple changes can save you a lot of money.

Standby - Turn devices Off, don’t leave them in standby - this can save around £76 off your annual bill.

Economy Tariffs - By setting your appliances (dishwasher, washing machine, etc.) to use economy or night-time electricity can save you 5% per appliance.

Lighting - Dimming lights when they’re On will save you money. Dimming them by 50% can save you 10% (that’s a bit extreme but you get the idea).

Blinds - Closing blinds at sunset during the winter and sunrise during the summer can save up to 8% of the room’s energy usage - great for conservatories.

Heating - This is an entire subject in its own right - take a look at Heating Management Scenario.

Using Home Automation to Save Energy

So saving energy is straightforward - but doing it is never that simple. We forget to do things, we leave things on standby and we carry on wasting money.

Using Home Automation to save energy

Home automation (by definition) can automate these things for you. It can monitor where and how you use energy, helping you identify how you can make savings. You then set the system to control these areas and leave it to run, it really does look after itself, things just happen - silently saving you money.

The two modern home automation technologies that are perfect for energy management are LightwaveRF and Z-Wave Both offer affordable and easy to install systems to control your power use, they can even connect to the Internet to send you alerts or allow you remote access to the system.


What's available

We offer three main wireless home automation technologies - Z-Wave, LightwaveRF and INSTEON.

Before we continue, it’s worth taking a quick look at the main differences between LightwaveRF and Z-Wave.

Z-WaveZ-Wave_Logo

The leading technology offering advanced capabilities that make it the most flexible solution for all home automation systems:

  • Two-way communication - all messages acknowledged and don’t get lost
  • Mesh networking - automatically covers dead-spots, great for large houses or old houses that have very thick walls
  • Easy connection to the Internet - sends texts/emails and enables you to access the network from anywhere/li>
  • Huge range of products - 27 vendors offering nearly 700 devices for lighting, heating, security and energy management

LightwaveRFLightwaveRF Logo

A new technology that offers a reasonable performance for most home automation applications at a very low cost.

  • Simple wireless technology - does not include two-way communication or mesh networking
  • Smaller number of products - only offered by one vendor and limited to UK style plugs
  • Can be connected to the Internet to send texts/emails and remote access
  • Great range of stylish, low cost products for control of appliances, lighting and power measurement

INSTEONINSTEON Logo

An award winning dual-mesh technology that has just been introduced by Vesternet to the UK and European markets.

  • Unique dual-mesh network - signals sent using your home’s wiring and the wireless network
  • No energy management products - expanded range of products expected in 2013

Vesternet recommendation

Z-Wave and LightwaveRF - both offer a great range of product that will enable you to monitor your home's energy usage.


Choosing your Components

We've compiled a list of products that we feel represent good value for money and provide the features you need to start your home automation energy management system. You don’t need to buy the whole system at once, you can buy what you need and then expand it.

Controllers

Home Automation ControllersControllers and remotes are the starting point of your smart home system, allowing you to configure and control the whole network.
By adding a Gateway Controller, you can also access the network from anywhere in the world using your Smartphone or PC.

VERA Lite

The VERA Lite Internet Gateway is designed for users that already have a Wi-Fi router and want to add Z-Wave home control at the most affordable price. If you need a gateway controller with integrated Wi-Fi router, take a look at the VERA3 controller.

WiFi Link - LightwaveRF

The LightwaveRF Connect Wifi-Link allows you to use a PC or Smartphone to remotely control any of your LightwaveRF devices.

Socket AdaptersHome Automation On/Off Sockets

Socket adapters plug into outlet sockets and enable the system to control appliances (On/Off) based on set times or by other network sensors such as motion detectors. For example a sensor can automatically switch a light On when you walk into a room and then turn it Off when there is no activity. Some sockets can also track energy consumption of the connected appliances.

Fibaro Wall Plug - Z-Wave

Possibly the ultimate Z-Wave wall plug enables you to control any appliance wirelessly as well as showing you how much power is being used, allowing you to measure power consumption and to test the wireless coverage of your Z-Wave network.

Everspring On/Off Sockets - Z-Wave

Simple, cheap and reliable solution, Z-Wave controlled sockets are a great addition to any home automation system as they can be used to wirelessly control lights or other appliances.

On/Off Socket Kit - LightwaveRF

On/Off sockets control any appliance or lamp by simply plugging into the mains socket.
Great value - kit includes three sockets and a remote control.

In-Wall ControlHome Automation On/Off Inserts

These devices are installed into existing back-boxes enabling lights and appliances to be controlled by the wireless network. Similar to the sockets, these devices enable you to save money by controlling and monitoring the energy used.

Fibaro Inserts - Z-Wave

Range of Z-Wave insert modules including a Universal Dimmer for lights, a single relay and double relay module to control appliances and a Blind control module. Ideal for adding wireless control to any lights or appliances.

Aeon Labs Micro Smart Energy - Z-Wave

Inserts that replace existing in-wall switch and dimmer controls enabling Z-Wave wireless control of lights and other small appliances.
They also report actual power consumption (in W) and the accumulated power used (in kWh); ideal to help reduce your energy costs.

Sockets - LightwaveRF

Range of stylish sockets that directly replace existing 1- and 2-gang 13amp sockets, enabling them to be controlled via the
LightwaveRF network. There are also matching light switches available.

Power MetersHome Automation Energy Monitors

These devices allow you to measure the power consumption of your entire home, giving you the information you need to spot issues and reduce your power usage.

Aeon Labs Clamp Power Meter - Z-Wave

Easily installed by clamping around your AC Mains supply, and paired to your Z-wave controller for accurate energy monitoring & saving. Reports actual consumption (W) and accumulated power used (kWh).

Energy Monitor - LightwaveRF

Provides a real-time indication of your current energy consumption, cost per minute and accumulated power used. Easy to install
as the device simply clips onto your mains power supply cable.


Setting up a Z-Wave network using VERA Lite

Introduction to LightwaveRF

Setting up the LightwaveRF Energy Monitor


Summary

With some careful thought and using the information provided by the home automation devices, you'll be able to measure your energy and make decisions that put you in control of how much (or how little) energy you use.

Using the components we've shown, you can create a system that immediately starts paying for itself by saving you money as well as giving you the convenience of home automation:

    Convenience - control all your appliances wirelessly and automatically
  • Easy to install - control existing switches by using socket adapters or insert modules
  • Track power consumption - for your entire home or by individual appliance
  • Expandable - Z-Wave and LightwaveRF can expand to cover all your home automation needs

Take a look at our comprehensive range of Z-Wave and LightwaveRF products.


 

Vesternet is Europe’s leading home automation specialist. Whatever your needs, you’ll be able to find just what you’re looking for in our range of Z-Wave, LightwaveRF, INSTEON and ZigBee home automation products.

 

Copyright Vesternet 2013
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