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Thermostats have been used increasingly throughout the past decades. Residential as well as industrial consumers have acknowledged the advantages of such a kind of control over energy consumption. Thus, people have worked out various techniques to reduce their energy consumption. They have learned to adjust their thermostats to make their homes more efficient (Logan n.p.). However, technology has already offered a lot of decisions. One of the most winning decisions is software that can control energy consumption. Thus, now companies offer various models of thermostats that can be programmed in accordance with certain peculiarities of the dwelling, weather conditions, etc. (“Install a Programmable Thermostat” n.p.).
For instance, Tendril is one of the companies which suggest winning “energy management hardware and software solutions” (Schwartz 7). The company has already raised more than $40 million for its products, which can be regarded as proof of people’s interest in such kind of products. Tendril has developed thermostats that not only can be programmed. The thermostats can be controlled remotely. Therefore, people will be able to control their household energy consumption with the help of their iPhones or their computers. Admittedly, this option can be regarded as one of the most winning ones. Now people tend to rely on their tablets, iPhones in many instances (communication, time management). Household energy consumption management will soon become popular with contemporary people.
Apart from the remote control, these appliances will be able to make specific schedules that will help to control energy consumption properly. More so, new models of thermostats will be able to ‘learn’ people’s energy habits and help improve them. This will be held in three phases. Thus, special software can ‘observe’ the way people use energy. This will be the first phase. People will program their thermostats in accordance with their preferences. The data collection can take no more than a week. However, such “observations” will be held several times a year. In the first place, it is important to take into account seasonal changes and specific weather conditions which greatly influence household energy consumption. Besides, the more data will be collected the more precise results will be obtained. The software will record various data (temperature, humidity, electric energy consumption).
The second phase is the phase of analysis. The software will analyze the data obtained. It will also work out specific patterns that will be energy efficient. Thus, the software will be designed to minimize energy consumption. The software will provide a specific schedule that will cover any appliance in the house. More so, the software will also ‘suggest’ specific energy management solutions (e.g. the software can suggest replacing some bulbs with more efficient ones). This phase will end up in the ‘implementation’ of the new plan. Thus, people will be able to try more efficient patterns. It is important to note that the software will work out the pattern which will be efficient and, at the same time, people’s habits and preferences will be taken into account. Though, the major focus will be on efficiency.
The third phase is aimed at adjusting the energy consumption to people’s habits. Thus, if people do not find the new pattern comfortable, they will be able to switch to the old pattern. However, the thermostat will ‘remind’ advantages of the plan which was worked out to make people aware of the advantages and downsides of their choice. Besides, it will be possible to switch to the pattern worked out at any time.
It is necessary to note that software for households can be designed easily. When it comes to industrial consumers, the development of the software will require more time and effort as lots of data should be analyzed. However, the three-phase pattern can be also applicable. Of course, the first phase will take more time. It will be important to take into account operations taking place in different periods of time (parts of a day, weekends, weekdays, holidays, etc.). In the majority of cases, businesses have the so-called ‘hot’ periods when energy consumption increases. For instance, confectionery plants increase power consumption before such holidays as Valentine’s Day or Christmas. Weather conditions and seasonal changes will also be taken into account.
The second phase will also require a lot of precision. The software will need to work out the most appropriate energy management solutions. Minimizing energy consumption cannot lead to a capacity decrease. Notably, the first generations of the software for industrial consumers will not have the option concerning particular suggestions for energy consumption reduction. However, this option should be available in the future.
The industrial consumers will also be able to try the new pattern but switch to the old one if necessary. The disadvantages and shortcomings of the chosen pattern will also be displayed.
Therefore, thermostats that can be controlled remotely will soon be replaced by thermostats that have more options. Thus, special software will learn people’s energy habits and work out strategies to improve these habits to make households and industrial buildings more efficient. Though, people will still be able to choose the best option for them.
Install a Programmable Thermostat and Watch the Energy Bills Go down 2012. Web.
Logan, Doug. Pre-Calculated Energy Savings. n.d. Web.
Schwartz, Ariel. 10 Green Startups to Watch. 2009. Web.