What is a Smart Home?

By: Smart Zero Home
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The definition of a “Smart Home” evolves with newer technological advancements. A Smart Home maximizes the comfort of the resident, in the most cost-effective way. We (smartzerohome.com) would extend the definition of a Smart Home to include it being a solar powered energy efficient self-sufficient net Zero Energy home.

Various smart devices can be connected – monitored and controlled – under one platform

A Smart Home consists of smart connected devices and appliances that act based on the home resident’s desires and behaviors, to maximize their comfort. A Smart Home accomplishes this objective through connected devices and smart appliances that are connected via a Connected Smart Home Platform and/or a Home Energy Management System which allows them to communicate with each other and follow a pre-selected course of action based on the home resident’s behavior, and on the most cost-effective energy efficiency strategy. This includes:

1) Turning off appliances and lights, and turning on the security system, when the resident is not at home.

2) Delaying the use of energy guzzlers such as the clothes dryer and washer and dishwasher to off-peak hours, and

3) Pre-cooling the home during off-peak hours (mornings and late evenings and night), to avail of the Time-of-Use prices (assuming the home resident is on the time dependent utility pricing structure).

The latter strategy also ties in with the external connectivity of the Smart Home with the utility service provider, through the smart electric meter that communicates with the utility grid for demand side management.

Also see our post on NREL's Power Lab and Target's smart connected home.