March 27, 2020

The Emporia Smart Energy Home System


The transition to clean energy is well underway! Energy generation through solar and wind are higher than ever. Our cars are becoming electrified. Soon, we will use the battery in these cars to store energy that will be used to run our homes. Here at Emporia Energy, we want to save you money by helping you leverage Smart Home technology to manage this new energy landscape.  That is why we are creating the Emporia Smart Energy Home System.  

Aligning Energy Use and Production

First, we need to understand how your typical daily energy use interacts with renewable energy production.

A spike in energy usage happens first thing in the morning when we wake up. This happens when we use energy to take hot showers, make coffee and breakfast, and get ready for the day. Another much larger spike occurs later in the day after getting home from work. This is when we are cooking dinner, running our clothes dryers and dishwashers, and watching Netflix.

Typical average daily energy demand
Typical average daily energy demand

The production of renewable energy throughout the day looks quite different. Solar energy peaks at mid-day when the sun’s rays are the strongest, and our household energy usage is low. 

Typical average daily energy demand plus solar generation
Typical average daily energy demand plus solar generation

Wind energy is a bit less predictable. It usually peaks later at night when we are sleeping and energy use is at is lowest.

Typical average daily demand plus solar and wind generation
Typical average daily energy demand plus solar and wind generation

Some Utilities Match Rates with Demand

This means that we need the most energy when it is the least available. This creates a problem. Utility companies have begun to compensate for this by charging different rates for energy usage depending on the time of day. This method is called time-of-use pricing (TOU) and looks like this:

Typical average daily energy demand plus combined renewables over Time-of-Use
Typical average daily energy demand plus combined renewables over Time-of-Use

As you can see, you are paying most for electricity when renewable energy production is at its lowest, which is typically at night. This means there is an incredible opportunity for smart home technology to fill this gap in renewable energy production and our daily energy needs.

The Emporia Smart Energy Home System

This is where we come in. Our platform consists of the Emporia Energy Monitor (Vue Whole Home or Utility Connect), Emporia Smart Outlets, and the Emporia Electric Vehicle Charger (coming spring 2021).

The Emporia monitor collects data in real time, either wirelessly from the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) smart meter, or by measuring current flow through circuits at the breaker box. The Emporia app displays this information in an easy to read chart on your smartphone. This way, you can track your energy usage to see how much you are saving on energy costs each day.

In the near future, we will integrate the Emporia Smart Energy Home System with other smart home appliances and equipment. This will include thermostats, water heaters, appliances, outlets, and electric vehicle chargers.  The Smart Home system will then combine information from your utility rate schedule and your energy use data, collected by Emporia's energy monitor.  Emporia's Smart Energy Management System will use this information to determine how to shift demand closer to the electricity production peaks by adjusting your connected smart home devices. This will save you money by making sure you pay the lowest price available for your energy.

Here's How The Emporia Smart Energy Home System Will be Able to Help Control Your Usage

The Emporia Smart Energy Home System

Thermostats control the largest use of energy in the home, heating and air conditioning. When energy rates are high, the system will tell the device to back off climate control until the peak has passed. 

Water heaters can maintain hot water in their tanks for a full day and can be timed to fire and heat water when rates are most favorable.

Clothes dryers, dishwashers and other appliances can be controlled either directly by the consumer or through smart home technology to run at the optimal time when energy prices are lowest. 

Smart outlets can respond to electricity price fluctuations. They can turn on and off current to lighting, small appliances, and other devices either on a timer or directly by the consumer. 

EV chargers will soon be our home's largest energy consumer. Emporia will ensure it is charging at the optimal time to get the lowest cost per mile.

Coming Soon...

Finally, in the not-too-distant future, home batteries and vehicle to grid (V2G) EV charging solutions will give us the ability to store electricity from the grid. They will do this when energy is cheapest during peak solar and wind production times. Then, the electricity stored in your home or car battery is used during high demand times when rates are the most expensive.  

This stored energy will power the home throughout the day. It will be optimized and sent to appliances as needed without any need to draw from the grid at traditional high-demand times.

All of this combines to create a true smart energy home system. This system will reduce overall energy demand by identifying and managing wasted energy. It will also reduce cost by shifting demand to low price times of the day. Emporia’s Smart Energy Home System will save you money and help you do your part in creating a healthier planet. All you have to do is invest in the Emporia Smart Energy Home system. We take care of the rest.

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