Energy control at your fingertips

Making your home more energy efficient at the touch of a finger

We all know energy is expensive, but how many of us actually know how much water, gas, oil or electricity we used yesterday, and whether it is being consumed at on- or off-peak rates? Very few, and that’s because the relevant data are difficult for the individual to obtain and interpret.

Technology can lend a big hand. Via simple touch-screen panels, today’s systems offer services ranging from improved visibility of energy costs to control of electrical equipment.

Among the simplest of these devices are those that display information about all the primary forms of energy relevant to the household, as well as the latest costs and rate estimations, insofar as the energy supplier provides this service.

More advanced panels provide a clear display of consumption information in the form of graphs and diagrams. One glance is enough to see, for example, in which direction the current electricity consumption in the building is trending. The consumption values, costs and rate estimations – if supplied by the energy provider – can be displayed for all the relevant basic types of energy. The current trends can be marked in color.

High consumption rates can be responded to straight away, by switching off some appliances, for example. This can also be set up to happen automatically.

At the top end of the range, complete transparency on the building’s electricity consumption can be combined with communication applications for home entertainment systems and the Internet.

Essentially, these systems give individual consumers unprecedented insight into their usage behavior and allow them to personally optimize their energy budget. The energy user should no longer be blind to how much energy he or she consumes, when it is consumed and at what price. Isn’t this what we’d all need?


To find out more read the full ‘Energy control at your fingertips’ article originally published in the Trends in Technology issue of the ABB Review


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About the author

Andreas Moglestue

I'm Chief Editor of the ABB Review magazine.
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