Jay Kenny is Vice President of Marketing at Alarm.com.
With technology driving growth across the home security market and property owners expecting more services and value from their home systems, dealers have a great opportunity to grow their business through Connected Home service offerings. While a number of new, high-demand service areas have emerged, we have seen significant growth around energy management on the Alarm.com platform; and according to the GreenTech Media HEMS Market Report, the energy management market is predicted to nearly triple in the next 4 years.
Recent media attention given to standalone energy management devices, such as thermostats, has opened the door for a conversation with property owners on the benefits of Connected Home energy management solutions. Security dealers are now in an ideal position to engage customers with the benefits of integrated energy management and to educate them further on how a complete, whole home solution provides greater convenience and better return in the form of cost-savings.
Integrating home security and energy through an intelligent platform service makes energy management far more effective and easier to use. Plus, a dealer’s expertise in home security technology serves as the perfect starting point for introducing energy management services to property owners.
The Benefits of Integration
The primary driver of demand for energy management devices and services is the opportunity to save money on energy bills. With most solutions, realizing meaningful savings at the thermostat requires finding a balance between efficiency and comfort. Finding this balance requires a lot of input and fine tuning by the homeowner, even with Smart Thermostats; however, integrating energy management into a home’s security service maximizes comfort and optimizes for efficiency, and it does not require a lot of input from the property owner.
The home security system is critical to true energy management because it provides the most useful and comprehensive information about a home’s occupancy and activity patterns. Combined with an intelligent service, input from the security system optimizes energy use and delivers real benefit and savings to customers. Sensors like motion detectors and door and window sensors, as well as the alarm setting itself, provide real-time information about activity throughout the house. Knowing activity and occupancy in the home enables the energy management service to save money when the house is empty and to ensure that it is always comfortable when occupied. This may sound simple but it is a unique approach vs. many other solutions.
Security sensors not only provide valuable information about what’s happening inside a home, but they can also trigger automations that make the entire experience as simple as possible for the property owner. Triggers enable a property owner to simply go about their daily routine while their home adjusts to them. For example, setting the security system to “armed away” can also trigger the thermostat to adjust to a personalized efficiency mode. This requires no special actions or additional inputs, the Connected Home simply responds.
A highly innovative example of this kind of effortless automation is using the location of a homeowner’s smartphone to drive automations. A homeowner can simply drive away from their Connected Home and it will automatically adjust the thermostat to a personalized efficiency mode to save money and then adjust back to a comfort mode when the homeowner returns.
Connecting Energy Management
There’s a stark difference when comparing the key features and advantages of energy management in the Connected Home with the capabilities that standalone devices have. Standalone, solitary devices like thermostats look into one room and then guess about activity in the rest of the house. Without input from the property owner, these devices would have almost no information to work with — especially when data about a home’s activity is the key to an effective energy management solution.
Another important advantage of the Connected Home is that it gives the property owner control over more than just the thermostat. A comprehensive energy management service should automate every power-hungry device to provide the greatest opportunity to cut waste and drive down energy bills. For example, in addition to lighting and outlet modules, Alarm.com integrates power modules that connect to any appliance to measure consumption and automate power flow. A property owner who is serious about reducing their energy bill can shut down their hot water heater for a few hours every night, or use a light control module on motion-sensitive, outside security lights so they do not waste power during daylight hours.
Managing and automating all these devices is easy too. Controls are accessed through the web, smart phone or tablet, and automations can be completely personalized and integrated with custom schedules and triggers, geo-location or with basic remote control.
The Security Dealer’s Advantage
Because interactive home security is the underpinning of a truly effective energy management solution, security dealers are ideally suited to introduce property owners to energy management services. With expertise about the technology at the heart of the Connected Home, you can expertly explain the benefits of energy management, detail the differences between a whole home system and standalone devices, and be the trusted professional for an easy installation process.
The hardware requirements to move a property owner into energy management can begin with just a smart thermostat. Depending on experience with electrical work, dealers can partner with local electricians to make wiring as smooth and fast as possible. Offering this kind of complete service is a great differentiator from the off-the-shelf smart thermostats, where installation can eat up a good chunk of a property owner’s weekend.
For the Alarm.com solution, plug modules simply go into the wall and light modules screw into light sockets. All of this hardware communicates wirelessly to a module in the security panel and advanced support tools help establish communications between devices and evaluate the strength and reliability of those connections. These support tools speed installation and greatly reduce the need for repeat trips to fine tune and complete an installation.
Connected Home platforms continue to offer new integration of devices and sensors from across the home to provide smarter services that no single device can match. These platforms make it easy to deliver today’s best home automation services to homeowners.
The technology to help customers save money and more intuitively manage their homes without becoming a burden is available now. Security dealers are in a great position to capitalize on the growing interest and demand for these Connected Home Services. Integrating energy management solutions with interactive home security is a unique and differentiated solution and an ideal place to start.
Jay Kenny is Vice President of Marketing at Alarm.com. To request more info about the company, visit www.securityinfowatch.com/10216128.