Will green push people to home automation

I admit it, when I first started thinking about home automation I did not have the environment in mind. Instead I was focused on convenience, wife acceptance factor and of course another fun geeky pursuit. The more I am drawn into the home automation world, it isn’t hard to see that convenience and being green are often intertwined. As I documented my plans, I began to realize each HA task I planed on implementing had a positive effect on my utility bills and ultimately the environment.

Where I live, I know the capital cost to implement a home automation system will never be paid out by lowering my bills, however it is satisfying to know that part of my project will be and I will be a little more green in the process. A good example of this is simply having remote access, that most home automation systems have, and being able to shut off a light I inadvertently left on. 

Beyond simple remote access, you can expand a home automation system to respond according to external simuli. An irrigation system can respond to a rain sensor or lights will turn on and off according to a level of activity in the room. Ultimately, you can connect every object that may have an impact on your utility bills such as blinds, lights and your HVAC system

Here is a summary of a few home automation scenarios that I had in mind.

  • Lights – Remote access to shut off a light I inadvertently left on or turn on a light before I get home
    • Motion sensor – Lights will shut-off after a set period of time with no inactivity
    • Dimming – Dimming lights will save on electrical and increase bulb life
  • Irrigation – No plans here. I manually water my lawn but if I change my mind (get off my lawn you whipper snappers), I would implement a time control and a rain sensor
  • Security – No green plans here
  • HVAC – Remote access to turn control the temperature when I get closer to home
    • Programmed based on times
  • Demand logging – I am not sure of the practacility of this, but I would like to see an instantaneous review of my power use to get a better handle on where it goes.

I am certainly aware that there are methods to control all of the above scenarios but home automation will certainly make this a lot easier and smarter to implement.

What other energy saving ideas do you guys have?