At PCBC 2023, Home Energy Management Takes Center Stage

  • Categories:

    Industry Trends, Brand Strategy

  • Date:

    June 8, 2023

At PCBC 2023, Home Energy Management Takes Center Stage

Industry Trends Brand Strategy

At Wray Ward, we’re committed to keeping our finger on the pulse of the home and building category. That’s why we recently traveled to Anaheim, California, to attend the 2023 Pacific Coast Builders Conference. Each year, PCBC brings together thousands of builders, developers, architects and manufacturers to share and discover innovations and trends in the building industry.

As we explored the event and talked with exhibitors and attendees, the role of sustainability and home energy management systems in residential construction came up as a recurring topic. Given that the event is hosted in California — the United States’ largest solar market — it wasn’t surprising to see companies exhibiting different technologies that help make clean, renewable energy more accessible and affordable.

What we found noteworthy was the breadth of the technology, the speed at which it is evolving and the growth potential within the residential housing market.

Based on what we heard and saw at PCBC, this new and exciting technology will help homebuilders and homeowners shift energy consumption habits and create a more sustainable world. However, any new tech can lead to questions from those unfamiliar with it, specifically on the benefits and reasons for including an energy management system as part of a home’s energy strategy.

Here’s a primer to get started.

What is a home energy management system?

A home energy management system employs smart technology to give occupants the ability to control and optimize energy usage within their homes. It can also integrate solar, energy storage and electric vehicle charging by monitoring and allocating a home’s energy resources.

While smart-home technologies have grown in popularity, residential energy management systems remain somewhat in the shadows for the average homeowner.

But that is expected to change significantly over the coming years. The global energy management systems market is projected to experience a compound annual growth rate of more than 13% between now and 2030, when it will reach an estimated market size of nearly $112 billion.

The benefits of home energy management systems include:

  • Reduced energy bills

  • Increased awareness of energy consumption patterns

  • Improved energy efficiency

  • Reduced environmental impact

By providing real-time information, control and automation, a home energy management system allows homeowners to make more sustainable and cost-effective choices regarding their energy usage.

What does a home energy management system do?

Home energy management systems combine hardware, software and communication technologies to provide homeowners with insights and control over their energy consumption. The system automates energy-saving actions, allowing homeowners to set specific time slots for appliances to operate or be turned off. It can also adjust thermostat settings when occupants are away or optimize the charging of electric vehicles to take advantage of off-peak electricity rates.

Here are some key components and features of home energy management systems:

  • Energy control: The primary function of an HEMS is to provide users with control over their energy usage. Through a user interface, homeowners can remotely manage their home’s energy consumption — including household appliances, lighting and HVAC systems — using a mobile app, website or smart-home hub. From settings such as an “Away Mode,” which powers off noncritical appliances, to light settings that optimize the use of natural light, AI-powered algorithms continuously analyze a home’s energy usage data and provide tailored recommendations.

  • Energy management: An HEMS provides additional savings by allowing homeowners to enroll in their local utility’s energy management programs, which can offer dynamic pricing and load shifting. The system can then adjust the home’s energy usage during periods of high demand or when electricity prices are lower. For homes with solar energy, an HEMS can include a battery system that stores solar energy during the day and uses it during peak rates or power outages.

  • Energy monitoring: Home energy management systems typically include energy-monitoring devices that track and measure electricity usage in real time. These devices may be installed at the main electrical panel or individual appliances and circuits.

  • Energy visualization: The system’s software presents energy usage data via charts, graphs and reports. These allow homeowners to identify patterns, peak usage times and energy-hungry appliances, enabling them to make informed decisions about energy consumption.

Marketing Your Commitment to Sustainability

As sustainability continues to influence consumers’ purchasing decisions, PCBC and similar events play a vital role in showcasing environmentally conscious building materials, construction practices and other innovations in green building technology.

And homes that are built with eco-friendly features, such as home energy management systems, are in demand. According to a 2022 report from the National Association of Realtors, 50% of agents and brokers surveyed said they had helped a client buy or sell a property with green features over the past year.

When marketing the benefits of your products, how you position the products’ roles in helping consumers reduce their carbon footprint can create a competitive advantage for your brand. By highlighting green certifications, energy efficiency, sustainable materials and construction techniques, companies can use the value proposition of sustainability to attract eco-conscious customers and build a strong brand reputation.

Hungry for more industry insights? Check out key takeaways from the 2023 New Home Trends Summit.

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