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Smart Electrical Panels Spark Green Cost Savings In Homes

Smart electrical panels can make a huge difference in home electrical bills, allowing consumers to remotely control turning on or off powered items such as televisions, ovens, and Wi-Fi from a smartphone app. Not only do these panels lower electric costs, but they also give owners the ability to maximize their homes’ energy efficiency, making them more sustainable. The recently-passed federal Inflation Reduction Act includes significant tax rebates to help pay for electric system improvements, including installing these panels.

A smart panel works much like a conventional one, except it includes sensors that allow users to monitor electrical use and turn specific circuits on and off as needed without touching a breaker.

Viewed using an app on a phone or tablet, they can be programmed to keep essential items, such as refrigerators and heat, on at all times. At the same time, users can set others to come on or off at specific times of the day or night. Non-critical circuits can be kept off unless used, a significant change in the common breaker board used for almost a century.

Photo Courtesy  zhu difeng

“Smart panels have the ability to measure what you’re actually using at each circuit load, and you can see on your app on your phone exactly what you’re using, and you can turn them on and off. It’s that ability to control that makes it different,” said Ross Trethewey, home technology expert. “You can schedule things however you want. You can turn circuit loads on and off, but you can also use priority scheduling. You can have critical loads that always have power then the things you’d like to have, and the non-critical, non-essential ones.”

Additionally, smart panels can accurately predict a user’s monthly power bills, allowing consumers to cut costs. Though the panels do not automatically lower a household’s charges, they may suggest ways to use certain circuits only when needed and keep others shut off indefinitely. 

Photo Courtesy Stanisic Vladimir

They also provide information to electric companies, who receive a notice if the power shuts off or if there is a safety issue in the home.

This feature is particularly important when almost 80% of U.S. single-family homes are more than 20 years old, and more than 50% were built before 1980. Many of these older homes are not energy efficient. The smart panels can provide clearer information on power use and where to make sustainable improvements.

Now is a great time to add one of these easy-to-use systems to your home, thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act, which makes it more affordable via tax credits. Tax breaks for other home improvements, such as heat pumps and home solar, are also offered. Smart panels are critical to allowing homeowners to make sustainable choices by maximizing energy efficiency in their homes year-round.


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