Energy Efficient Homes In The Time Of Covid-19

Since mid-March 2020, families have transitioned their homes from a place of rest to the office, classroom, gym, and restaurant.

What used to be just the place we lay our heads has become so much more as a result of the global pandemic. The full-scale impacts are inconceivable. 

As we reckon with this year of change, one thing that we need to acknowledge is our energy consumption. From lights and HVAC systems to WiFi and phone bills, residential utility usage is on the rise. The renewable energy company Arcadia found that just before the summer, consumers were expected to see a 10% increase in their utility bills for June, July and August. That percent increase doesn’t even include summer electricity bill surges. Pre-pandemic, the US was on track for a steady increase in annual energy consumption in all sectors. However, with everyone spending a lot more time at home, the brunt of that usage is now falling on residences.

Smart Homes were created to counter situations like the ones homeowners are facing now. They exist to create efficiency and turn overwhelming amounts of technology into human-error-proof luxuries that operate self-sufficiently. 

It’s safe to say that between transitioning to a permanent work from home situation and teaching kiddos how to use Zoom, most families are having technological epiphanies. Shouldn’t this be easier? Why isn’t my Wifi more reliable? We used how much electricity this month? I wish this technology were simple enough for the whole family. 

Features That Can Lower Your Utility Bills

home wifi
Smart Thermosat

Whole home WiFi is the true first step to creating a smart home. All smart technology functions on WiFi and without a reliable connection, it all falls apart. We recommend buying your own equipment from Ubiquiti, as opposed to leasing it. Their equipment gets you started with a hardy, reliable jumping off point. We also recommend hard wiring every instance of technology possible. This insures consistent performance. Often, customers are happy with their WiFi in some rooms but completely at a loss in the far reaches of the estate. We explain our solution to that in a video here, by installing extenders. 

Whole Home Control by RTI

Smart Appliances transform your home into a more efficient space. We are referring to those appliances that can operate without manual control – such as a water heater or thermostat. When you allow a tech integrator to automate these appliances, you can place them on schedules that work around your family’s life. Schedules reduce wasted energy use and your utility bill.

If you’re tired of using a dozen remote controls to watch TV versus Netflix, or game versus play music, we have a solution. When you integrate your home technology, you can distribute content across the home from one simple remote. We use RTI’s control options – and there are plenty of them. It doesn’t just work for home entertainment either! These controllers will manage any system you have automated: lights, security, thermostat, etc. 


Speaking of security, there’s not a single feature that brings more peace-of-mind and convenience than an automated security system. Imagine locking or unlocking doors from your personal device or opening the garage to receive a package, ensuring it’s in place via remote camera feed access when you aren’t even home. The automated security system, installed by Granite, allows remote access to locks, alarm systems, smart doorbells, and gate and garage control. 


The final home upgrade we want to discuss is energy monitoring. Smarter Homes can equip you with the ability to see real time watt usage rates in your home via a smart meter. That way you can see if all these smart home features are making a dent in your usage and then cater your scheduling around peak use hours. It also helps you keep track of any forgotten lights or devices that are still causing an energy spike. 

Next- Level, Zero Waste Automations

Screen Shot 2020-11-23 at 2.35.24 PM.png

Putting your blinds on schedules is a next level option for conserving resources and adding a touch of elegance. If you’re away from the home or not using certain rooms at certain times, there is no reason for sunlight to stream in and heat up your house. Take a load off of your thermostat with scheduled blinds and shades.

The opportunities for irrigation scheduling is are absolutely superior to any kind of do it yourself lawn watering timers using Rachio. With smart irrigation, sensors can detect precipitation levels in the solid and humidity levels in the air so that watering is only happening when absolutely necessary. Reduce your water use and waste with a smart irrigation system.

solar power

Solar is truly the way of the future. It is the most abundant, inexhaustible, renewable source of  clean energy that is available to homeowners. It is a low-cost, easy installation process that can transform your home’s carbon footprint for the better. We have a great breakdown of the application of solar power in our feature of The Verge’s Home of the Future

Thanks for reading about our top energy saving features. For any questions you may have about efficiency, automations, or just general home technology problems, don’t hesitate to contact us.

ACH Payment form
What Payment Are You Submitting?
Ach Limit of $50,000 Per Day. We may be required to make one ACH draw per business day until the amount due is reached.
We know your time is valuable. We will deduct $100 from your final bill for leaving us a review on Google after our work is complete (before your final bill is charged).

Join Our Maintenance Plan

Please choose the plan you would like to sign up for.
Smarter Homes Austin
Austin’s Certified Luxury Home Automation, Home Theater, Audio Video & Wi-Fi Experts


*The calculated home technology budget range you will receive will includes parts, labor & accessories (Tax not included)
(a round number is OK)
Numerous structures on the property: Dock, Casita, Guest House, Barn, Gate etc. Check all that apply.
Prewire installation calculations assume you would like your home fully wired for ALL home automation technologies shown throughout the budget calculator, including 'future-ready' wiring. Prewire pricing can vary substantially based on what features you would like in your home. The wiring budget is for low-voltage wiring, not for electrical.
Prewire pricing will vary based on exactly what features you would like in your home. Read this article about the importance of wiring/cabling in today's "wireless" world. Your local Smarter Homes integrator is the best resource for exact prewire pricing. Wiring budget is for low-voltage wiring only, not electrical.
Keep in mind that our modern lifestyle and our home's automation technology systems are extremely reliant on a quality network and Wi-Fi system. Most homes are moving towards enterprise-grade hardware and away from the types of network products you could buy in an office supply store or a consumer computer store. We recommend that all homeowners consider the network and Wi-Fi system to be the most important system and installation within the home.
Higher-quality sound or higher-grade architectural finished speakers can range from $5,000.00 to $10,000.00 PER ROOM
Basic background music system pricing ranges from $1,500.00 to $5,000.00 per room including all equipment, labor, and programming.
Range includes video sources such as AppleTV, a Blu-ray player, satellite receiver, and remotely-locating them for best aesthetics. A basic soundbar is included for better audio.
This is called “video distribution” and reduces the amount of audio/video equipment located at each TV location/room.
A surround sound system creates an immersive sound experience, much like a dedicated home theater room, though in a dual-purpose room such as a Family Room, Master Bedroom, etc. If you would like more than one surround system location, click on the "Add Another Surround System" button below
Typically, homeowners want to see the following areas: front of house, front door, driveway / gate, sides of house, and pool. If you are more concerned about security, you may want to add cameras for the perimeter of your property. Good-quality cameras see about 75 feet of distance on average. The high range of the budget estimate includes higher resolution cameras, better night vision, and longer surveillance recording time.
The installation of a lighting control system reduces wall clutter, allows preset lighting scenes at the push of a button, increases security through programming automation, and adds convenience.
Motorized shades add beauty, convenience, address privacy concerns, and can be used to save energy. If desired, provide your best guess on how many windows/shades you want to motorize. The higher-end of the budget range includes higher-end fabrics, large windows, and dual-roller shades (both sheer and privacy shades on one window).
For example, a house music app, an app to operate your TV, an app for lighting automation, an app for locks, an app for cameras, an app to open close garage doors & gates, etc. Or do you want to control the entire house through a single unified app that controls all the automation systems within the home?
Make your home feel larger by balancing the light between indoor and outdoor areas.
Smarter Homes Austin
Austin’s Certified Luxury Home Automation, Home Theater, Audio Video & Wi-Fi Experts

Leave a Review about Smarter Homes