I’m providing consulting and training in the UK for two weeks. I typically come here once a year and always enjoy being abroad in such an easy to navigate country. I also love experiencing how different nations and cultures around the world develop new ways to be smart about the environment. So, I was happy to see that in order to turn on the electricity in my hotel room, I first had to insert my key card into a slot just inside the door. This is not a new technology for hotels but because it remains uncommon in the US, I think it warrants a review.
The key, literally, is that when I leave the room and remove my card from its slot, the lights go out. The TV stays on, which surprises me. Maybe it allows someone to hold down the fort and watch some TV while their partner runs out for supplies. But all the lights shut off and the HVAC system stops. This prevents me from leaving the lights in the bathroom on all day or having a cleaning staff leave lights on so it creates an ambiance when I enter the room. What a classic win-win situation. The environment benefits because the demand for energy is reduced and the hotel wins because they have a smaller utility bill.
Let’s take this into the home. After ten years of walking upstairs to turn off the bathroom lights after my partner has left them, I would love to know that when the last person leaves our house for the day, all lights would be turned off. Not to mention the stove and TV. Again, win-win.
There are some ways to begin bringing this technology into your home. The Energy EGG was invited by a UK software engineer last year and is currently being sold in the US. And here’s an article that discusses whole house energy switches.
Enjoy and let me know if you decide to use this technology in your home.