Smart meters can help us reduce our energy bills

Smart meters are electronic devices that most commonly record consumption of electric energy and communicate informations to the electricity supplier for monitoring and billing. They typically record energy hourly or more frequently, and report at least daily. They enable a two-way communication between the meter and the central system. Communications from the meter to the network may be wireless, or via fixed wired connections such as power line carrier (PLC). Wireless communication options in common use include cellular communications, Wi-Fi, wireless ad hoc networks over Wi-Fi, wireless mesh networks, low power long range wireless, ZigBee and Wi-SUN (Smart Utility Networks).

Smart meters could help to bring an end to estimated bills, which are a major source of complaints for many customers. Their displays outside our homes also provide an up-to-date information on gas and electricity consumption and by doing so, help us to manage our energy use and reduce our energy bills.

Domestic hot water heaters electric

Domestic hot water heating

Water heating is a heat transfer process that uses an energy source to heat water above its initial temperature. Typical domestic uses of hot water include cooking, cleaning, bathing, and space heating. Water gets traditionally heated in vessels known as water heaters, kettles, cauldrons, pots, or coppers that heat a batch of water, but do not produce a continual supply of heated water at a preset temperature.

Appliances that provide a continual supply of hot water are called water heaters, hot water heaters, hot water tanks, boilers, heat exchangers etc. They most commonly use fossil fuels (natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, oil), or solid fuels that may be consumed directly or produce electricity which, in turn, heats water. Electricity for water heating can also come from any other electrical source, such as nuclear power or renewable energy.

Domestic hot water heating electric

A vast majority of homes have conventional tank-type water heaters, powered by either gas or electricity. Electric ones are more efficient than gas models and have higher energy-factor ratings.

As its name implies, a tank-type heater has a large insulated storage tank that holds hot water until needed. Cold water enters the bottom of the tank and is heated by either a gas flame below the tank, or electric elements suspended inside the tank. When hot water is called for at a faucet or appliance, it gets pumped out the top of the tank and through the home’s hot-water supply pipes. As the water level in the tank drops, it is automatically refilled with cold water, so the whole process starts all over again. The tank-type water heaters hold a limited supply of hot water and may struggle to supply enough hot water during high-demand periods. Also, they burn energy (gas or electricity) day and night to maintain the water temperature, regardless of whether or not hot water is being used.

On the other hand, tank-less water heaters are compact, wall-hung units without a bulky storage tank that provide hot water for the entire house. The device sits idle until a hot-water tap is opened in the house. Then, cold water is drawn into the unit and a flow sensor activates an electric heating element or gas-fired burner, which warms an internal heat exchanger. As the cold water passes over it, it gets warmed to the preset temperature. Hot water then exits the heater and travels directly to the faucet or appliance. Since there is no storage tank, tank-less models only heat water when it is called for, so we can save a lot of energy.

Remote water heater

Smart water heating

Smart water heaters are certainly very convenient devices, especially for people with busy schedules and those who constantly forget to turn off their water heaters before they leave home. Just like normal water heaters, remote water heaters are there to give us a continuous supply of hot water, but they also possess some cool features and energy-saving capabilities. We can connect them to our smartphones, tablets, and personal computers through Wi-Fi and other wireless signals. They work hand in hand with a free app that we can download online, so we will be able to interact with them from anywhere we are in the world. We will be able to turn them off from work and back on on our way back home, so upon our arrival our water temperature will be just right.

Aside from providing us a continuous supply of hot water, reducing the waste of energy and enabling us to control it wherever we are, the operating system of a remote water heater can scan every aspect of our heating system. When it discovers any fault, it will automatically send an alert to our smartphone. With its built-in leak detection, we will receive a notification even with just a single drop of water. Another advantage of smart water heaters is their learning capability. They are able to note the way we use hot water and learn what time we usually take our energy consumption. Beside the option of their remote control, they can also adjust their own energy levels.

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