This morning, I had the privilege of Skyping with Graham Martin of EnOcean, a company that makes energy-harvesting sensors. If you’re not seeing these products already in hotel rooms and commercial buildings, you probably will soon. (I mean, what’s not to love about smart sensors and switches that don’t need batteries?? Learn more in the next episode of Home Automation Nation.)

EnOcean Smart Home Applications

EnOcean Smart Home Applications

A few hours later, it was a meeting with Damien Durand of A&R Solar, a local solar installer located in SoDo.

What do these two things have to do with each other?

You may think…not much. But I can’t shake feeling like they may have more to do with each other and where buildings are going in general than we even know right now.

The common thread is energy–where it comes from, how we monitor its use, and what we do with that information. If you have solar power but have no idea how much power you need, you’re not getting the most out of the system (or maybe even getting the best setup for your needs). If you have the gear to turn your lights off and on based on room occupancy, great, you’re not using as much power, and that saves money. But wouldn’t it be even better if you could sell that power back to the grid?

Imagine also being able to harvest the solar power, store it, and then be able to hook it up to your electric vehicle (EV) to use the car as an emergency generator when the power goes out?! And with the ability to monitor the system from your phone, you’ll know where to conserve power to maximize battery life while waiting for the power company to do their thing.

It all sounds pretty good to me. Save power, save money…and reduce dependence on fossil fuels. I can’t wait to see where the future takes us as all of this comes together.

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