Power Play: How One Smart Electrical Box Can Brighten up Your Home
A panel like the Square D Energy Center from Schneider Electric is the secret to a “future-proof” home that’s in step with our changing electrical needs.
You can alter the color of your light bulbs from your phone, chat with the mailman at your front door through a pocket-sized security camera while you’re on vacation, program your stove to cook an entire meal at varying temperatures, and even ask an AI speaker to read you a bedtime story. But all that exciting, wired, “smart home” technology magic ends when you open the metal box that contains your electrical panel—a rudimentary system of circuit connectors that has employed the same basic design for decades. There’s nothing “smart” about that.
Schneider Electric, maker of the Square D Energy Center smart panel, is looking to change that. Its state-of-the-art panels allow homeowners to install a “wiser” energy center that allows them to monitor and control power use from their phone.
“Anyone who has a smart meter can go on to a dashboard and see their energy usage in real time,” says Bradford Wills, director of strategic customers and programs at Schneider Electric. “Before, you could only see total power usage. Now, you can watch it more granularly, seeing where your system uses the most energy, whether it’s with the HVAC or your clothes dryer, and make behavioral changes. You can see that you’re making a difference.”
As we all spend more time at home, having stable electricity is even more important. Now an outage isn’t just an inconvenient Netflix interruption; a power outage can prevent you from finishing a work assignment or submitting project before its deadline. With Square D Energy Center, homeowners can switch from utility to, say, battery or generator power from a mobile app. And they can make that battery or generator power last longer by using the same app to turn off devices in their home that aren’t as important, like a coffee maker, to keep critical devices on, such as a Wi-Fi router.
“Most homes just aren’t ready for electrical upgrades,” adds Wills. “For example, if you lose power during an emergency, you can go to the hardware store and buy a generator. But it’s impossible to connect it to your current panel without a professional. The Square D solution is designed with that connectivity built-in.
Ford has announced that its latest electric vehicle, the Ford 150 Lightning, can function as a home generator in an emergency. And the Square D panel makes that hookup possible, safely and easily. Transparency with electrical usage and resilient home power can also provide peace of mind.
“I was getting notices about a refrigerator door using more power than it typically does when I was out of town,” adds Wills. “I could see that the door was open, even when I was out of state. People have installed these systems in their elderly parents’ houses. They watch for the coffee maker to come on in the morning, and they know that everything’s OK.”
Sustainability, transparency, and resilience: That’s the future of in-home power. If you’re remodeling a home, building from the ground up, or considering electrical upgrades to newer, more efficient appliances, talk to your electrician about the Square D Energy Center. Or for more information, visit Schneider Electric online.