In 2015, both home and business owners will rely more heavily on Internet-connected products such as smart thermostats, Nardi told Live Science.
Being green is easier when everything from your electric meter to your refrigerator is connected to the Internet. Connected appliances and meters — which collectively make up part of the so-called Internet of Things — allow people to keep track of how much energy they use in their homes or offices every day, so they can develop more efficient habits, reducing their energy bills in the process. Smart-home technologies aren’t new, but they might finally find their niche in the new year, said Michael Nardi, president of GreenTech Consulting, an Indiana-based company that provides technology and clean-energy consulting to businesses.
Maximizing the energy efficiency of your home with smart technologies is a worthwhile endeavor, but even with data about your energy use in hand, becoming more efficient might be easier said than done, said Mark Peters, the associate lab director at Argonne National Laboratory’s energy and global security directorate.
“As you start to see more and more smart [products] online, you start to deal with an immense amount of data that has to be managed, and you have to empower the consumer to be able to take advantage of this data,”
A few years ago, eating local, organic produce or boycotting shampoos containing parabens might have been considered trendy. But in 2015, consumers with these eco-conscious habits will be part of the mainstream, not part of a passing fad, according to GreenTech’s Nardi.