Tech Notes: Creating your client's eco home

 
Consumer appetite for eco-friendly technology is growing, with people keen to improve the energy efficiency of their homes and save money on bills.
 
For contractors like you, it’s a brilliant opportunity to offer new installations that cater to this customer demand, from smaller projects like retrofitting LED lighting, to installing the latest innovations in power storage (keep reading to find out about this exciting new technology).
 
Here’s how you can help your clients create the perfect eco home.

Lighting 

The halogen ban comes into force next year, so now is the perfect time to encourage your customers to switch to LED lighting. Not only are prices of LEDs falling, making them more affordable than ever before, but the technology continues to improve all the time, particularly when it comes to the range of lamps, tones and colours available. Browse a selection of our products online or ask your local branch about the full range BEW have available, from downlights to feature lighting. 
 
LED lighting control products have also come on leaps and bounds in the last few years, and can reduce energy costs even further. LED dimming is now a reliable, versatile solution (ask in branch to find the best option for your project), while app-controlled lighting is starting to gain popularity with new innovations such as Easilite
 
Passive infra-red light switches, which detect body heat and motion to automatically switch lights on and off, are an ideal choice for commercial premises (or those who always forget to turn off the lights). 
 
Garden lighting season may be over, but functional outdoor lighting is still in demand, especially as the nights start drawing in. Energy-saving floodlights are a great solution: less than half the size of traditional halogen lights, they only use 10% of the running costs to deliver just as much illumination.

Heating 

With winter fast approaching, people across the country are cranking up the thermostat.
 
Electric radiators save energy by only using heating when it’s needed. These easy-to-install smart electric radiators use sensor technology to detect presence in the room and adjust the temperature accordingly. They can also be controlled by a smartphone app. 
 
If your client requires all-day heating, a combination heater that automatically adjusts the level of input charge to compensate for changing weather conditions is a good choice. This can reduce running costs by up to 15%.
 
Whatever heating option your client chooses, an intelligent thermostat is essential for taking full control of those pesky heating bills. The Nest Learning Thermostat allows your clients to control heating from their smartphone, and also comes equipped with Eco Temperature, which senses when nobody is at home and turns off the heating to save energy. What’s more, it’s simple to install, and training courses are available directly from Nest. 

EV Charging

The market for electric vehicles (EVs) shows no sign of slowing. There are now more than 108,000 EVs registered in the UK – an increase of 508% per month from 2014.
 
With a significant rise in demand for charge points, becoming an accredited EV installer represents a profitable opportunity for electrical contractors.
 
Homeowners should be made aware that they can benefit from the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme, which funds up to 75% of the cost of an EV charge point install in a domestic setting. 
 
For more information on how to become an accredited EV installer take a look at our guide or speak to your local BEW team. If you’re interested, please speak to your local store about EV charging products, and we’ll be happy to help.   

Eaton xStorage  

Around one million homes in the UK have solar panels. Unfortunately, solar power isn’t always as efficient as it could be, due to the way that energy from the panels is stored. However, this energy can be harnessed through battery energy storage systems, and new developments in this technology could mark another turning point for solar installations.
 
Products such as Eaton’s xStorage Home – which allows homeowners to take advantage of renewable energy sources, reduce their carbon footprint and save money on energy bills – are at the forefront of this energy revolution. As such, battery energy storage is likely to be a major new growth area for consumers and present considerable opportunities for in-the-know electrical contractors. 
 
Eaton are currently recruiting for electrical contractors to join their new network of xStorage installers. For more information, visit Eaton’s website, or talk to your local BEW branch.