Wednesday, 02 September 2020 10:44

AGL announces smart home kits to help reduce energy bills

One of the smart home kits on offer; it includes an Amazon Echo Dot and four TP-Link smart Wi-Fi bulbs. One of the smart home kits on offer; it includes an Amazon Echo Dot and four TP-Link smart Wi-Fi bulbs. Courtesy AGL

Australian energy provider AGL has announced a number of smart home kits that it claims will help people cut down on energy use by automating functions.

The company said in a statement on Wednesday that the kits included voice-activated lights, energy monitoring plugs, smart controllers for split air-conditioning systems and smart speakers; they cost between $108 and $420.

The kits are based either on Google or Amazon devices and the complete range can be seen here.

AGL general manager Product and Portfolio, Jo Egan, said many customers were using more energy than usual due to working from home.

“A way to address this is to follow our energy efficiency tips, but now, with these kits, customers can reap the benefits without having to lift a finger by automating control of appliances and lighting in their homes," she said.

“These devices allow customers to set schedules, turn off devices on standby when they go to bed, turn off lights remotely and get the most out of their split systems.”

google device

Another kit that includes a Google Nest Hub and two Sensibo Skys. Courtesy AGL

Egan said using these devices would reduce the amount of standby power used.

“In a living room entertainment area, for example, devices left on standby can include televisions, games consoles, amplifiers, and device chargers,” she said.

“The Sensibo Sky smart controller can automatically turn split air-conditioning systems on before customers arrive home and off when they leave, using phone locations, and allows customers to monitor temperature and humidity, and set program schedules to match their lifestyle preferences.

“This is important because studies show each one degree change in temperature setting increases heating costs by 15% and cooling costs by 10%."

A pilot offer of the kits was begun in 2019 and it had now been upgraded following customer feedback.

“Customers can nominate their preferred digital assistant — Google or Alexa — select up to two starter kits to add to their AGL bill, and choose whether they want to pay them off over 12 or 24 months,” Egan said.

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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