According to the Associate Press, automation is a proven means for homeowners to conserve energy. With automated systems or smart meters, experts say homeowners can lower their power usage during peak times.

“Green is becoming a big part of why a connected home makes sense,” said Mike Seamons of Exceptional Innovation, producer of Life|Ware.

The International Consumer Electronics Show showcased a variety of systems at its conference in Las Vegas on Jan. 7–10, 2008, including a $2,500-plus home server that can transmit media feeds around the house and communicate with thermostats, light switches and alarms. Not long ago, systems that allowed people to control security, lights and entertainment devices with a single remote control were restricted to wealthy consumers. Today, these systems present an affordable means to conserve energy, especially when networked.

“The same remote control you use for changing the channel on your TV set, you can use to change your room temperature,” said Bob Heile, ZigBee Alliance chairman. “The energy issue will accelerate the deployment.”

—Information Inc.