Why need a smart home?

As the global demand for electricity increases each year, there is a dire need to update the existing one-way generation, transmission, and distribution. By 2030, electricity demand is expected to rise 75%, putting a tremendous strain on our existing grids. 

Modernizing from the house up

HEMS-integrated homes play a significant role in effectively handling electricity and real-time demand, enhancing the ability of the home to manage electricity efficiently. Utilizing HEMS as the grid modernizes will reduce costs, increase energy efficiency and maximize the use of renewable energy instead of fossil fuels-derived electricity.

System overview

So what goes into a smart home? We’ll break down each piece of equipment into three categories depending on how they interact with electricity. Does it use, store or create electricity?


Span smart panel

Span panels replace your traditional ‘dumb’ electrical panel. With a Span panel, you can access real-time usage data via your phone app. It details how much energy you use, store, and create from your solar array! 

Wall connector EV Charger

It is the standard EV charger for Tesla vehicles; pairing your solar array with an EV charger will ensure you are fueling your car with solar energy during the day. If you are charging at night, you will most likely draw power from the grid. The grid utilizes a dirty mix of energy sources; at least in Washington, you won’t have to pay for the energy that charges your electric vehicle through net metering.


Tesla Powerwall 2

Battery backup or battery energy storage systems (BESS) serve homeowners as a sustainable highly-integrated storage source that is quiet, sleek, and manageable via a mobile phone. Paired with Span, you can optimize your battery storage capacity by remotely switching loads off and getting real-time feedback on how your usage affects your battery life.

Ensuring safety and clean energy usage

With battery backup, you can utilize solar energy during a grid outage since it redirects energy to the batteries rather than the utility power lines, protecting line workers. Plus, owning a battery backup system can allow you to use the stored energy at night to ensure that the electricity consumed is from your solar array, thus renewable!


Tesla Solar Roof

This homeowner chose to utilize Tesla’s building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) solution, Solar Roof, to generate energy from the sun! Solar roofs are magnificent, maximize the available solar roof spaces and make a statement for the whole neighborhood that you are in control of your energy.

The Tesla Solar Roof connects to two Tesla 7.6kW inverters that send power to the grid when producing more energy than the home uses under net metering rules. And, as mentioned before will supplement the batteries when the sun is shining if there is a grid outage that lasts more than a day.

Managing your HEMS

Span UI

With Span, you can manage your home loads via their app. Here you can also monitor your home’s energy generation, storage, and usage, all in real time. 

Tesla UI

With Tesla’s proprietary monitoring app, you can see how your Tesla Solar Roof and Powerwall interact with your home and the grid. This screenshot displays solar generation of 0.7 kW on a cloudy, rainy day while the home consumes around 1.4 kW. So at the time, solar was only producing enough to cover half of the home’s usage.

Reducing demand

With a HEMS, you can identify where and when you are consuming your electricity to address these loads behaviorally or through maintenance or swapping out inefficient appliances. Reducing your demand allows you to use the excess energy to charge your EV more frequently or run the A/C and heating system at home more liberally. 

Future of HEMS

Innovative home technologies that comprise a HEMS are more accessible than ever! All homes actively use energy from the grid, and managing your usage is the number one action to reduce your electricity costs. From there, you can choose how you want to upgrade your home.

Do you want to start generating your energy through solar? Do you want to manage your loads better with Span or energy-efficient appliances? Storing your power is a vital investment for locations with frequent blackouts. Whatever it may be, NWES will be with you to help you understand how you use your home’s electricity and find the renewable technology that best suits your needs. 

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Manuel Larrain
Manuel Larrain is a Chilean-born US citizen who studied business and sustainability at Western Washington University. Solar energy is his passion, as it is transforming how Washingtonians power their lifestyle. He believes we can address climate change, environmental justice, and steward a brighter future for all of us through renewable energy.