By programming the management of your lights, thermostats, and window shades your can achieve significant savings in the amount of power you consume and the costs associated with that power. Outdoor lights that go on at dusk and go off at dawn (instead of burning till we notice them), interior lights that are easily dimmed or turned off from a touch panel, remote control, or as part of a pre-programmed routine, closet and other lights that turn off automatically, and "room off" or "away" switches that make sure that all lights, or appliances, or electronics are turned off when we leave are all part of such a system. Thermostats that can be accessed remotely can be adjusted without running down to see if we set them correctly, can be programmed in an "away" mode to save energy when we're not there, and can be reset to a comfortable level, remotely from our phone, before we arrive back home. Finally, especially in hot climates, or in houses with lots of exposed glass, the automatic opening and closing of shades can keep the house cooler and more comfortable and thus reduce energy consumption.
We can also program the running of appliances, pool filters and heaters, and other devices so that they operate during lower-cost hours. Time-of-day pricing of electricity is rapidly becoming the norm and new software for tracking your energy consumption, comparing it to historical data, and helping you make conservation decisions is here. Managing your energy is no longer just trying to use less, but its also working to become energy smarter while minimizing the impact on your comfort.