By NAME, ASSA ABLOY Smart Living Expert

Here’s how smart home technology makes us more sustainable

But do the green credentials of smart door locks stand up?

As the smartphone becomes a control panel for our homes, convenience takes centre-stage. But what about sustainability? Interior design magazine Elle Décor has claimed, “Smart home and green home are now nearly synonymous”. Are there really ways in which smart home technology makes our daily lives more sustainable?

Energy use data suggests smart tech can change our domestic habits. Smart thermostat manufacturers, for example, make fairly bold claims about the amount of energy we can save using their devices. Independent product reviews suggest these claims are valid. Indeed, the UK’s Energy Saving Trust includes smart domestic control among its 10 “Energy saving quick wins”.

Systems sophisticated enough to learn our routines — to switch on the heating only when a homeowner triggers a geofence by moving within a mile of their front door, say — can minimize wasted resources.

Smart domestic devices, including the ENTR® smart door lock from BRAND, also typically use rechargeable batteries and low energy consumption technologies for in-home connectivity. Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) is a popular choice.

In Spain, a fascinating project trialled EnOcean®, an energy harvesting wireless technology which enables a smart home to power itself. As part of a mission to promote universal accessibility, Spain’s ONCE Foundation collaborated with home automation manufacturers to create an intelligent, accessible home adapted to people with diverse needs. An Elea-Open smart home system integrated the home’s multiple smart devices via encrypted Bluetooth and EnOcean® connections.

Where else could locks have a role in sustainability? Well, it’s easy to imagine times when a smart door lock could save us a journey. In Sweden, some PostNord customers can choose to have e-commerce parcels delivered inside their front door, if it is equipped with a Yale smart lock. The “Sorry we missed you!” delivery card becomes a thing of the past, as do the extra congestion and emissions resulting from redelivery or a trip to the collection office. When it comes to sustainability, every little helps.