New, Now and Next in Technology
The next big opportunity to distinguish us in new homeowners’ eyes is environmental responsibility. It’s becoming rampant in the Bay Area among people building larger homes, looking to make them more energy-efficient. They want to remove themselves from the power grid, to capture and re-use rainwater and use environmentally friendly building materials.
How can a CEDIA-type dealer work in that space? Many, many ways. The stuff we really know how to do well plays into this concept—lighting control, motorized window shades, smart thermostats, using automation and overlay controls to start designing levels of hibernation for parts of the home not in use to save energy.
And the way we select components will change, too. Now, I’m hunting down flat-panel displays, LCD or plasma, that have very low power consumption, looking for ways to turn them off completely so there’s no ‘vampire power’ when they go into standby. A 42-inch plasma display in standby mode draws the equivalent of a 45-watt light bulb. I’m looking for energy-efficient flat panels and amplifiers—the two power hogs in the system. And they’re both getting more efficient. By consolidating everything into a central room, I can start to manage the waste heat from that room through a heat recovery valve (HRV), taking the heat and pumping it back into the home’s hot water system or, in the winter, into its ventilation system. That’s what I think is the next important stage in our evolution.