The Wiser Energy Center is an electrical panel for homes. It’s designed to help people manage their end-to-end energy use, especially in households that generate some of their own power through solar panels.
Schneider is the company behind the smart heating system Drayton Wiser – a multi-room set-up that we liked a lot when we reviewed it, finding it reasonably priced, easy to install and use.
The Wiser Energy Center (in the US, it’s called the Square D Energy Center) is aimed at those who want to live more sustainably, as well as people who have complicated home energy systems and requirements. The number of households this will be relevant to is only going to increase as we have more electrical and electronic items in our homes and more people invest in solar panels.
Manish Pant, Executive Vice-President of Schneider’s Home and Distribution Division explained the product: “Our home electricity consumption is set to double by 2050, at the same time we are facing a challenge to reduce CO2 emissions from our homes. This is a dilemma we must solve. As we equip our homes with more IoT connected devices, our ability to control and manage our home’s energy needs is simply non-negotiable.
A secure interoperable power management system is key to bringing meaningful benefits to our homes and positively impacting the way we live, whilst keeping our energy costs and CO2 emissions at bay.”
Imagine that you have a solar panel set-up (which will include a solar inverter and battery storage as well as panels), an electric vehicle to charge, a home security system, a smart thermostat – as well as all of your appliances, electrics and electronics. That’s a lot of disparate elements to manage, which means a lot of apps and control panels.
The Energy Centre will connect all of those systems together, so users can manage everything with one app. On top of this, the Centre uses AI-driven algorithms to maximise the efficiency of energy use.
It can, for example, prioritise power from solar panels when it’s available, automatically switching to renewable energy. This will maximise the ROI on expensive solar panels while minimising the household’s carbon footprint and energy bill.
The Energy Center will use data including the energy tariff, the time, weather and household energy consumption patterns to help manage the system and decide how to store and use power. Users will also be able to easily monitor their energy use and see where it goes.
It’ll also divide power usage into critical and non-critical loads. This means that, in the event of a power cut, stored energy to non-critical appliances will be cut off, while your fridge, freezer and home security system stay on.
Users who upgrade to premium features will also be able to opt to charge their electric vehicle primarily via solar power, or schedule a charge for peak solar power time so that they’re not using expensive power from the grid. They’ll also get alerts about electrical faults.
Price and availability
The Energy Center will arrive pre-assembled but will need professional installation. It will be available in France and Spain this year and will roll out to other European countries afterwards.
Schneider has not yet announced its price, although to get the full benefit of features, you’ll also need other Wiser products, such as the Acti9 Active, which monitors for electrical faults and alerts users in the event of a power surge or damage to wiring.
The Wiser Energy Center will be compatible with many third-party systems and will gain additional functionality over time with software updates.
Interested in a smart heating system for your home? Read our review of the Drayton Wiser Multi-Zone, or have a look at our round-up of the best smart thermostats we’ve tested.