Ashley Renne Nsonwu sets up a smart dimmer switch in her solar-powered smart home. Photo via @HeyAshleyRenne Twitter
Listen to our recent Tacos & Tech podcast featuring Ashley on the future of smart home automation:
Ashley Renne Nsonwu first foray into clean technology came after she couldn’t stand the grating sound of her husband’s ancient Volkswagen turning on and spewing carbon into the atmosphere.
“You could hear that thing from a mile away,” she said.
That’s when the travel influencer turned sustainability lifestyle expert committed to green transportation and switched to an electric vehicle. Nsonwu soon found herself at another carbon crossroad when she and her husband moved out of their city townhome to the “burbs.” The move presented an opportunity to buy a new construction home, which gave them the flexibility to make it as sustainable as possible.
The Nsonwus chose a house on the lot with optimal sunlight, and it took 10 months to build their solar-powered dream home. The space is outfitted with a power wall that stores energy for later use and smart plugs that prevent always-on devices from draining “vampire energy” that can increase electric bills. Nsonwu uses apps to monitor how much energy is captured and track savings month-to-month.
“While smart home automation might sound expensive — and it can be upfront — in the long run it is designed to help save you money,” Nsonwu said.
Initially focused on energy and monetary savings, Nsonwu quickly realized a smart home space also expanded to improve her overall quality of life, especially as a new parent. From smart doorbells that silence themselves when the baby is sleeping to smart vacuums that reduce chores, Nsonwu said she appreciates how much time the technology gives her back in the day.
Josh Gierke, Sales Strategy & Enablement Manager at Cox Communications, said if you aren’t quite ready to dive into a smart car or solar home like Nsonwu, you can realize savings right away with simple strategies such as switching to LED light bulbs or a smart thermostat, both part of the Cox Homelife service. The lure of sustainable technology solutions is growing increasingly strong for homeowners and home builders alike. Gierke noted how government policies such as mandating electric vehicles, climate change and remote work have all added a great level of importance to smart home technology.
“It’s crucial to be a step ahead, identify and reflect on how you’re using energy day-to-day to be more efficient,” he said. “How people live is different than two years ago. Taking that trajectory and seeing the smart home space take off gets me jazzed about what’s ahead.”
Nsonwu added not to be too hard on yourself in terms of going green. “Nothing is ever going to be perfect when it comes to sustainability,” she said. “If everyone is a little more conscious of their daily lifestyle habits and what they are doing to be more eco-friendly, it really does make a difference.”
If you’re looking to fine-tune your environment and build smart home technology for a sustainable future, a little planning goes a long way. Take a virtual tour of the Cox Smart Home to see what clean technology might benefit you, and for help assessing how you can make your everyday life easier and smarter, connect with our friends at Cox Communications.