In the last post, I gave a shortlist of home energy dashboards. While that list could be expanded to rival a phonebook with the myriad of energy products out there, this post will instead focus on the common promises they all purport.
|Product||Typical Claim||High Claim||Qualified Claims?||Claim Within Typical Bounds?|
|Control4||5-10%||25-30%||No specific case studies posted or readily available.||Yes|
|TED||20%||50%||Studies immediately available, how-to-save guide also available.||No|
|PlotWatt||n/a||50%||No studies referenced, only anecdotal “beta” users.||No|
|Energyaware||5-20%||20%||Studies referenced, none linked. The “fact sheet” does not include references.||Yes|
The above table summarizes the following details for the products. Note that the column Claim Within Typical Bounds is personally subjective. From the claims given by each product’s literature, I’ve made a value judgement if the claim adds up to others within the industry. In my experience, claims of 15-20% are fairly normal. Remember, that’s the normal claim, actually achieving these figures, that’s a whole other story.
Also note this post mixes the language of claim and promise. It is true that the products are making normative claims and actual results have potential to lie outside this claim. I prefer to look at these claims as promises of what the product is to deliver for the customer. If a claim is to be made for a product’s potential, as an uninformed purchaser of said product I expect it to meet the claim. Understanding that a clouded statement of potential for a consumer product is akin to a company promise puts the quality of a solution in a different light.
25-30% Extreme Claim
Control4 and Energy
The Energy Detective (TED)
20% reduction would “cover the price of the basic unit of TED in both the 1000 and 5000 series” from associated claims.
TED Energy Facts / FAQ
Note that no papers, case studies or other examples are cited in this claim.
Studies have shown that real-time feedback can reduce energy consumption by 5-20%.
20% Extreme Claim
Energyaware – Our Products (20% Claim)
Energyaware – The Energy Revolution (5-20% Claim)
Tendril – Energize (product page)