Partners in Sustainability: SmartThings
Many of the sustainability challenges we prioritize at Samsung – whether it’s realizing a circular economy or optimizing energy efficiency – are enhanced through partnerships and collaborative initiatives with credible, knowledgeable, and innovative brands, environmental organizations, and industry groups. Together with our like-minded eco-conscious allies, we are putting our scale, global presence, and pioneering spirit to work on building a more sustainable and equitable future. As part of our “Partners in Sustainability” series, Samsung’s smart home platform, SmartThings, shares their views on how tackling environmental challenges requires unparalleled cooperation.
|Title:||Head of SmartThings U.S.|
|Years working together:||SmartThings launched in 2012 and has been a Samsung Electronics subsidiary since 2014|
|Subsidiary focus:||SmartThings supports Internet of Things (IoT) enabled devices from a range of manufacturers, as well as first-party smart home appliances, providing consumers with more convenience and options within their connected home.|
1. What does sustainability mean to SmartThings, and how does it influence your approach to developing smart home technologies and solutions?
Sustainability is at the core of everything we do. In addition to rising temperature, droughts, and weather patterns like we’ve never seen before, inflation and energy prices are skyrocketing. Many people are worried that, in addition to negatively impacting climate change, their utility bills will shoot through the roof. At SmartThings, we have been actively building solutions to help people save money and reduce their carbon footprint during these challenging times.
SmartThings Energy is a service within the SmartThings app that reports actual energy consumption data, analyzes usage patterns, empowers users to reduce energy costs, and contributes to a greener tomorrow. SmartThings Energy was designed to create cost-efficient, more sustainable habits, allowing people to view how their devices are using energy and adjusting in real-time based on usage patterns. Samsung is in a unique position capable of providing a complete sustainable home solution – that’s why we’ve put an extra emphasis on “Net Zero Homes” to build a sustainable future.
Thanks to our sustainability efforts, we’re proud that our connected home experience has achieved a significant milestone as the first mass-market Smart Home Energy Management System to earn ENERGY STAR certification. This underscores our dedication to both environmental responsibility and cutting-edge smart home technology.
2. In the context of addressing the climate crisis and environmental challenges, why does SmartThings believe that collaboration, both within the industry and with external partners, is crucial to finding effective solutions?
Collaboration within the industry is crucial to creating a greener planet. SmartThings remains open to partnerships with external parties that will make it easier for people to live more eco-friendly lives. One example of this is our partnership with Maxeon Solar Technology, integrating their SunPower One residential energy solution within SmartThings‘ connected home platform. This integration enables homeowners to increase their energy independence, save money, and contribute to a cleaner environment.
We’ve also partnered with Itron, who are innovators impacting the ways cities manage utilities, energy, and water. Through combining our industry leading IoT platform, we are rapidly enhancing value to both the consumer and the utility provider through improved distributed energy management, accelerated carbon reduction, and enhanced consumer engagement.
It’s through Samsung’s cutting-edge appliances and SmartThings partnerships like the ones mentioned above that we’ve been able to secure the first-of-its-kind ENERGY STAR certification for SHEMS. This remarkable achievement allows the everyday consumer to reduce demand on the grid during peak and emergency situations, lower energy costs, and manage and automate the energy use of any compatible smart devices within their home.
3. Could you elaborate on SmartThings Energy’s recent expansions, and how they’re contributing to the growth and accessibility of smart energy solutions for consumers?
The platform supports compatibility with a range of Works with SmartThings (WWST) partners, enables monitoring of home energy usage through smart meters, and includes unique features, such as tariff integration, demand response participation, and an energy switching marketplace, which offer personalized energy rates. By improving consumers’ household energy IQ, SmartThings Energy has the power to reduce monthly energy bills and contribute to a lower carbon footprint.
Integration with solar cells and electric vehicle (EV) charger products expands the scope of SmartThings Energy into the renewable and sustainable energy sector. Through EV charger integrations, users can track the energy consumed by their electric vehicles and efficiently manage charging their automobiles during non-peak hours through automations. Thus, consumers benefit from cost savings, and the electricity grid is improved during high use events. Lastly, solar cell integrations allow users to accurately track the energy obtained, stored, and used, with the remainder being sent back to the electricity grid.
4. How is SmartThings Energy working with utilities and Demand Response partners to create incentives and solutions that empower people to take control of their energy consumption and promote more sustainable energy use practices?
SmartThings has partnered with premier energy providers to enhance the information and overall understanding of energy usage in homes and businesses. It will allow more control for the homeowner (or property managers) to make the most of their resources without being wasteful. Users can manage energy in real-time, earn cash rewards, and reduce carbon emissions all through the app, which uses data and trends to help make better decisions about appliance use and entertainment. In New York, users can sign up for Logical Buildings’ GridRewards, and in California, Enersponses’ GridResponse.
5. Reflecting on SmartThings’ journey over the past 11 years, what accomplishments are you most proud of in terms of advancing smart home technology?
We are incredibly proud of the progress we’ve made over the past 11 years. Some of our most significant milestones include partnering with over 200 global brands and creating the ability to integrate with thousands of devices. Our team has grown to 800+ talented employees across Samsung who are dedicated to SmartThings. SmartThings integrates with more devices than ever, covering 15 categories of supported devices, from voice assistants to window treatment and more. In addition to the basic control services, there are nine add-on services in the SmartThings’ app today, including Air Care, Clothing Care, Cooking, Energy, Home Care, Pet Care, Smart Lock Guest Access, Find, and Home Monitor.
6. Lastly, can you share a few practical and user-friendly ways that consumers can reduce their energy consumption and environmental footprint in their smart homes by using SmartThings?
When using the app, users can easily switch between viewing all of their devices together or viewing individual device consumption and cost estimates. In addition to viewing the customizable homepage, users can monitor the energy usage of their home appliances, discover consumption data, and save energy through notifications that alert them when they’re using too much energy at a given time.
Optimizing home energy use is the first step. With SmartThings Energy, consumers can take advantage of AI Energy Mode, a power saving feature, which allows people to maximize their Samsung products while using the least amount of energy. Additionally, SmartThings Energy extends its use to connected Samsung appliances and HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) systems, allowing people to incorporate a wider range of energy-consuming devices into their “Away” mode and ensuring they are automatically turned off when not in use. Using artificial intelligence (AI) enhanced systems on Samsung Home Appliances and TVs, AI Energy Mode saves up to 70% energy on select cycles and products. Algorithms can do everything from weighing laundry loads, setting defrost cycles, estimating electricity bills – and even detecting when a refrigerator door is open or a room temperature dips – to help people cut costs and save consumption. Last year, customers in the United States saved more than 1.8 gigawatt hours (GWh) of energy using AI Energy Mode.