Could a smartphone energy audit help homeowners to reduce their power consumption? This was the focus of a recent International Journal of Sustainable Energy article titled: The application of smartphone technology to economic and environmental analysis of building energy conservation strategies. Wow, that is an amazingly complex way of saying the use of smartphones to perform home energy audits and will it be effective at reducing costs and environmental impacts of energy use. Software apps will be able to look at appliances, lighting, HVAC equipment as well as making recommendations for local retailers and installers. What it won’t be able to provide are air leakage estimates as this requires special equipment and what is known as a blower door test. The analysis doesn’t mention any IR photography unless they are assuming smartphones will have this capability in the future. The writeup is rather challenging to read but if you’re up for it, you can download it at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/1478646X.2011.578746
They are not saying that a smartphone energy analysis, performed by a homeowner, will identify the same level of energy savings as a professional energy auditor would identify. What they are saying is that a high volume of these simplier energy audits, while not as effective at the individual home level, would result in signifcant savings overall due to the potential speed of their deployment. Many homeowners will not make the investment in a professional audit but if a tool like this could get them to make some improvements it will help to lower overall energy consumption.