Smart breaker boxes explained

Every home has an electrical panel, also known as a breaker box. The design hasn’t changed much over the years, but through recent innovation, the smart technology-enabled electrical panel is changing that.

Smart breaker boxes, which can operate on their own or in conjunction with a standard electrical panel, make them an alternative for households looking to save energy. Many consumers are upgrading to smart breaker boxes to make their home electrical systems safer and more reliable. It’s recommended to hire a qualified electrician to install the smart panel, which can be done using a home’s existing electrical wiring and infrastructure.

Many smart breaker boxes are designed to easily connect to other smart devices in your home. With the capacity to remotely monitor and adjust energy consumption, these devices provide several advantages that make them a worthwhile investment for anyone looking to consume less energy.

One advantage smart breaker boxes provide is the convenience for homeowners to monitor and control how much energy they use. With smart circuit breakers, you can receive real-time data that allows you to pinpoint appliances or devices that consume excessive energy. This tracking allows consumers to adjust their energy use where needed, which saves money on monthly energy bills, reduces energy waste and is good for the electric grid.

Smart breaker boxes are all about managing your electrical load. While the technology to track how much energy a home uses has been available for years, the ability to control how that energy is used is new. A smart breaker box can reveal how much power each circuit is using and turn them on or off. Some smart breaker boxes allow you to establish schedules based on importance, such as refrigeration and heat to be on 24/7, but less important loads like Wi-Fi or the television to turn off during scheduled times.

Safety in electrical devices is highly important to consumers, and smart breaker boxes provide enhanced safety features that consumers appreciate. Smart breaker boxes can identify abnormalities and other potential electrical problems, then quickly shut off the power supply if a circuit shorts or becomes overloaded, avoiding electrical fires and other dangers. Many smart breaker boxes include surge protection to help protect against power spikes and other issues.

Smart breaker boxes aren’t just for consumers; electric utilities use them, too.

For electric co-ops, smart breaker boxes offer a range of benefits. Primarily, they allow for more efficient and reliable energy distribution. With the ability to remotely monitor energy use and detect faults within the system, electric co-ops can quickly respond to issues and minimize outage times for consumers — ultimately managing the grid more efficiently.

Smart breaker boxes help both electric consumers and utilities in multiple ways. With advanced safety features, real-time energy tracking and control, and the ability to use energy more efficiently, these devices can be a smart investment for anyone who wants to make their home’s system more reliable, safer and cost-effective.

With smart breaker boxes, like the SPAN Panel shown here, you can control and monitor every circuit in your home from a smartphone or tablet. Photo courtesy of SPAN