April 3, 2024

What to Watch for in Smart Electric Panel Trends of 2024

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8 Min. Read

This article was originally posted April 11, 2023 and updated April 19, 2024.

The smart electric panel is an increasingly popular household device for monitoring and optimizing energy usage and costs—especially when paired with other energy transition technologies.

These smart panels can monitor energy consumption and production in real-time, making it easier for homeowners to manage their energy usage, and can even be programmed to shift power to key devices and appliances as a form of load management or when the power source is limited to a battery storage device or solar panel array such as during grid outages from inclement weather.

Other smart home devices, such as smart thermostats and appliances, can share data with these panels to optimize energy usage. Unlike traditional electric panels, these panels can monitor and adjust energy usage in real-time, even for individual appliances.

This article will examine the smart electrical panel top trends of 2024 and beyond.

Understanding the Shift to Electrification

The shift to renewable energy, particularly solar, to generate eco-friendly electricity is motivated by sustainability, efficiency, and cost savings.

This necessitates a transition away from appliances that rely on fossil fuels and natural gas in favor of those that run on renewable electricity. This process is called electrification, where homes and businesses transition to a sustainable energy source.

One critical step to the electrification of homes is leveraging technology to optimize the cost mix of solar, battery storage, and utility power. A smart electrical panel provides the information you need to get the best out of your energy supply choices.

Continued electrification of homes will drive growth in demand for smart electric panels in 2024, and for good reason.

What are Smart Electrical Panels, and Why Do They Matter?

A smart electrical panel is a device that allows centralized monitoring and optimization of energy use and cost. It tells you how much energy each circuit uses and communicates with your smartphone or computer.

Smart electric panels have been around for some time, but with increased electrification, their capabilities and features have grown from passive monitoring to active energy management. Some even utilize AI capabilities to warn of a malfunctioning appliance. The electric panel top trends for 2024 reflect these increasing capabilities.

With the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), smart panels are playing a pivotal role in creating interconnected and automated electrical systems.

A smart electric panel differs from a traditional panel that uses circuit breakers to open the circuit or “break” the power supply when the electrical current exceeds the pre-set capacity of the breaker. While electric panels can vary in size, many older homes will have a 60 or 100 Amp panel, with most newer homes being built with 200 Amp panels.

Breakers are on-off devices that prevent overheating or even fire but, in a traditional electric panel, they lack monitoring or adjustment capabilities and, thus, are not “smart.”

Ultimately, the goal of home energy management is an integrated system that monitors and controls your home power production and consumption down to the appliance level. It does so in real-time and is easily adjusted. A smart electric panel is the hub of an integrated system.

How Smart Electrical Panels Impact Home Electrification

In addition to monitoring, reporting, and controlling power consumption, smart electric panels also optimize the power source at any time. These panels can be programmed to run on solar, battery storage, or utility power when the climate prevents solar use.

The rise in EV charging station installations in homes gives another point to monitor and manage. These panels allow homeowners to monitor their EV chargers’ status and performance easily.

With the emergence of solar and battery storage, the trend is toward an integrated energy management solution that uses a single software application to optimize energy production and provides monitoring and control. Not only does such an integrated solution provide the required knowledge in real-time and operate on presets you provide, but it also actively manages your home energy ecosphere.

Integrating Electrical Appliances and “Matter”

Forbes estimates that by the end of 2024, an interconnected web of more than 207 billion devices will comprise the Internet of Things. Smart panels will play a pivotal role in creating automated electrical systems that can speak to these devices while also ensuring their seamless integration into a resilient electrical grid strengthened by these intelligently designed technologies.

This statistic also indicates that the trend for smart appliances is likely to accelerate. Things such as smart ovens that optimize cooking time and temperatures and refrigerators that automatically adjust for best energy consumption will become more common.

The growth of smart appliances will require interoperability — the ability for different devices and software to communicate. A commonly accepted communication protocol is necessary for devices and software to communicate. Matter, a new communication protocol standard designed for that purpose, has been rising to prominence.

GE, Eve, Leviton, Govee, Nanoleaf, and Aqara debuted new Matter-compatible devices at the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Matter removes the barrier to interoperability in home energy management systems. The result is increasing integration and greater effectiveness of such systems. As more and more components are added to the mix, the need for centralization and simplification also increases.

The first version of the communication protocol, Matter 1.0, covered only certain categories of devices, including light bulbs, thermostats, and garage door controllers. In October 2023, however, Matter 1.2 was announced, which added support for nine more devices, including refrigerators, robot vacuums, and air purifiers.

By the end of 2023, Matter saw massive growth, with more than 24,600 downloads, 1,200 certifications, and a 24% increase in companies leveraging the technology. In 2024, as Matter prepares for two new updates, more devices are expected to be included in the mix, including security cameras, energy management systems, and EV charging stations.

What’s The Best Smart Electrical Panel? Here’s Our Vote

The Schneider Home Solution: A New Advance in Energy Management

Schneider Electric first introduced its innovative solution to whole home electrification and energy management at the 2023 CES, with the Schneider Pulse Panel and Schneider Home solution.

The Schneider Pulse Panel is an innovative solar and backup-power-ready smart panel that easily integrates solar panels, EV charging, and battery storage and ties into the more comprehensive Schneider Home for a whole home electrification solution.

Featuring a seamless design to simplify increasingly complex networks, Schneider Home offers:

  • A smart panel.
  • Home storage battery.
  • A high-powered inverter for:
    • Solar energy applications.
    • Integration to battery storage.
  • Connected power outlets and light switches.
  • The Schneider Home app for overall control.
  • EV charging.

By incorporating these features into a single, “one-stop” panel, you get real-time transparency into your home’s power consumption down to the appliance level and can easily pre-set prioritized circuits for transfer to battery backup during outages.

Additionally, you can avoid the costs of electrical power upgrades for EV chargers and more readily access utility programs for rebates and ensure your electrification project qualifies for tax incentives.

Schneider Home creates a new, simplified world of energy management. Instead of complex networks of disjointed devices and apps, the Schneider Home automates energy production, storage, measurement, and control. The key is that it does so all in one package.

Schneider Home signals a trend toward simplification and integration as the recipient of a 2023 CES Innovation Award, and this will certainly be something that more companies will look to as an example of interoperability when evaluating how energy transition technologies can more readily integrate to improve the user experience and convenience.

As more homes and businesses look to install smart panels, EV charging stations, solar panels, and other energy transition technologies, it will become increasingly crucial that these systems operate and integrate seamlessly, and the Schneider Home is a key example of how this can be achieved.

What to Expect in 2024: Electric Smart Panel Top Trends

The increased focus on home automation, a more modernized grid, and newer technologies make up most of the electric panel top trends of 2024.

Among the electric home panel top trends of 2024 is also the increased adoption of smart subpanels, which can be used to add monitoring or smart control of high-load areas.

The smart electrical panel market was estimated at $5.8 billion in 2022 and is expected to almost double to $10.3 billion by 2032, due to its increased adoption in both residential and industrial settings.

New features to smart panel technology were also introduced at CES 2024, including customizable presets for an electric panel that allow users to switch modes according to their needs. Examples include an “eco mode” that optimizes the energy use from your solar panels or a “storm watch” mode that ensures batteries are charged in anticipation of a storm.

How to Install Smart Electric Panels: Add or Retrofit?

You can add smart electric panels to existing non-smart ones using separate smart modules or by completely replacing the existing traditional electric panels. If your current panel cannot serve your ultimate loads, it is simpler to retrofit your old board with a smart one. It is wise to do a thorough cost comparison with a company qualified to help you select and install the right electric panel for you.

Remember that installing these panels requires a high level of electrical skill and can be more costly than a standard electrical panel.

Installing these panels involves working with extremely high levels of power and it is essential to use the services of licensed electricians with expertise in electrification and panel installation. Accidents can be serious or even fatal, and damages can be costly.

Unless you have expertise in working with 240 volts or more, it is always wise to use the services of a licensed electrician. Choosing one with expertise in smart panel installation is also advisable, as the technology can be complex.

Getting Started with Your Electrification Journey

Homeowners must ensure safe installations while avoiding pricing surprises and cost overruns. Vetting electricians in each local market is daunting. In addition, technology is advancing rapidly.

Qmerit can help. As the leading installer of electrification technologies, we provide the expertise and experience you can trust in the rapidly evolving world of electrification. With the largest and most qualified network of certified electricians in North America, Qmerit is the trusted smart electrical panel installation partner recommended by manufacturers. Rated #1 in customer satisfaction, we’ve completed over 86,700 electric panel upgrades!

Our unique network of licensed electricians is trained in the latest energy transition technologies and electric panel top trends and can help you seamlessly embrace a bright new future of integrated home energy management and whole home electrification.

Electrification is our business. We stay on top of new technologies to help you make the right decisions and avoid problems.

For more information, request a consultation today to learn more about our smart electric panel solutions for your home!

Author: Greg Sowder

Greg Sowder

President, Qmerit Network