Shady Going Ons Across The Pond

In the USA, Baltimore Gas & Electric has reported good energy savings have come from automated shading solutions of domestic property windows. It follows a year-long study.

While heating and cooling efficiency is an assumed inherent benefit of window coverings, the energy savings potential hasn't been measured in a residential application. Until now.

Baltimore Gas & Electric (BGE) is the largest gas and electric utility provider in the state of Maryland. It partnered with Hunter Douglas and Rollease Acmeda, along with the Attachment Energy Rating Council (AERC), to demonstrate the potential energy savings of automated window shades through America’s first smart shade pilot programme.

To prove the potential energy savings, BGE took the study out of the lab and into a real-life scenario, selecting 15 residential participants in BGE's territory to install Rollease Acmeda and Hunter Douglas automated shades in their homes, which varied in size and style.



For one full year, the shades operated on AERC's recommended automation schedule to open and close based on time of day and the sun's position. For example, shades were programmed to be down during the day in the summer months to reduce cooling costs. Some adjustments were made for individual homeowner preferences using their smartphone (e.g. leaving shades open enough that pets could see outside).

The pilot participants had an AMI meter to share utility data from 12 months prior to and after shade installation. In addition to collecting energy data, BGE conducted four quarterly participant surveys to learn more about customers' experiences and to better understand individual use.


Shade popularity

Automated, motorised shades are capturing a market as they offer convenience and enhanced privacy compared to their traditionally manual counterparts. Additionally, they offer battery-powered operation and compatibility with voice activation systems such as Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit and Google Home.



Across the board, participants indicated improvement in the comfort and temperature of their homes. On average, customers saved 13.5% on electricity and 3.4% on gas over the installation period. Of course, the USA boasts more homes drawing power for air conditioning.

"We're committed to creating solutions that have a positive impact on our customers and the community. Not only did the automated shades enhance the look and comfort of occupant homes, they also helped to reduce energy consumption and save on utility bills," says Amey Bayes, energy efficiency program manager for BGE.


Rollease Acmeda

Rollease Acmeda designs and manufactures window covering hardware for manual and automated shades, as well as specialty fabrics, for use in both commercial and residential applications. It is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, the company has a global team of over 270 associates and distribution facilities spanning the USA, Australia and Europe.

Hunter Douglas has been in the window-covering industry since 1946.


Picture: Automated window blinds can save energy according to a study from America.

Article written by Cathryn Ellis
25th August 2023


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