After staff costs, one of the other major costs in Aged Care or Retirement Villages is electricity. This is even more so when the Aged Care Facilities are operated on a central model, with all billing for water, hot water and electricity done centrally. In many cases, the facility does not have the technology to on-bill for energy use, even if they want to. This leads to the situation where the elderly residents use energy without any thought for the financial or ecological impact of their usage.
Some may feel that the fees that they pay cover their energy usage. In other cases, management may feel that due to the limited size of residences that little power could be used. Unfortunately, rising energy costs mean that their fees are not really covering the usage, and significant amounts of energy can be used even with small spaces. Aged Care centres often implement rules that reduce the number of energy hogging appliances, like banning bar radiators. Despite this, an oil filled electric radiator heater can still cost upwards of $0.25 per hour.
Newer sites are installing Reverse Cycle Air Conditioners, which are 2-3 times as energy efficient, but these are still not perfect. People can still use these inappropriately, operating them with doors open, leaving them on when they go out, or operating them with settings that are inappropriate for the season or the size of the room.
Redshift Wireless does have a solution, and it even works with existing devices. Our solution allows central control of almost any Air Conditioner with a remote, with optional local control as well. We have the ability to install motion sensing to turn units off and on, although this is probably not as useful in an aged care facility when residents often do not move much. Having said that, the PIR can also be monitored to ensure that people are moving around, setting alarms if people have not got up between 10pm and 10am.
Our technology has the ability to significantly improve the operations of the facility, providing better care.