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Integration Guide to Selling Power Management — Increasing Interest in Power

Integrators provide tips on how to get clients to understand the benefits of power management in their homes

Giving power management and control a top spot in your smart home sales approach can mean big growth for your business, but only if customers understand all it does and know why they need it. Here’s how these top integrators make power management an integral part of the process.

“We present our smart power solutions as a foundation,” says Nick DeClemente, founder & CEO, Elevated Integration. “A solid foundation is required to ensure reliability and best performance of all devices throughout the home. We partner with Savant to offer a well-engineered system that may include battery storage, generator, and renewable energy with Savant’s flexible load management and smart ecosystem optimizing performance to the lifestyle and demands of each client. As for preconceived notions, we see a few brands driving interest in smart power, but consumers do not have a true understanding of what will work best for their application. Smart power is not a one-size-fits-all market segment.”

Power Management - Savant
The Savant Power system.

Lamar Gibson, president, Miestro Home Integration, a RoseWater dealer, says that, while many customers may have a basic understanding of power management, his team takes the opportunity to delve deeper, educating customers on how power management can provide backup power in outages and even increase the lifespan of home electronics and appliances. “As an integrator, we incorporate power management and control as an essential element in our design process by emphasizing its role in enhancing the home’s overall user experience,” he says. “Our clients own nice things, and it’s our job to help protect those things while optimizing functionality through predictable and reliable power delivery.”

AV is perpetually an afterthought for many of Paragon Systems Integration clients and trade partners, notes Doug Dushan, the firm’s senior technology advisor. “Discussing power quality at the forefront of a client conversation is a key element in my efforts to suggest how essential the technology provider is to the overall project,” he says. “In my experience, clients often have no idea that power quality is a critical issue worthy of discussion and investigation, until educated by my team.”

At Vision & Sound, a SurgeX dealer, principal Justin Zev starts projects by talking to clients about external factors that can make systems unreliable such as unstable power, heat, and weather, impacting the efficiency of their technology. “To stay on top of this,” he says, “we assess the risks and recommend power quality solutions to make systems more reliable amidst those factors. We explain how these systems work to condition power, keep systems running, and give us the ability to reboot remotely and support clients whenever a problem arises, whether during the day, on weekends, or during the evening.”

For the most part, clients don’t consider how power affects their technology until it’s brought up. “They’re thinking about the TVs, the audio, the end-user experiences,” he adds, “and are typically surprised when we expand on how much power quality impacts performance.”

“The expense of adding comprehensive power protection can catch folks off guard,” Zev notes, “but once we explain how it safeguards their systems long-term, we find that customers are receptive to the value of power management as insurance against damage, interruptions, and replacements.”

The Powers That Be

“We integrate a lot of SurgeX online, double-conversion UPS battery backups, the OL product line,” Zev says. “We like to use these as they have zero transfer time. There is no interruption to the power entering the device, not even for a split second. We find these UPS battery backup solutions improve reliability with constant power for devices with built in microprocessors, like Apple TVs. We also use a lot of SurgeX PF-420 branch circuit panels as these offer true Advanced Series Mode surge elimination rather than basic suppression for better reliability and conditioning. We also find that the PF-420 helps us save rack space, as it protects between the breaker panel and the equipment rack.”

Miestro, Gibson says, is actively integrating the RoseWater Management Hub20 into both new construction and remodeling projects. “We quote this product every chance we get,” he says. “RoseWater’s ability to deliver clean power, coupled with their longevity and their intelligent energy management features that help manage energy consumption and costs, are among their most impressive features. The fact that they also serve as a high-quality power source during grid failures is a strong selling point. We are very excited to be able to offer their newest product in the Hub40, and have already started specifying that where applicable.”

Power Management - RoseWater Energy
A Miestro Home Integration-installed RoseWater Hub20 system.

All of RoseWater’s products have been applied depending on the scope and scale of the projects Paragon is working on, Dushan notes. “What are the best features of this RoseWater system in particular?” he asks. “The guarantee of ‘perfect’ power as a foundation for the many microprocessors in our clients’ homes.”

It is easier to apply a whole-house managed energy solution into new construction projects as part of the construction budget, DeClemente says. “However, Savant’s new Power Storage solution is ideal for retrofit, and we have already had success with it. The system is cost-effective, intuitive to install, and we were able to achieve stellar results for the client. The fact that Savant’s storage solution was engineered as part of their complete power system, plus the slender form factor, help make this new addition a winner for us.”

The Evolution of Power

Smart power started out as a solution only suited to ultra-luxury clients, whereas today, the market has broadened considerably with lower prices and more efficient installations, DeClemente notes. “Smart power requires that technology integrators, who oversee several key product categories for our clients, be more involved at the construction stage of these projects,” he says. “It really highlights the value that integrators bring to the equation as one of the core trades, especially as more clients place an emphasis on managed power, renewable energy, and other smart home functionality. As for work-from-home, we aren’t in the frantic state that we were in 24 to 36 months ago as the pandemic took hold. People are comfortable in their work routines, and we don’t see this as a driver for the purchase of whole-home managed power.”

“What was considered acceptable just a few years ago we now know as inadequate to protect home systems,” Gibson says. “The intelligent systems we provide through our RoseWater partner represents a solution that can provide the true peace of mind our level of clientele has come to expect. The current trend is toward even more integrated and automated systems that provide real-time data, allow remote control, and optimize energy usage, all while protecting sensitive and, in many cases, expensive electronics and appliances. With the rise of work-from-home culture, these systems have become increasingly critical. They not only ensure uninterrupted power for essential devices, but also help manage the increased energy usage that comes with people spending more time at home, and in a way never before possible.”

Power Management - SurgeX
The SurgeX PF-420 branch circuit panels.

“One of the more important industry developments is the increasing awareness of the havoc caused by undervoltage, coupled with the realization that undervoltage and poor power quality is becoming increasingly commonplace on our nation’s aging power grid,” Dushan says. “The fact that many clients have shifted to working from home makes a solid power foundation significantly more important to our clientele.”

Over the years, power management has become more installation friendly, Zev notes. “Solutions like the PF-420 allow us to install and conceal power quality devices away from the rack, reserving space for other advanced AV equipment that consumers want,” he says. “The rise of remote reboot and management has also been huge for our industry, as customer support and maintenance can more often than not be done remotely.”

And despite the advancements in technology and the increasing complexity of projects, he adds, the significance of power quality remains unchanged. “As homeowners begin to upgrade their spaces with more technologies, we’re scaling their power quality solutions and remote monitoring to match the demand.”