We all know that we’ll pay more for energy if we use more energy. But even if you’ve been trying to cut down on energy use, you might not have experienced the financial relief that you had hoped for.
What’s going on?
While changing your energy usage behavior may help cut costs, to truly make a critical change in how much energy you consume — and pay for — there needs to be a shift away from inefficient consumption habits and a focus on purchasing devices that will significantly reduce energy bills at your home or business.
Smart technology is an umbrella term for any collection of connected devices or appliances around your home or business. It typically involves automated operations that are connected via a home or business network. The term, “smart” actually stands for “Self-monitoring analysis and reporting technology” while also conveniently denoting its clever status.
These technologies include everything from smart light bulbs and speakers to security cameras and plugins — any connected gadgets and gizmos that provide real-time functions and insights into your building. Unlike artificial intelligence, smart devices only respond to what we program based on our desired outcome since they cannot learn on their own.
Connected devices are projected to be a $158 billion market by 2022. Homeowners have proven to be all-in on connected devices as business owners are progressively capitalizing on this economical and energy-saving trend, too.
Smart devices are becoming more popular, which means they’re both easy and affordable to use. Investing in smart technology for your home or business come with the following benefits:
Now that you understand the benefits of smart technology to save energy and money at home or at the office, it’s important to explore the various smart devices that can improve your efficiency and lower your electric bills.
LED bulbs are more energy-efficient than incandescent bulbs. But did you know that LED lights are really high-tech these days?
Smart LED bulbs give you the one-two punch of energy-efficient hardware and automated energy-saving features. These LED bulbs connect to your smartphone or smart speaker over WiFi so you can control things like:
Smart LED bulbs are easy to work with, allowing you to schedule when lights should be on. These energy-efficient lights can also team up with smart devices such as Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. to give you next-level control over your lighting preferences.
HVAC is a huge energy hog for businesses. But did you know that installing a smart thermostat can slash your electricity bill by over 20%?
Smart thermostats like Nest are designed to optimize heating and cooling based on your routine behavior. Instead of constantly running your HVAC system, you can master your HVAC usage with a smart, programmable thermostat by running the unit less often and saving money in the process.
Customize your HVAC use by the hour or day. For example, Nest lets you turn off the system during the weekends when employees aren’t in the building or when you and your family head out of town. But if John from Accounting needs to put in some extra hours, the system will automatically see he’s present in the building and kick back on. Nice, right?
Traditional windows are drafty and inefficient. In fact, you may be wasting as much as 30% of the energy used to heat or cool your building through the windows in your home or office.
Fortunately, smart windows like ElectraTint are an energy-saving option. These energy-efficient windows monitor external temperature and light to self-tint. Program them to block out heat or invite more of the sun’s rays into your building — you’re in the driver’s seat.
Yes, these windows are more of an investment than, say, a smart thermostat, but if it means making your building 30% more efficient, that’s a huge win for reducing your energy bill.
You’re paying an energy bill every month for the energy you use, right? Well, with solar batteries, you could get a check from the utility company every month for generating power.
With solar-powered battery packs, you can harness the natural energy of the sun to fuel your home or business, which means you’re using less and less energy from the grid. Of course, you need both solar panels and battery packs to make the most of your investment in solar energy. Consider going with a lithium battery for more efficient energy usage.
It takes a lot of energy to heat water.
Traditional water heaters with a tank are constantly cycling water, thus requiring more energy for no good reason. Fortunately, switching to a tankless water heater can slash your energy use by up to 34%. Tankless water heaters last longer, save more space, and keep your energy costs low.
Plus, you can control a smart water heater like the Rinnai Control-R via your smartphone. If there’s ever a leak while you’re away, simply shut off the water from your phone and stop worrying about a flooded space when you return.
How much energy are you really using? Sure, you can check your monthly utility bill, but that only tells you about your usage after the fact.
Energy monitoring systems help you track your energy usage in real time and spot energy hogs so you can make the most of your energy use right now. Energy monitors like Sense and Eve help you look at energy usage trends, identify trends and patterns, and make the right changes to save the most money.
Even though your appliances and computers are technically turned off at the end of the day, they’re still using electricity. Also known as “energy vampires,” these devices use a lot of power even when they’re turned off. This sounds like a small issue at first, but consider this: 25% of all the energy you pay for is from these types of appliances.
Smart power strips automatically shut off appliances that aren’t in use. If you aren’t running your computer anymore, the smart switch will shut off power to that outlet, thereby saving much-needed energy and money. Instead of plugging and unplugging your energy vampires, a smart power strip automatically does the work for you.
Use a smart power strip to set a timer for your devices and even control them with Alexa voice commands.
Yes, smart speakers will help you save more money on energy, but only if you use them the right way.
A good amount of smart speaker owners use them mainly for controlling lights, the thermostat, and appliances. Use Alexa or Google Skills to manage your smart lights, thermostat, water heater, and more. Treat the smart speaker as a hub for all things energy-related to get high-level insights on your energy needs.
While smart devices are easy to install, they can have a huge impact on your energy bills. Reduce your monthly energy consumption and cuts costs with these eight smart devices. Just a few small changes will help you control energy usage, save time, and (best of all) spend less on utility bills.
But energy use is just one half of your monthly bill. Utility fees and rates will also affect your monthly costs. Curious if you’re signed up for the best, lowest rates? Let EnergyBot help you find the best utility providers in your area.
Whether you're renting or buying a home, it's important to budget for the cost of utility expenses. Learn more about what utility bills typically include.
While smart technology did not become all the buzz until recently, devices such as smart meters have been gaining popularity in tracking energy consumption in the U.S. since 2006. In fact, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, smart electricity meter installations have more than doubled since 2010.