Looking to cut down on household expenses without drastically changing your lifestyle? Here are five ways to use technology to lower your energy bills and more efficiently power your home.
1. Energy-efficient lighting
Let’s start small: energy — saving light bulbs could help cut costs more than you think. The light emitting diode (LED) is one of today’s most dynamic lighting technologies, using 75% less energy, and lasting 25 times longer than incandescent lighting, according to the US Department of Energy. But if you live in a home with a lot of different light fixtures, it can be hard to find the right bulb for each one. The Light Bulb Finder app* solves that problem by recommending bulbs based on quality, financial payback, and environmental impact. It can also suggest local and online retailers, or allow you to buy new bulbs directly from the manufacturer. Switching to LED lighting can be a simple way to reduce your bills and energy consumption with very little effort.
2. Energy Monitoring apps
Want to closely monitor your energy usage and carbon footprint? There’s an app for that, too. Energy Monitor Pro* empowers consumers to understand and take total control of their household energy use. Once connected to the real — time electricity monitor, users can view the energy consumption of each of their appliances from their smartphone, and the energy use of devices that are connected through smart meters can be reduced accordingly.
3. “Smart” home technology
Smart thermostats enable you to control your home’s temperature from your smartphone, PC, or tablet. They monitor the temperature and humidity outside, and tailor heating and cooling cycles accordingly. Many manufacturers also make home automated appliances, such as air conditioners, refrigerators, and dishwashers. These clever products can be connected to smart electricity meters, or home energy management systems, to help you shift your electricity use to off-peak hours.
4. Insulation Installation
Did you know that poor insulation can be responsible for a huge amount of heat loss? Unless your home was specifically constructed for energy efficiency, you can likely reduce your energy bills by adding more insulation to your attic, roof, or windows. This will slow down the rate at which your home loses heat, meaning it costs you less to keep warm in colder months. This sort of work will often pay for itself within a few years — think of it as a quilt for your home.
5. Solar Panels
Are you willing to make a bigger investment in exchange for higher cost savings? Solar panels, which absorb the sun’s rays as a source of energy for generating electricity or heating, are now more affordable than you might think. According to the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) panels in the United States cost less than half what they did in 2011. Since the beginning of 2010, in fact, the average cost of solar PV panels has dropped more than 60%, and the cost of a solar electric system has dropped by about 50%.
Following these energy saving tips should help you minimize your electricity bill as well as help the environment.
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