Having trouble cutting dollars off your electricity bill from quarter to quarter? It sounds cliché in an age where there’s an app for everything, but maybe your smartphone could be the answer to reducing your electricity costs.
Whether it’s the energy efficiency of your appliances that’s the issue, or simply the fact that you don’t remember to turn the lights off, there’s tech designed to solve these problems, and we’ve rounded up a few of what we consider to be the best energy-saving solutions available right now.
The Energy Rating App
Released by the Australian Government, this app for iOS, Android and Blackberry is designed to help consumers make smart choices about their appliances by allowing them to compare white goods based on their energy efficiency.
The app displays an appliance’s power use in dollars rather than kilowatts hours, making it easier for you to make financial decisions by considering the running costs, as well as the purchase price. The app makes use of information on over 7,000,000 appliances from the Energy Rating Label, meaning that consumers can trust the app just as much as they would the Energy Rating sticker on an appliance. While the app doesn’t provide any assistance in saving on energy bills beyond the initial purchase of your appliances, it’s a helpful tool for the important first step towards saving on energy bills, which is having efficient appliances.
An award-winning start-up based in Sydney, WattCost claims its technology can save you up to 30% off your energy bills if you use it right. If that’s true it might just be worth the hype!
The WattCost beacon records your household energy use, and sends that data to the WattCost servers for real-time analysis. Saving alerts and recommendations are then sent instantly to your smartphone via the WattCost mobile app, which you can then choose to act on and implement. The amount of alerts and suggestions you receive can be tweaked based on how keen you are to save money. There are start-up costs involved, but WattCost could be worth a try.
PowerWater’s Virtual Energy Audit
This is a little different from the other entries on this list. The Virtual Energy Audit is an online flash-based tool that allows you to calculate how much electricity your household is currently using, and then also lets you see how much money you could be saving in every single room and area of your home.
You’ll have to be able to provide specifics about your home, including how often you use your air conditioning (along with what type of air con it is), and the kinds of appliances found in each room or area. At the end of the audit you’ll be shown a breakdown of your energy costs by room, along with how much carbon dioxide your household generates, which will be useful information for both the financially and environmentally conscious.
This Wi-Fi using piece of tech gives you effortless control of every electrical appliance in your home, whether it’s a TV, your stereo system, lights, whatever you want to have control over.
You’re only limited by how many switches you can buy, as you’ll need one switch for every appliance, however you could group appliances together for convenience. For example, if you use your speaker system with your TV, you could plug them both into the same switch to save on both money and power points.
The WeMo app lets you set individual schedules for your devices, and even control them from afar using your phone’s mobile data connection. The implications for energy saving are pretty significant because really, who of us hasn’t forgotten to turn the air conditioning off after leaving the house in the morning? The WeMo app eliminates that problem, allowing you to remotely turn any power point-based appliances off from wherever you are at any time. Each WeMo switch will run you $69.95, and the mobile app won’t cost you a cent.
Worth a try?
If you’re seeking ways to save on energy bills, we’re reasonably confident that at least one of the above options will help you towards your goal. Whether you’re looking to improve the efficiency of your appliances or just use them in a more efficient way, give these a try and you might be surprised by how much you save!