Top 5 energy saving products for your home

Keeping your electricity bill under control is usually easier said than done. Fortunately, innovative technologies have made managing your home’s energy usage simpler than ever. We take a look at some of the best gadgets to help you save power in the home and slash those bills with minimal effort.

If there’s just one gadget you’ve been dying to hear about, feel free to click on the tab below and skip ahead. Otherwise, keep scrolling for the full list.

The top five best energy efficient gadgets

  1. Smart Power Boards
  2. Smart Glass
  3. Electricity Usage Monitors
  4. Solar Batteries
  5. Smart Lights

1. Smart Power Boards

One of the best gadgets to save power in the home is a smart power board. These boards function similarly to standard multi-boards, allowing users to make the most of limited power sockets. The difference is that smart power boards are able to measure the electricity flow from each outlet, allowing it to detect when devices are in use and when they are in standby mode. When the smart power board recognises a device on stand-by mode, it will cut the flow of electricity to that particular device without compromising energy flow to other connected electronics. The board can also recognise when you’re trying to turn a device back on and will recommence energy flow immediately.

Smart power boards are extremely useful when it comes to home entertainment systems, as many of us will have power boards completely loaded with electronics. The lounge room is often the biggest problem area for this, so the South Australian Government has provided a list of the power use of a few lounge room gadgets.

Appliance Passive stand-by power use Active stand-by power use
DVD player 1.5W 8.7W
Game console 5.4W 44.9W
Television (LCD) 3.5W n/a
Printer (laser) n/a 8.8W
Clothes washer (front loader) n/a 5.8W
Clock radio n/a 2.1W
Set-top box – Pay TV 15.8W n/a
Total 26.2W 70.3W

On its website, the SA Government also shared that the passive stand-by of these appliances can cost bill-payers up to $80.33 a year, with active stand-by reaching as high as $215.54 a year.

Smart power boards are becoming increasing popular as a means to save energy. Some smart power brands that are available in Australia include; Brilliant, Phillips, Cygnett, Embertec and Thor.

2. Smart glass

Smart glass is another energy efficient gadget worth setting up in your home. Also known as privacy glass, smart glass uses electro chromatic technology to tint glass when an electric current is applied, letting you remotely tint and untint your windows when it suits. This is similar to transition lenses in your glasses, but controllable with your phone!

It’s been known for some time that tinting windows helps cut cooling costs by keeping the heat out, but now you have the ability to let heat in on a cold day by removing the tint with a few swipes on a smartphone. Dynamic Glass, the credited developers of smart glass, claim this technology can save up to 23% on electricity costs.

3. Electricity Usage Monitors

Electricity usage monitoring gadget

Electricity usage monitors are savvy, generally in-expensive gadgets to use to keep track of energy efficiency in the home. These devices help bill-payers to to identify areas of inefficient energy usage (e.g. standby power), minimise peak demand, monitor the health of your solar systems, and provide insights into how to improve your home’s energy efficiency.

Some systems even go one step further and allow you to have the system automatically control the source of your home’s energy. This could be from drawing electricity from a stored solar energy source during peak periods, or staying on the grid during cheaper off-peak periods. Some of the different kinds of power usage monitors available in Australia include wireless, online, solar and 3-phase power models.

Most electricity and solar retailers even offer a range of internal apps and systems which let you use your phone, tablet or computer to track power usage too.

Real-time monitoring of energy use is a powerful tool to have in your hands. It can be as automated or customised as you like. A monitoring system can go a long way in saving money on your power bills.

4. Solar batteries

Next on the list of energy efficient gadgets is solar batteries. Solar storage technology allows users to store unused energy generated by the homes solar panels for use later on, rather than letting it go to waste. There are a number of storage systems available in Australia, though the range of products is only expected to grow. In peak conditions with an appropriately sized solar system, a 7kWh battery such as Tesla’s Powerwall, is expected to cover the majority of your household’s peak electricity use.

Since Tesla exploded on to the scene, various other companies have realised the potential market share they are missing out on. Technology giants like Panasonic and Samsung have all jumped on board the solar battery bandwagon, as well as a couple of other smaller players. This ensures that the market stays competitive and will likely mean that prices for these solar batteries will decrease over time.

5. Smart Lights

Smart lighting with controls next to it

Another energy efficient product for the home that’s worth having is smart lighting. Most of us know that incandescent bulbs are energy wasters and belong in the 20th century. Many people have switched over to LED or fluorescent lighting to save money, but what we might not have considered is smart lighting. With this technology you are able to control switches from anywhere with smartphone apps. This helps ensure that a light is never left on when you’re not in the room. While a light bulb doesn’t in itself use that much electricity, the savings from switching off certainly add up.

Some notable smart lighting brands available in Australia include; LIFX, Phillips Hue, TP-Link and Sengled.

What do I need to consider with energy efficient gadgets?

The most important thing you need to consider with energy-saving gadgets is the initial cost of purchasing the technology itself. While they can potentially help you save on your power bill, the upfront cost of these appliances can be prohibitive. This means that it will take some time to recoup the cost of buying the product.

Appliances like smart power boards are relatively low cost, however even a $99 smart power board can take up to eight months to recoup the costs of. Other appliances which require integration can cost thousands and take years or decades to recoup the costs.

The costs of some of the above technologies are a turn off for many Australians, but the long term savings might be worth your while. Weigh up the considerations, and see if investing in energy efficient products is right for you.

Compare Energy Deals

Here are some of the cheapest published deals from the retailers on our database that include a link to the retailer’s website for further details. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on the Ausgrid network in Sydney but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 3900kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Here are some of the cheapest published deals from the retailers on our database that include a link to the retailer’s website for further details. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on the Citipower network in Melbourne but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Here are some of the cheapest published deals from the retailers on our database that include a link to the retailer’s website for further details. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on the Energex network in Brisbane but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4600kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Here are some of the cheapest published deals from the retailers on our database that include a link to the retailer’s website for further details. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on the SA Power network in Adelaide but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Image credits: Audio und werbung/Shutterstock.com, RossHelen/Shutterstock.com.

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