How You Can Use Technology to Save Money in The Home
Adoption of an easier and green lifestyle is being made easier thanks to technology manufacturers, who are continually finding ways to merge cutting edge technology with green living. From using a mobile app to control lights at home to high-tech appliances, there are now dozens of technologies to increase eco-sustainability within the home.
Energy is now the third most important consideration in the purchase of technology, after cost and features, making development of sustainable products a huge seller and with no signs of decline for the foreseeable future.
While consumers have become increasingly aware of their consumption of energy, they are still widely unaware as to the full scale of options available to them as far as technology is concerned.
In a small bid to share the love and knowledge, here are a few technology centric solutions you should be able to easily implement at home – and take a couple of small steps towards greater sustainability.
- Advanced thermostats
Smart thermostats have been around for a while now. However, there has been increasing advances made in their features, including a thermostat that changes the house’s ambient temperature according to the homeowner’s schedule. This thermostat – the Nest Learning Thermostat by Nest Labs, uses a combination of algorithms to collect and store data on your lifestyle, as well as integrating weather forecasts from your area to regulate internal heating.
Users can also regulate the Nest on the go through a mobile application and can help conserve up to 30% of energy used in heating. It’s possible to save even more in energy costs by making your home more energy efficient with new doors and windows from Schantz Home Improvement.
- Smart and Eco-friendly appliances
Appliance manufacturers are not far behind as well. LG, for example, manufactured a fridge that could keep track of your diet a few years ago. Eco-friendly washing machines that can fit more clothes in fewer loads using clod washes have also become household staples.
The Smart Washing Machine with Wi-Fi Smart Diagnosis launched last year gives great energy savings – it saves energy intensive cycles for off-peak hours when electricity costs less. However, the benefits of this machine are only fully realizable once utility companies have fully embraced the smart-grid technology. The machine can also use the Internet to troubleshoot and solve errors, saving lots of money and time spent on service calls and/or home visits.
- Power adapters
Cutting back on bills and expenses need not require huge investments in energy efficient appliances all the time. Charging of electronic consumer products within the home can cost as much as £120 annually. This found solution with the inception of the smart AC-DC adapter, designed to power up devices with the exact amount of energy they require. Once it is fully charged, the current cuts off in a mechanism playfully referred to as the “digital handshake”.
- Automated home-lighting
Even apart from investing in LED lighting to cut on lighting costs, consumers now have access to customized hardware to adjust light switches at home even while on-the-go. Rather than leave lights on round-the-clock, these systems can be used to light and dim house lights even when you are away on vacation or wherever.
Bang & Olufsen home automation software BeoLink can control many home automation systems including lighting from your iPhone. There are apps available that also regulate the home lighting automation system while users are on the road, with similar systems for heating and the sprinkler systems still in their testing stages.
- Review sites and the Internet
There is no doubt that technology is playing a great part in helping our appliances and ourselves to become more efficient and energy aware. Review sites and the internet in general are great tools for finding savings. In what has been dubbed The Great Energy Bills Protest, the Daily Mail has covered the issue of millions of customers being over charged to errors and inaccurate meter readings.
The ‘big six’ energy firms had 4 million complaints last year, with bill mistakes and inaccurate readings accounting for most of the issues. Proportionality speaking, smaller energy companies saw dramatically fewer complaints and much higher customer satisfaction ratings. For example these Utility Warehouse Reviews demonstrate the significant uplift in customer satisfaction as you shift just slightly beyond the ‘big six’. Notably, the Utility Warehouse Complaints policy is simple, uncomplicated and objective.
So if you fall victim to erroneous billing compounded by poor customer service, express yourself with your feet. We suggest that you do keep an eye on your bill rather than allowing it to run on autopilot and taking your energy companies word for it.
Take-home: Technology is helping us become more and more efficient. Bigger may not always be better after all. Energy usage is not the only thing that your need to keep an eye on.