Stay Smart, Energy Saving Devices for the Home

A boiler that is controlled by a smart energy device

With energy prices skyrocketing recently, we are all looking for ways to get smart with our energy consumption and start making some tidy savings on our bills. But where should you start?

Well, the smart answer might be technology, with devices now available that can be managed on your smartphone. Although initially a bit pricier it could pay dividends in the long term by helping to reduce the amount of gas and electricity you use.

We have put together a list of smart devices that have been designed to help you save money on your bills.

Get Smart, Plug It In

Smart plugs slot directly into your standard wall mounted sockets and connect to your home Wi-Fi. Once synced up, you can use an app to manage the plug from anywhere you might be – another room, outside the house or even in another country!

These could save energy by:

  • Programming it to switch off devices which sit on standby, for instance when you are at work or during the night, this is particularly handy for those hard-to-reach sockets
  • If you forget to turn appliances off before you leave the house, you can use the associated app to do it remotely from anywhere in the world
  • If you like to leave lamps, the radio, or other devices on when you are away from the home, instead of them being constantly on you can turn them on and off at various times, reducing your electricity usage and still giving the impression you are at home
  • Some smart plugs have the option to tell you how much energy is being used by the connected device, giving you more accurate idea of how much that appliance is costing you to run
  • If you have an energy tariff that offers a cheaper rate of electricity during the night, connect items that require charging such as your smartphone, tablet laptop, or your electric car and programme the plug to come on when the rate is lower

Strip Back Your Energy

Smart/advanced power strips are like smart plugs but have multiple sockets that turn one power outlet into many - giving you the opportunity to give juice to all those household appliances in the home office that keep you busy during the day and those that entertain you at night

These could save energy by:

  • Having the same benefits as those listed for smart plugs
  • The ability to manage multiple electrical appliances power consumption
  • Controlling individual sockets meaning you can switch a device on or off without the others being affected
  • Some versions can detect when standby or sleep occurs and cuts the power to the device automatically
  • They generally have always on sockets for devices that need constant power such as Wi-Fi routers and alarm systems

The Heat Is On, But It Doesn’t Have to Be

Smart thermostats work in a similar way to manual heating controls; however, once you connect them to the internet the smart versions offer you advance options via an app on your smartphone.

These could save energy by:

  • Allowing you to control your heating system using an app on your smartphone when you are not at home is handy if you forget to turn it off when you leave
  • If you are away from home in the winter months instead of leaving the heating on constantly to avoid situations such as frozen pipes, you can turn it on and off remotely as required
  • Some smart thermostats offer a weather compensation function that will automatically turn the heating on if the temperature drops to a certain point
  • They can monitor habits and automatically adjust temperature in line with your daily usage, such as raising it during the evening when you are at home or switching it off at your usual bedtime
  • Some can detect outside conditions meaning if the sun is warming your home, it will adjust the heating to reflect the change in temperature
  • There are versions that have the option to set up zonal heating, allowing you to control the temperature of individual rooms so only warming the rooms that you require heat in
  • Some can even detect if windows are open prompting you turn off the heating

A Light Bulb Moment

Smart light bulbs look and do the same as normal versions but give you the added benefit of managing the lights in your home without having to flick a switch to do so. Like other smart devices, this is done by diving into your smartphone and using an app.

These could save energy by:

  • Controlling the lights from anywhere if you have your smartphone and a WIFI signal, within another room you can switch off lights in a different part of your home
  • Syncing up with motion sensors to allow them to come on automatically when you enter or leave your home/room, so they are only on when you need them
  • Most smart bulbs are LED meaning that they will use less energy than other bulbs such as halogen or incandescent versions
  • To avoid your main lights being on constantly if you are out or away from home for security, you can programme them to come on at different points of the day or night thus saving energy

Smart devices may mean an initial higher cost, and most also require some electricity (although this is minimal). However, over the long term these smart devices can be a very smart option to help you save energy in your home and give you peace of mind when you are away from it.


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