Energy-Saving Solutions at Your Fingertips
If you’re planning any home renovations or just want a better overview of where your energy goes, here are some tech-savvy solutions to help you make the most of your energy consumption.
Making your home more energy efficient can take a little effort at the onset, but even small changes to your daily routine can have a tremendous impact, not only on the environment, but also on your energy bill. These apps can help.
Some of you may be familiar with the SmartHub app from National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC). If your electric co-op is part of the SmartHub program you can use the app and its website as a one-stop shop for managing all of your utility and telecommunications needs.
In addition to being able to view and pay your bill online, the app also provides convenient energy usage graphs so you can monitor your usage trends over time. SmartHub also allows users to receive updates directly from their providers regarding rate changes or outage information so they always have the most recent information available, right at their fingertips.
Energy Consumption Analyzer For Android
The first step to save energy is to figure out how much you’re using. This app lets you add meters for gas, electricity, or water and monitor them over time. This data is used to calculate your home’s average rate of energy consumption per hour, day, week or month and display it in a handy bar graph or table.
A bonus feature allows you to add color-coded comments to specific readings to account for special circumstances where you expect your consumption rate to increase. This way filling your pool at the beginning of the summer doesn’t completely throw off your estimates for the rest of the year.
Kill-A-Watt Electricity Usage Monitor
Once you’ve established your base energy usage it’s time to identify problem areas. Even if it’s not in use, an appliance can continue to consume power while plugged in. The amount per appliance is typically very small, but after every appliance in the home is accounted for, it can equal a significant fraction of your home’s overall electrical use.
A Watt-Meter is a simple device that shows you how much energy (including standby energy) an appliance uses. Just plug it into an outlet then plug your appliance into the meter. You’ll get a readout of how much power you’re using by not using that appliance while it’s still plugged in.
It might not be feasible to completely eliminate your home’s electricity vampires, but this will help you identify the worst culprits.
Okay, technically this is a website and not a mobile app, but there is too much information here to not mention it. Energy Star is a government-backed program that awards special certification to products that meet strict guidelines to save money while protecting the environment.
Not only will this site help you select the best electronics to save energy, but it also provides information on a number of tax credits you can qualify for by using Energy Star-rated products.
Total Connect Comfort App – Honeywell
If you’re lucky enough to have a smart thermostat, or are considering an upgrade, you should know that most offer mobile apps to give you unlimited control of your power savings. Designed to work with Honeywell Wi-fi thermostats, the Total Connect Comfort App lets you change settings, monitor and manage multiple room thermostats and even check indoor/outdoor temperatures. You can get email alerts if your home’s temperature or humidity falls out of your preferred range and the whole thing can be voice controlled via preprogrammed commands.
Now that you’ve got your energy savings bases covered, it’s time to implement some daily habits to help conserve even more. JouleBug is a green app that turns your daily energy-saving routine into a fun social game.
Instead of just giving you a list of rules to follow, JouleBug issues challenges that will help you save energy while reducing your carbon footprint. Completing challenges unlocks achievements you can post to your profile. You can even challenge the rest of your family to some friendly competitions. Finally, a fun way to get kids to remember to turn off the lights when they leave a room.