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Cut Energy Waste and Save Money Automatically

  • Posted: 01.23.2018
programmable thermostat
Photo: NRECA

Using electricity efficiently can be easier than you may think, thanks to automation and advances in technology. 

Rather than remembering to unplug electronics not in use, or to turn down the heat as you leave home for the day, devices can do the work for you, reducing power usage and your energy bill. Options include:

  • Smart power strips can reduce the drain from “energy vampires,” like electronics, that continue to use energy even when turned off while still plugged in. A smart power strip can cut up to 10% off a power bill.
  • Using sleep mode and power saving features on a computer costs nothing and can save 4% off the bill.
  • A programmable thermostat reduces the waste of heating or cooling an empty home. Set it for the time you’ll be gone and to adjust the temperature right before you return so you come back to a comfortable home.  For winter, reducing heat settings for 8 hours a day can save up to 10%.
  • A total home automation system lets you control the utilities and electronics in your home remotely.  Available on electronics such as an iPad or mobile device, home energy automation allows you to shut off your air conditioner or lower your heat when no one is home.
  • Light controls reduce wasted energy used to light rooms that you are not occupying.  Sensors detect when you have left a room so the lights turn off once no motion is detected for a certain period of time.  For the greatest efficiency, use LED bulbs.  Lighting accounts for a significant portion of the average power bill.
  • Advanced window controls can lower the cost of heating or cooling, depending on season.  Sensors and microprocessors can automatically adjust the amount of sunlight that enters in through windows. During winter, the thermostat can be lowered as the warmth from the sun heats the home during peak sunlight.