If you’re a subscriber of Community Solar or are thinking about becoming one, then you probably care about reducing your carbon footprint and treading more lightly on the planet. Not only can you commit to supporting clean energy to lower your carbon footprint, but you can also use smart home technology to reduce your energy consumption at home!
Home Energy Usage
Your everyday activities at home—from using the washing machine to cooking dinner—can really drive up your energy usage and electric bill. Appliances can even drain a small amount of power when they are plugged in, even if they are turned off. To reduce your carbon footprint at home and also save money, you could change up your routine by using appliances less, installing energy efficient appliances, or weatherizing your home to make it more efficient, but if you don’t want to have to uproot your routine or deal with major installations, turning to smart home technology is probably your best bet. The even better news is that turning your home into a smart home is possible whether you are a homeowner or a renter!
Smart Home Devices
There are many smart devices out there to choose from, so here is an overview of a few different types of devices and how they can help you save on electricity.
#1 Smart Light Bulbs
Do you often forget to turn the lights off before leaving the house or when you’re done in a certain room? By using smart light bulbs, you can download an app that allows you to turn the lights on and off remotely, adjust the dimmer so you use less energy while the lights are on, and even set the lights in your home on an automatic schedule. The bulbs are also LED bulbs rather than incandescent, which uses less energy. Smart bulbs can be six times more energy efficient than incandescent lighting.
Replacing your lighting with smart bulbs is one of the cheapest available options for reducing your home energy costs with smart home devices.
#2 Smart Thermostat
If you want some big savings, heat things up (or cool things down) with a smart thermostat. There are lots of different options out there to choose from, ranging roughly from $50 to $300. With a smart thermostat, you can make sure your HVAC system isn’t running unnecessarily, and even keep your home temperature control on a schedule so it’s just how you like it when you get home from work.
Another example of how a smart thermostat can help you save money is if you often forget to adjust the temperature before leaving for a long weekend or a vacation. By using the app associated with the thermostat, you can simply turn off the air conditioning at home while you relax on a beach in Hawaii.
According to Google Nest, the Nest Learning Thermostat saves customers an average of 10% to 12% on heating and 15% on cooling, which is about $131 to $145 per year which also translates into big carbon footprint savings.
For more tips on using smart thermostats, check out this blog on how to set your thermostat for energy savings in winter.
#3 Smart Outlets
Not ready to buy a bunch of smart appliances yet? Amazon’s Smart Plug allows you to plug your home appliances directly into the plug, which is plugged into the outlet. This is perfect for any home appliances that are draining power when they aren’t running, such as microwaves, stoves, and dishwashers. You can use the features in the app to have the appliances disconnected from power while you sleep, but back on when you wake up every day.