There’s an app for that
Want to closely monitor your energy usage and carbon footprint? Apps like CURB help you take control of — and better understand — household energy use. It shows exactly how much energy appliances consume hourly and annually. Plus, it shares weekly reports to identify changes in consumption and to provide cost-cutting recommendations.
Studies have shown that real-time insight into energy consumption may result in savings of up to 12%. Neurio and Smappee are other energy monitoring apps to check out.
One trend that is showing no signs of slowing down is the demand for smart home technology. According to MarketsandMarkets.com, the smart home market is expected to surge to nearly $140 billion in the next five years. One of the driving factors is the interest in energy savings. In fact, 86% of millennials indicated that they would pay more for a rental if it already had smart home technologies installed.
Smart thermostats, which monitor the temperature outside and tailor heating and cooling cycles indoors, are the standout. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as the U.S. Department of Energy states that “heating your home uses more energy and costs more money than any other system in your home — typically accounting for 42% of your utility bill.” According to Energy Star, a programmable thermostat can save households up to $180 per year in heating and cooling costs.
One of the most recent advances in the smart heating realm is zoning capabilities. Worcester Bosch is the first to launch this new feature this spring with its Bosch EasyControl, which can split household rooms such as the kitchen and bedroom into separate “zones,” allowing for customized heating in each area.
Proof that smarter is better, Nest, which has designed a line of Wi-Fi enabled home devices, shared two independent studies on its website that analyzed energy bills before and after homeowners installed Nest’s thermostats. The studies revealed that the smart thermostat cut cooling costs by 15% and reduced heating usage by 10-12%.
Insulate your space
Insulation also plays a major role in heating and energy expenses, and can cut down energy costs by over 40% when properly installed. Unless your home was specifically constructed for energy efficiency you can likely reduce your energy bills by adding more insulation to your attic, roof or windows.
Plus, insulation pays for itself in approximately five to six years. Insulation can reduce drafts so your home loses less heat, making it much more affordable to heat. The U.S. Department of Energy offers tips on how to detect and seal air leaks, so you can optimize your home’s energy efficiency.
This savings hack isn’t just for free-standing homes either. Apartment dwellers can boost energy efficiency by weather-stripping their windows or caulking air leaks with very low material costs that add up to immediate savings.