Top 5 Smart Devices to Help You Save Money and Energy
668 views | February 1, 2022

Top 5 Smart Devices to Help You Save Money and Energy

Learn how smart devices can save energy and money by minimizing wasted energy without sacrificing the comfortable environment you expect at home.

Over the past decade, smart devices have made it easier for homeowners to manage the many systems and devices that make their home more efficient and comfortable, from turning on and off appliances to enhancing home security and more. Making life easier is one appealing benefit of a smart home, but another perk of owning smart devices is that they can help you save energy and money – sometimes without you even having to lift a finger. We’ve rounded up several of the best smart devices to help you do just that.

Smart Devices to Help You Save Energy

Smart Thermostats

One of the most popular smart devices that kick-started the smart home trend is the smart thermostat. This device improves the efficiency of heating and cooling your home by automatically adjusting the temperature to save energy after learning your daily routine. Whether you’re out grocery shopping, or gone all day at work, a smart thermostat works to automatically adjust to energy-saving levels, and you get the benefit of walking into a comfortable home.

Looking to upgrade your home with a smart thermostat? Check out the Google Nest Learning Thermostat. Not only is it easy to install, but it can also save you an average of 10%-12% on heating bills and 15% on cooling bills.1 Those are impressive savings!

Smart Plugs

Only have a window unit to cool your home? No problem! A smart plug provides mobile control of any appliance or device. Smart plugs allow you to set schedules for your appliances or control them with your voice from a compatible voice assistant. The Wemo WiFi Smart Plug is sleek and compact and fits into any electrical socket. The Wemo app allows you to turn plugged-in devices (like space heaters) on and off to fit your schedule.

Smart Lighting

Lighting can use a significant amount of energy, especially if your lights are on all day. And lightbulb energy use can vary widely by type of bulb and usage. Improve your year-over-year lighting efficiency with smart lighting and it will pay off. Smart lighting refers to LED bulbs, which can save about 75% more energy than incandescent bulbs. Plus, LED bulbs last 25 times longer, providing you with potential long-term savings benefits.2

Smart Switch

Another smart lighting option is a smart switch. It replaces your existing wall switch to offer smart control of lights, ceiling fans or anything else wired to that switch. (For instance, the Philips® Hue Smart Dimmer Switch controls up to 10 lights.) Like most other smart devices, the benefits of a smart switch offer value through voice and mobile control, programmable schedules, automation, and motion-sensing technology. You can schedule a smart switch to automatically shut off at bedtime or use your voice assistant (with a compatible smart speaker) to turn it off as you leave the room.

Smart Sprinklers

If you want to keep your garden watered and help maintain a beautiful green lawn with less hassle, look no further than smart sprinklers. Smart sprinklers can regulate the amount of water used on lawns and gardens and can eliminate your outdoor water waste by using your geographic location and soil type to improve irrigation. Because this device is also “smart,” it follows the local weather to adjust its water cycles automatically, providing the right amount of water every time.

Smart Device Features and Benefits to Save You Money

It is the smart home technology in smart devices that provides you with efficiency and convenience at home. The technology goes one step further by conserving energy and saving you money. Here are some additional features and benefits of smart technology.

Mobile Control

Smart home devices are designed to be controlled remotely from your smartphone or tablet. This means you can adjust the thermostat from the couch or turn off the lights from your bed, leaving the power of these devices literally in your hands.

Voice Control

Many smart devices can also be controlled with voice commands from a compatible voice assistant or smart speaker, such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home. These devices act as a hub for all your smart home devices, and by using the hub (or voice assistant) you can tell other smart devices to perform specific actions. For example, before heading to bed, say, “Hey Google, turn my thermostat to 72 degrees and turn living room lights and my TV off.”

Scheduling

Most smart devices have the ability to schedule specific actions. It’s a great feature for those who forget to turn the lights on or off or adjust the thermostat before leaving for the day. Pre-scheduling lets your smart devices know when they should be activated, turned down or turned off.

Geofencing

This feature creates a virtual perimeter, or boundary, utilized by your smart device. This boundary is typically set up in the device’s app, using your smartphone’s GPS location to trigger it. For instance, when your smartphone enters this virtual perimeter, the smart device will activate with the actions you set. Then, when your smartphone exits the boundary, your smart device automatically turns off or performs another specific action, ultimately saving energy.

Home and Away Mode

Some smart home devices can be set to a feature called “home and away” mode. This mode triggers specific actions of the smart device. For example, smart lights set to away mode will randomly turn off and on to mimic your routine and make it appear as if someone is home. Home and away settings are set to your specifications, giving you control over energy usage in your home throughout the day.

Working Together Seamlessly

Similar to the home and away mode feature, many smart devices have the capability to trigger and integrate with each other. Check carefully as you shop for devices with this feature, since some brands are compatible only with devices of the same brand, while others can integrate across brands and other third-party devices. An example of triggering and integration is the action of your smart lights coming on at 7 a.m., triggering the thermostat to a specific temperature to make it more comfortable for people getting out of bed.

Energy History

Some devices – like smart thermostats – provide a history of your daily, weekly, monthly and even yearly energy consumption. This information may give you a clear picture of where you can improve efficiency or how much energy you have been saving. Knowledge is power!

Mobile Notifications

The device sends a notification or alert to your phone for various reasons: It can be a suggestion on more ways to save energy or improve your schedule; an alert if something doesn’t seem right with your system or device; or a helpful reminder, like when it’s time to replace your HVAC filter or a battery.

Conclusion

In the end, smart devices can save energy and money by minimizing wasted energy without sacrificing the comfortable environment you expect at home. When you utilize these products, like smart thermostats, smart sprinklers, smart plugs and more, they lay the groundwork for a greener planet and potentially year-over-year lower utility costs. It’s a win-win!

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Frequently Asked Questions

How can smart devices help the environment?

Reducing energy consumption, specifically electric and water, has a positive impact on our planet. Smart devices help minimize energy consumption and alleviate energy waste. As a result, smart home devices help make it easier for the average person to live an energy-efficient lifestyle.

Do smart devices use more electricity?

It’s important to point out that some smart devices do use more electricity. However, the amount of electricity most smart devices consume is minuscule compared with the overall reduction in electricity consumption from smart devices like smart lights, smart plugs and smart thermostats.

How do smart devices work?

Most smart devices connect and communicate through your home Wi-Fi network, and once connected you can access the smart device from its app on your smartphone or tablet. From the app, and while you’re connected to Wi-Fi, you can control all aspects of the device directly from your phone. It’s simple and convenient.

© 2022 FirstEnergy Home

FirstEnergy Home is a trademark of FirstEnergy Corp.
Google Nest Learning Thermostat and Google Home are trademarks of Google LLC.
Wemo is a trademark of Belkin International, Inc.
Philips is a registered trademark of Koninklijke Philips N.V. PHILIPS.
Amazon Alexa is a trademark of Amazon Technologies, Inc.

FirstEnergy Home, and any FirstEnergy affiliates, are not affiliated with the manufacturers of the products, nor is there any endorsement or sponsorship between the product manufacturers of the products and FirstEnergy Home or any of its affiliates.


1From Google Nest Help: How the Nest thermostat savings calculator works

2U.S. Department of Energy.Energy.gov – LED Lighting. Retrieved from https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/led-lighting

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