Upgrade Electronics for Energy Savings

Information from smart devices gives you the power to make choices

By Maria Kanevsky

Smart thermostats are becoming increasingly popular. With them there’s no longer a need to constantly adjust the temperature, making this a convenient option for energy savings. Photo by Ecobee

Looking for easy ways to save money on your monthly energy bills? Beyond some of the more traditional energy-efficiency measures—such as sealing air leaks or adding insulation—there are several popular electronics that can help you use energy more efficiently.

Smart thermostats, smart plugs, and home energy monitors are relatively easy to incorporate into your home, making them a simple way to help manage your energy use.

Smart thermostats are an increasingly popular option to help save energy at home. With smart thermostats, there is no need to constantly adjust the temperature. They can be programmed to follow a pattern of heating and cooling throughout the day and year to maximize your comfort and energy use. Some advanced smart thermostats can even learn your habits and adjust the temperature accordingly.

Another benefit is the ability to control a smart thermostat remotely from an app on your phone, allowing you to set the temperature to your liking before you even arrive home. Some smart thermostats can be integrated with a smart home hub, such as Amazon Echo or Google Home.

Smart thermostats can be pricey upfront, but if it is time to upgrade your home’s thermostat, smart options offer convenience and savings that make them worth the initial investment.

To save energy, consider smart plugs, which can be inserted into any standard electrical outlet and help you manage the energy of the devices plugged into them. A smart plug can stop power-hungry devices from being on longer than necessary.

Some smart plug models have a scheduling option, allowing you to turn on lights or turn off the TV at certain times. Others offer a dimming function, allowing you to change the brightness of lights plugged into the smart plug. These features can be controlled through an app on your phone. Some models also have voice-controlled options when connected to a smart home hub.

A home energy monitor connects to your electrical panel and provides a big picture of your home’s energy use. It gives you the information needed to track energy use, set an energy budget, and reduce your energy use.

Some home energy monitors show which appliances use the most energy, giving you the knowledge and power to decide which of them to use less. Most home energy monitors can be connected through a smartphone app, which can send notifications, warn about abnormal energy use and provide tips for energy savings.

These simple devices can help you save energy each month. As with any new product, do your homework to determine which device suits your home best.

Get Smart About Energy Savings

“Smart” devices and appliances save time and offer convenience – but not all save energy. The following guide shows how several trendy smart home technologies stack up when it comes to energy savings.

Smart Energy Savers:

  • Thermostats
  • Washing machines and dryers
  • Dishwashers
  • EV charging stations
  • Pool pumps
  • Air conditioners
  • Light bulbs and fixtures
  • Power strips

Just Smart:

  • Virtual assistants (like Amazon’s Alexa or Apple HomeKit)
  • Smart locks
  • Smart alarms
  • Smart video security cameras