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  • Writer's pictureMark Oliver

Top Five Energy Saving Gadgets

Updated: Nov 6, 2020

This month at the HQ we've been focusing on ways we can reduce our electricity consumption and be more sustainable by simply using some smart retrofit items that don't need an electrician to install. We will also be looking into some more high tech items that can help you make a big impact and as an added bonus save some money off our utility bills.

Trying to keep on top of your energy consumption is no easy task. With most items around the home and office electrical, it seems everything needs power to work. Over 80% of these items were left on standby using up energy. So this is where we decided to start which leads us onto our first top energy saving gadgets:

1. Smart Plugs

Smart plugs are brilliant little things and while they do use electricity to work they gave us the ability to switch off multiple items at once with the convenience of not having to physically turn off the plug switch at the wall. As an added feature most smart plugs come with a downloadable app that allows you to control them from your smartphone as well as set timers and run routines, such as turning off any lights on sunrise every morning.

We have even gone one step further and installed an Amazon Alexa. This allows us to use speech to ask Alexa to turn on items (including smart bulbs, more on this in a minute though), which means we don't even need to be near our phone or the plug socket.

The smart plugs used are made by Kasa Smart, Find more out HERE

Home automation was done using Amazon Alexa, Find more out HERE

2. Smart Lights

Again similar to the smart plugs we've replaced all our light bulbs with energy efficient smart bulbs. This is a very simple, quick and easy change to help us reduce our energy consumption. With the benefit of using LED smart bulbs we are not only using less electricity but we are also able to switch on/off our lights while still sat on the sofa (lazy I know). On a more sustainable note this also allows us to turn our lights on/off from anywhere in the world, meaning if we forgot to turn them off at any point we can do so where ever we are.

We have also linked these items to Alexa for voice activation and for the ability to put lights on timers. For example at 9pm every evening Alexa will turn off all lights (and plug sockets) in the event that we forget.

Smart lights used are made by Philips Hue, Find more out HERE

Home automation was done using Amazon Alexa, Find more out HERE

3. Energy Monitors

With all these changes being made how do we know how much energy we are saving and are we actually making a difference? With this in mind we have turned to Energy Monitors. Again these are quick and easy to install and give you real time data so you can actually see the difference you are making. With the Powerpal Smart Meter it simply connects to an app on your smartphone that displays your total energy consumption, if you enter in your tariff rates it will also convert this into how much you are spending. This for us is a huge win as it allows you to actually track your usage and display it in a way that you can understand.

I will warn you upfront that although this is a quick and easy device to install and use you will spend hours walking around your home switching things on/off seeing how low you can get your consumption. Just don't watch it while boiling the kettle.....

4. Solar Panels

We can't really talk about energy saving gadgets and not mention solar panels. These are probably one of the biggest items you can buy that will make the biggest impact! We have all seen them sitting on the roofs of homes and quite simply they use the sun's energy and convert it into electricity for you to use in your home. If you also add in a battery you are able to store this energy to use at night.

All the energy you produce is free to use meaning you will see a dramatic drop in your utility bills every month.

There have been some big advancements in solar technology increasing its performance and bringing the cost down. Tesla has made one of the biggest advancements by developing a whole roof tile system which means we no longer have to have these big ugly block blocks on the roof. Check them out HERE

5. Solar Hot Water

Following on from and sticking to the same theme as the solar panels our 5th energy saving gadget is solar hot water systems. Heating your water is typically the second biggest use of energy in a home. Therefore this also makes one of the biggest impacts on our energy consumption and trying to lower it. While some homes may use gas to heat their water it is still a large use of natural resources we can easily lower.

If you also own a swimming pool you can use very similar systems to warm your pool water, giving you more time in the year to enjoy a dip. Read more HERE

Bonus Gadget

Ok so this might not be a gadget nor will it reduce your energy consumption but it will save you money on your utility bills! Our friends over at MyConnect organise our client's utility connections when they are moving to save them all the hassle of dealing with all the separate companies themselves. MyConnect is a FREE service who are also able to scan the market to find you a better, cheaper deal. It only takes a short 15min phone conversation and they will do the rest for you.

They are able to compare and connect your Electricity, Gas, Water, Internet and Pay TV. How much could you save?

Find out HERE

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Sep 14, 2021

In Victoria, one can also get free Emerald EMS In-home display energy monitor for free.

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