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How smart devices can help you save energy

Discover how technology can reduce your energy usage and save you money

As we become increasingly conscious of our energy usage, both for environmental and cost reasons, many of us are looking at new ways we can reduce this usage. One of the solutions, as with many other areas of our lives, lies with new technologies.

As we’ve become more and more connected to technology and the internet, so have our homes, which has led to the rise in popularity of smart devices. In this guide, we outline how you can use smart devices throughout your home to reduce your energy usage and save money.

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What are smart home devices?

Smart home usually refers to standard items in our homes which have been given enhancements such as internet or Bluetooth connectivity. These features will give you extra control and more options when compared with non ‘smart’ equivalents.

Smart home devices that can save you energy: 

Smart light bulbs

Many of us are guilty of leaving the lights on in our homes. Whether we’ve forgotten to flick the switch when we’ve left a room or just assumed someone else would do it, leaving the lights on can lead to a large amount of energy wastage and higher bills.

One way you can help reduce this wastage is the use of smart light bulbs. These bulbs fit into the fixture of a standard bulb but can be wirelessly linked to an app on your phone, giving you the ability to turn bulbs on and off when you’re not in the room. You can also connect smart bulbs to your Alexa or Google assistant device, which gives you the option to turn lights on and off with your voice.

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Smart sockets & plugs

A large amount of energy wastage in our homes comes from ‘vampire devices’. These are devices that consume power when they’re not being used. It’s one thing trying to cut down on the usage of devices which consume energy when you’re using them, but cutting down on energy usage of items that aren’t in use is a win-win. Smart sockets & plugs are one of the ways you can do this.

Smart sockets & plugs can be connected to an app, so you can control the power flowing to your devices remotely. This means you can turn off devices which have been left on standby using your phone, rather than needing to be right near the socket each time. Many smart sockets will also allow you to create power schedules. This is ideal for devices such as televisions, which are known to draw power when left on standby. If you know you’re going to be at work or won’t be using your TV overnight, set a power schedule to turn off the socket that it’s connected to.

Smart sockets can also be used with smart assistants such as Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri, so you can control the power to your devices using voice commands. All these integrations give you greater control of the power flowing to your devices, which will help you prevent energy wastage and reduce your bills.

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Smart heating

One of the largest energy usages comes from keeping our homes warm. However, many of us run heating systems which are poorly optimised and therefore cost more to run than they should. With some small optimisations, bought about with smart heating devices, many heating systems could run more efficiently.

Smart thermostats give you greater control over your heating system. Using an app, you can easily adjust your heating to ensure your home is always at your preferred temperature. With remote access, you can also switch off your heating when you’re out and instruct the system to turn back on to warm your home before you return. If you don’t want to use an app, you can also connect many smart thermostats to a voice assistant.

With a smart thermostat you’re also given greater control over the scheduling of your heating, so you can fine tune temperatures at different times of the day to prevent wastage.

Some smart thermostats are also able to detect when nobody is home, so your system will shut off automatically to prevent heating an empty house. All these features will ensure you’re only heating your home when you need to, reducing energy wastage and saving you money.

For more information, take a look at our complete guide to smart heating.

Other smart heating options:

Smart radiator valves:

If you want precise control of individual radiators in your home, smart radiator valves are ideal. With smart valves, individual radiator valves themselves are connected to an app, rather than the whole system.

These valves could be particularly useful if you have rooms in your home that are rarely used, where you don’t want to waste energy heating the room all the time, but might want to heat it up quickly. For example, if you have a radiator in a conservatory that isn’t used in the winter, install a smart radiator valve so you can jump into an app and switch the radiator on remotely. This will ensure the room is warm by the time you’re ready to use it.

Smart panel heaters

Smart panel heaters are another option ideal for cold spots such as loft conversions or conservatories. Linked to an app or smart assistant, these heaters can be switched on and off remotely, so you can save money and energy by only heating the room when you need to.

Smart appliances

An increasing number of our household items are connecting to the internet and the kitchen is no exception. With smart operation, appliances can be programmed more efficiently and switched on and off remotely, so they’re only consuming power when they’re being used.

That concludes our guide to smart devices. Take a look at our smart home collection so you can start reducing your own energy usage.