I think it’s safe to say that given the choice, we’d all love to save a little money on our energy usage, but knowing where to begin in maximizing your home’s efficiency can feel daunting.
There’s no five-step guide to hacking your energy bill (unfortunately), but that doesn’t mean taking back control of your usage and spending has to be complicated either. Finding new ways to unplug a little more often can be simple, like switching to cold wash laundry cycles or simply powering down your computer at the end of a workday. These little lifestyle swaps can do wonders for your electricity bill (and your carbon footprint) and they hardly take any effort to adopt.
In fact, did you know that cold water washes only use about 25% of the energy that washing your clothes in hot water does? That’s a huge savings for simply hitting a different button on laundry day!
Another simple way you can save big on your monthly energy bill? Smart devices.
These energy-saving super heroes, like smart plugs and smart thermostats, work by maximizing efficiency while making your home safer, more affordable and more convenient than ever before. They connect easily to smartphones so you can access your home’s appliances, electronics and other products on-the-go, making it simple to monitor your home’s energy usage and take back control of your footprint, no tech expertise required!
Haven’t joined the world of smart devices just yet? No worries! Let’s take a look at some of the key players and the ways they can benefit your home and help you save money on your next energy bill.
Smart plugs are wi-fi enabled, plug-in electrical outlets that connect to your smartphone, allowing you to control your devices and appliances whether you’re at home or on-the-go. They enable you to see which devices and energy-hogging appliances are running and turn power on and off as needed with the touch of a button.
You can connect a smart plug to just about anything but certain appliances are going to save you a lot more energy than others, so being *smart* about where you put your smart plugs is key! As a simple rule of thumb, think of big devices like televisions and microwaves rather than smaller energy-users like toasters and lamps.
For example, if you’re installing just one smart plug in your home, consider attaching it to your refrigerator or freezer! Seems counterintuitive? Hear us out. Refrigerators and freezers can be turned off for up to four hours each day without any fear of food spoiling or defrosting. Attaching a smart plug means you can flip those energy hogs off for a little while during peak hours equating to some pretty awesome savings on your monthly energy bill.
And the best part is, most smart plugs allow you to set it and forget it with timed schedules that automatically turn certain outlets off during specific times of day. Just set it up once and let your appliances do the work for you!
Plus, when you can control outlets remotely, you’ll never have to worry about whether you left that curling iron on again.
Ready to get started with a smart plug or two in your home? We’ve done the research to find you the best of the best and our clear favorites are:
All three above are easy to set-up, intuitive to use (so they’re perfect for smart tech beginners) and above all else, they’re reliable. Find them in the OhmConnect store!
Next up, we’ve got smart thermostats. Similar to smart plugs, smart thermostats are wi-fi enabled, allowing you to control your home’s temperature remotely from your smartphone or other smart device whether you’re on the couch or out of the house.
They’re responsible for controlling the entirety of your home’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system meaning you have total control over the comfort of your space, regardless of the season. They also have the added benefit of providing you with data and easy-to-understand insights that allow you to track consumption and make informed decisions about your home’s energy usage.
Not to mention smart thermostats are pretty intuitive, which takes a lot of the pressure off of you having to remember to adjust the temperature day-to-day. Over time, smart thermostats will learn the temperatures you like and automatically adjust to save you money on energy usage, whether that’s by turning down the temperature a few degrees while you’re asleep or turning off heating and air conditioning during longer-term stays away from home.
There are quite a few excellent smart thermostats on the market today but a few of our top picks are the Google Nest Thermostat, the Nest Learning Thermostat or the ecobee3 lite Smart Thermostat. All three of these options are easy to install and the best part is, they integrate seamlessly with OhmConnect so you can save even more money by saving energy! Find them all in the OhmConnect store.
And now, perhaps the biggest energy bill hack of them all? OhmConnect, of course!
We promise we’re not biased, it’s true! In fact, most new OhmConnect members save as much as 10% on their electricity bills during their first summer as a member, while earning even more money back just by reducing their energy consumption.
Here’s how it works. OhmConnect lets our members know when electricity prices are spiking in their neighborhood and then call what we refer to as an “OhmHour”: energy-saving events (usually an hour or less in length) where, as a community, we collectively save energy, lowering air pollution from local power plants (and earning rewards!) during that time.
This is what it looks like:
First, you’ll receive an SMS text or email, notifying you that the energy-saving event is approaching. The next step is simply to reduce your energy usage! Turn off any unnecessary major appliances or let your connected smart thermostats and smart plugs power down automatically. On our end, we’ll measure how much energy you save, sell it back to the grid and pass off the profit to you. With utility bills on the rise nationwide, that’s a win for the planet and your wallet!
Plus, OhmConnect is now live on IFTTT, which means you can connect your OhmConnect account with various other internet accounts like Gmail, Dominos, FitBit and so many others. Consider setting up your FitBit to buzz when an OhmConnect hour begins. It’s a great reminder to get outside for an evening walk while your home does the work of making money for you!
If you haven’t signed up yet, now’s the perfect time. It’s free, easy to try and a great way to get rewarded for being more environmentally-conscious. Sign-up today and start the new year with your best eco-friendly foot forward!