An outlet on the wall, where you could employ a smart plug
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Control More, Consume Less

Save Energy and Money: Top Picks for Smart Plug Usage

Ash Kippax
December 14, 2023

Good Candidates for Smart Plugs

The simplest way to automate your home and become more energy-conscious is to connect smart plugs to electrical appliances around the house. These plugs allow you to control the appliances they're connected to remotely, set timers to turn them on and off, and, for OhmConnect members, have them automatically participate in events and earn you rewards!

I’ve broken down this blog into categories, which you can use as a guide to automating your home.

Let’s start small

These electrical appliances are found in most people's homes and are often forgotten about when we think about saving energy. Try adding a smart plug to these devices below to ease your way into energy saving. Some of these are considered ‘energy vampires,’ meaning they draw power even when not in use. Using a smart plug with them can help prevent phantom energy use and, therefore, save you money!

  • Lamps
  • TV
  • Phone charger
  • Desktop Computer
  • Laptop Charger
  • Stereo system
  • Coffee maker

Another great place I like to connect smart plugs is to a power strip that has multiple appliances attached. This makes for a really easy switch on and off to control a grouping of appliances.

*For OhmConnect members: These devices are great to pair with OhmPlugs. While these appliances will not earn a ton of Watts on their own, connect a bunch of OhmPlugs, and it will all add up!

Let’s level up

I know what you’re thinking, what about my big appliances that suck up a ton of energy? I’ve got you covered. Below is a list of appliances that are compatible with smart plugs and will save you a lot of energy if turned off during a spike in the energy grid.

  • Hot Tub
  • Electric car charger
  • Incandescent or fluorescent lights
  • Pool pump
  • Window air conditioner
  • Wine/Beer fridge

*For OhmConnect members: These appliances are great to pair with OhmPlugs and will collect a lot of Watts if opted into energy-saving events.

Feeling adventurous? Let’s proceed

There are two major appliances in most people’s homes that suck up a lot of energy since they are always running and keeping your food nice and fresh. They do, however, cycle on and off and already spend a portion of each day off - you can usually hear the cycling.

  • Refrigerator
  • Deep Freezer

While both of these appliances are compatible with smart plugs, we would proceed with caution when connecting. Per the USDA guidelines, food remains safe in your refrigerator for up to 4 hours, and up to 48 hours in the freezer if the doors remain closed. So, if you are going to turn off either of these appliances, keep these timelines in mind.

*For OhmConnect members: Please note the above timelines if you choose to connect your OhmPlug to your fridge & freezer. If we are having trouble reaching your smart device at the end of an event, you will receive an SMS notification. For the following hour after the event, we will send out five different toggles to try to turn your device back on. However, we recommend checking your device to be safe when you receive the notification to avoid any food spoilage.

We do not recommend

While it would be great if we could connect a smart plug to every single thing in our homes, there are a few areas that we do not recommend. These are appliances that are considered too important to power down periodically.

  • Medical devices
  • Security systems
  • Surveillance systems
  • Fish tank/other animal housing

*For OhmConnect members: Since OhmHours and AutoOhms can be unpredictable, we do not recommend the above devices to participate in events.

Some that just don’t work

Of course, there are also a selection of appliances that are just not compatible with smart plugs. This is usually due to the energy load being higher than the plug can handle. For the list below, we recommend using them during off-peak hours of the day.

  • Washer/Dryer
  • Dishwasher
  • Electric oven

Peak hours will differ depending on where you are located, however, on average, peak times are between 4-9 pm. Try doing your laundry a little earlier or later in the day, and set a delayed start on your dishwasher to run overnight. By making these small changes, you could save on your energy bill and help the environment a little bit, too.

(Check with your utility to learn if you are on a Time-of-Use rate plan and to gain a better understanding of when peak usage is happening in your area. This can guide your in when you use these items.)

What now?

The intention behind smart plugs is to make your life easier and more automated. So, my advice is to get creative and throw a smart plug on anything that feels right! If you are not yet a member with OhmConnect and would like to be, click this link and sign up today!

*Special message for OhmConnect members:

By connecting smart devices to your OhmConnect account, you can become eligible for Bonus Watts. To earn Bonus Watts during AutoOhms and OhmHours, your smart devices must be plugged into your outlet, connected to OhmConnect, and in the On state (20-30 minutes prior to the event). Then, when the event happens, OhmConnect will automate your smart device to Off and you'll earn Watts for participating for the duration of the event. Shortly after the event, your devices will be powered back on.

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