By now you may have taken a look at our listof 5 energy-saving smartphone apps and wondered, “What if I don’t have a smartphone?” Don’t worry–we still have you covered. Read on for a list of our favorite home energy-saving devices that don’t require a fancy phone.
Wiser Home Control
This ultra-sophisticated system connects all the devices in your home (including lighting, air conditioning, and irrigation) so that you can control them via cell phone or internet. That means you can, say, turn on the irrigation system while you’re on vacation or turn off the air-conditioning if you know you’ll be home late. Prices vary depending on options.
The tabletop touchscreen Control4 system uses wireless technology to connect all the electronics in your house, including temperature, lighting, and even your TV screen. It’s the perfect system for anyone who routinely forgets to turn off the lights after leaving the house. Much like Wiser Home Control, prices for Control 4 vary depending on how many electronics you hook up to the system. Bonus feature: Control4 can also be controlled via iPhone or iPad.
This energy monitor measures electricity use in real-time. It isn’t easy to install–you’ll probably have to get an electrician to work on the wiring–but once it’s ready, the device offers graphs and data points that can help you cut down on energy use. Best of all, it’s compatible with Google’s PowerMeter software, which means that users can access Ted 5000 data from any Internet-connected device. Prices vary.
Not to be confused with the similarly-named Muppets character, Onzo features a display and wireless sensor kit that run on energy taken from your home’s electrical cable. It’s simple, intuitive, and portable. Onzo will be available later this year.
This sleek energy dashboard measures home power use, with or without a smart meter. The touchscreen dashboard also connects wirelessly to a Temperature Control Unit that can automatically adjust the temperature at night or when you’re not home. A series of spreadsheets and graphs displaying the intricacies of your energy use is also available on the dashboard. EnergyHub will be available soon.
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Hello I would just like to clarify that Onzo\'s smart energy kit that you mention in the piece above does not require a smart meter to function. The product comes with a sensor which is clipped on to the electricity meter cable and records in real time how much energy a person is using in their home. It then transmits that information to the energy display, which shows the information, also in real time, enabling consumers to better understand how much energy they are using in their home and how much they are estimated to be spending. The data can then be uploaded from the display to a personalised website that gives consumers the tools to analyse and breakdown their energy use. We obviously see the smart energy kit working in tandem with a smart meter, but, for the record, this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. Best, Jessica Diniz Analyst at Onzo www.onzo.com
I looked into the system that ties into your home electrical panel. That seemed like the best system to me, and then you can monitor it online from anywhere. It would be nice though to know what an individual appliance used when it's turned on. Seattle Architects
We know that consumers are becoming more interested and engaged in their electricity consumption. It’s a big budget line item and for a long time we have just accepted and paid it each and every month. We really see consumers getting much more interested in becoming more active in managing electricity consumption and taking steps to drive it down. $’s and cents are the primary motivator but there is also a great deal of satisfaction taken for doing the right thing and making a difference. What we know definitively is access to better information – real time information can make a huge difference in reducing electricity consumption. There are many academic, utility sponsored and manufacturer sponsored research studies and the general conclusion is just better information alone can reduce consumption by 5-15%. For a family spending $100 - $250 per month on electricity that’s a big deal. When we aggregate the potential impact from millions of homes reducing their consumption by 5-15% that’s a huge impact for the economy and a huge positive impact on the climate. There are proven energy monitoring options on the market today. For as little as $100 families could gain access to this real time information today and begin to take control of this important issue and important monthly budget item. We have been in the business of real time electricity information since 2003 and it’s gratifying to see this momentum. You can find more information from us at www.bluelineinnovations.com.
How much would I have to invest in this home automation technology? Price is probably the biggest limiting factor with these systems. They probably have terrible return on investments. The inexpensive ones just tell me how much power I'm using, hoping guilt will force me to turn off the lights. Also, why do I always see the same systems over and over. There has to be other less expensive energy management systems by now.