Advanced Programmable Thermostats
Thanks to the advancement of modern technology we now have advanced programmable thermostats like the NEST thermostat that not only makes it easier for you to change the temperature around you but will also adapt, learn, and adjust to your levels of comfort based on use.
To top it all off these thermostats also integrate with smartphones that give you full control of when and how everything runs. You will find that many of the companies that offer these types of “smart thermostats’ also work in partnership with many energy saving companies and will work to offer rebates for customers looking to reduce their energy consumption and carbon footprint.
Get Smart with a Smart Power Strip
A smart power strip is a device that will automatically shut off power to peripheral electronics once the main device is switched off.
For example, if your TV is the main device plugged into the smart power strip along with your receiver, subwoofer, surround sound system, and glowing backlit LED’s it makes no sense for those items to be on or in standby once the TV is switched off. Even in standby mode those electronics still draw power commonly referred to as “phantom power.”
When the smart power strip detects that you’ve turned off your main device (the TV) it will automatically shut off power to all the surrounding devices with it.
Home Automation Lighting
If you’re trying to save money on your power bill you already know that leaving lights on in empty rooms will cost you money over time.
Standard light bulbs also draw more energy than their more energy efficient CFL and LED counterparts but none of that does you any good if the lights are on and no ones around to use them.
Automating the control of your lights has never been easier now that many of your standard electronics can be paired with almost any smartphone through the use of a special outlet. Now, when you’re away you can check and see if all the lights are off or when you come home in the evening you click an app on your phone and light your path with the literal push of a button.
Generate Your Own Electricity with Photovoltaic Solar Panels
On average a standard house in the US draws about 1 kW per hour (kWh) at an estimated 0.12 cents an hour. A typical household will consume about 908 kWh and with 730 hours each month that adds up and quickly.
During seasons of inclement weather when it’s either too hot or too cold your kilowatt usage will vary. But there is another option that makes you less reliant on the power company and lets you not only generate your own power but store it as well. That’s where PV Solar panels and Mother Nature come into play by harnessing the power of the sun.
Based off an estimated value that a PV solar panel can generate comes to about 10 watts per square foot. So for every kilowatt you are using (remember the typical usage is 908 kilowatts per hour) you would need roughly 100 square feet of paneling.
Ideally, if the solar panel had a direct line to the sun’s rays for 24 hours a day then 100 square feet would be enough to power a standard household.
But in cities that only get a few hours of sunshine per day or in locations that don’t see a lot of sun you’re going to need more solar panels to generate the required amount of electricity needed.
The beauty of a solar panel generating system is its ability to store and bank electricity when not in use like a battery for your whole house. Depending on certain circumstances you could bank enough electricity to where your power company owes you!
The downside to solar panels beside the weather is the cost of the system. As of now many solar panel units appear to be running above the range of $10k but there are subsidies available and even possible rebates from your electric company for switching to solar.
While some of these options can be done at any time, others are ideal candidates for incorporation into large home improvement projects. The goal is that what you paid for the solar unit will pay for itself over the next 10+ years because you will have cut your energy bill in half or possibly more. With all these high-tech ways of saving, newer and greener technology continually makes saving money a little easier. The question is are you willing to wait for the future pay off?