Cool Energy Efficiency Gadgets to Take Your Savings to the Next Level
Last week, we compiled five easy, free ways to save on your energy bills. This week, we’re talking about our favorite energy efficiency gadgets that will help you boost your savings even further! We tried to focus the list mostly on items that are small, easy to use, and relatively affordable—and included a few ways you can get them for less!
- Smart Power Strips
- Have you checked your home for energy vampires lately? Energy vampires are appliances that draw energy or “phantom loads” when they are plugged in but not in use. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates phantom loads cost households $100 per year. Smart power strips work to combat vampire power by shutting down power to products that go into standby mode. Learn more here about how smart power strips function and can save you 5 to 10% per year on your electricity costs.
- LED Lights
- Did you know that 85-90% of the electricity consumed by incandescent light bulbs is turned into heat? Save money and beat the heat by upgrading to cooler, energy efficient LED bulbs. While they cost a bit more upfront than traditional bulbs, they last 10 to 25 times longer and save $30 to $80 in electricity costs over their lifetimes. Many hardware stores have instant rebates offered through electric utilities—look for their logos next to LED products! Check out this cool guide to LED bulbs we worked on with online home retailer Wayfair.
- High-Efficiency Showerheads
- Did you know that standard showerheads use 2.5 gallons of water per minute (gpm)? Water–saving showerheads that earn the WaterSense label, a standard created by the Environmental Protection Agency, must demonstrate that they use no more than 2.0 gpm. The WaterSense label also ensures that your showerhead functions equally as well as or better than conventional showerheads, so no need to sacrifice on water pressure. WaterSense labeled products are certified to use at least 20 percent less water. The average family could save 2,900 gallons per year by installing WaterSense labeled showerheads!
- Smart Thermostats
- Coming home after a long day at work to a nice cool house is great, but why cool your space all day when you’re not there? Smart thermostats give you the ability to control the temperature of your home even when you’re on-the-go. Smart thermostats are Wi-Fi enabled and allow you to control heating and cooling in your home from a smartphone. Additionally, these devices can learn the ideal temperature you like and create a schedule that automatically adjusts to energy-saving temperatures overnight or when you’re out of the house. They also allow you to track your home’s energy use, making it much easier to see where you can shift and save.
- Energy Star Appliances
- Energy Star is a voluntary program sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency that independently certifies products that save energy without sacrificing functionality. While products like dishwashers and washing machines are some of the most high-profile Energy Star appliances, the Energy Star website has a Product Finder tool that showcases the numerous energy-saving products available. While savings percentages will vary depending on the product, getting rid of your older, inefficient appliances and investing in high-efficiency ones can help you save on both your monthly energy and water costs. Energy Star labels clearly explain projected savings so you can estimate the payback period of the product before you buy.
- Places to Save on These Gadgets