In the UK, we’re currently living with the highest gas prices since 2008, and we recognise that smart devices are not the solution to being able to afford your energy bills. But if you already have this tech installed in your home, or you’re considering investing regardless – then this blog might help you to ‘turn down the heat’ a little on your monthly outgoings!
Home automation is no longer for the ludicrously wealthy, or the most tech-savvy among us. The growing market of smart home devices has meant that there is a gadget for just about every need or desire within our homes, but how do you distinguish between the truly beneficial products and the ones designed purely for show?
There’s nothing wrong with filling your home with technology that helps you around the house, but most people’s main priority when it comes to smart home devices is security and saving money, and rightfully so! With this in mind, we’ve whittled down the competition to bring you the best smart home devices to lower your utility bills, helping both your wallet and the environment.
#1 Energy Monitors To Lower Your Utility Bills
One of the best ways to lower your household utility bills is to know how much energy you’re actually using and which appliances are the most energy-intensive. Energy-usage monitors – also known as home energy monitors or electricity monitors – are the best first step in lowering your bills. They inform you of how much energy you’re using within the home in real-time, they let you know how much it’s costing and how much you can save, prompting a change of potentially expensive habits.
Energy monitors are an effective first step in learning how you can reduce your utility bills, as they alert you to any energy wastage problems within the home. They allow you to make necessary changes, like installing a smart thermostat or replacing old, energy-draining devices. According to the UK government’s Energy Saving Trust energy monitors could help households save up to 15 percent on annual electricity bills. This is no small sum, especially when added up over several years!
#2 Sonic Leak Detection Smart Home Device
Did you know that the average UK family uses, on average, 142 litres of water every single day? Not only that, but more than a third (35 percent) of UK households had to deal with a leak in 2017/18 (that’s about 18 million adults across the UK), and even more terrifying is that one in four of those (5.2 million) have had a major water damage problem that needed fixing. Water damage to homes is the most common insurance claim that UK insurance companies have to deal with.
Protecting your home with a smart leak detector is arguably essential for your peace of mind, your wallet, and the environment. The Sonic leak detector can save you a fortune by automatically shutting off water in the event of a catastrophic leak. Even if there isn’t a major leak, the Sonic device will alert you to water wastage by detecting even the smallest of leaks. It will also track your water consumption so that you can pay close attention to areas in the home where you could be saving water – and money.
All of the information will be sent straight to your phone, meaning you can be taking care of your most valuable asset even while you travel. If you’re a landlord then tenants will love the ability to monitor their water consumption (and therefore their bills) and you’ll be able to detect if something a little fishy is going on!
#3 Get A Smart Thermostat To Lower Bills
One of the best smart home devices to lower your utility bill is a smart thermostat. Instead of leaving your heating on all the time during the winter months, or sitting in the freezing cold while you wait for the heating to warm your house up, you can control your heating system remotely, from the touch of a button.
Smart thermostats like Nest will connect to your home WiFi network, allowing you to turn the temperature of your home up or down from your smartphone or a smart home hub like the Amazon Echo. Nest also learns your schedule over time, helping to work out the most efficient way to heat your home.
Having the ability to control your heating from anywhere in the world is especially useful for those who travel a lot, whether for work or pleasure. Keep an eye on the outside temperatures and warm your house if there’s a risk of freezing to prevent burst pipes while you’re away without simply leaving the heating on for the whole duration the house is empty.
Even better, use your smart thermostat in tandem with a Sonic leak detector, which will alert you when your household or office pipes are at risk of freezing.
#4 Battery-Powered Smart Security Cameras
If you’re hoping to combine home security with saving energy and money then the battery smart security cameras are the perfect smart home device for you.
Battery-powered smart security cameras like the Ring Stick Up Cam will alert your phone (iOS or Android) each time the camera senses movement, and will automatically save a video clip to the cloud, so you can review it later. You can even communicate with an intruder through the camera’s two-way microphone system to let them know they’ve been caught!
Most of these battery-powered security cameras have excellent video quality so you’ll have a clear recording of the comings and goings at your own front or back door. You can also pair them with extra security cameras to cover the whole of your house, and they’ll all connect without a single cable.
#5 Smart Outlets Will Reduce Energy Wastage
A phantom load is the electricity your devices suck up and use even when you’re not actively using them. Take, for example, the digital clock on your oven or the light on your power strip. These seemingly small phantom loads quickly add up, when you think about just how many different household electrical devices are using them. Each unnecessary light or noise is costing you money on your utility bills each month.
To wipe out your phantom load, simply add a smart plug or smart electrical strip to your smart home. Smart outlets like the Lightwave Smart Socket, pictured above, allow you to cut off the energy supply to devices entirely when they don’t need it. They also allow you to turn off devices you might accidentally leave on remotely, so you never have to go home on your lunch break just in case you forgot to turn off your hair straighteners again!
#6 Best Smart Lighting To Lower Utility Bills
Smart lighting might seem like a bit of a fancy gimmick if you’ve only experienced it at dinner parties when your friends show off how they can transform their dining room into a disco at the touch of a button. But smart lighting is so much more than a techy toy.
Any home or small office can have intelligent lighting that works only when a room is occupied. This means you no longer have to turn the lights on and off, as the room will light up only when you enter and the light will stop using power as soon as you leave.
Smart lighting can also be controlled from afar or scheduled to turn on and off at pre-set times from your smartphone or tablet. Rather than leaving a light on when you head off on your holidays as a security measure, set your smart lighting to turn on and off at random times during the evening to signal to potential burglars that someone is home. Smart lighting can even function as an alarm, gently waking you in the morning. Solutions are varied – with Philips Hue offering a variety of industry-leading lighting solutions – but you can find all sorts of tech to suit your needs from a wide variety of providers. Those more budget-conscious can investigate TUYA-compatible bulbs, and use the Smart Life app – which integrates with both Amazon and Google assistants.
#7 Invest In A Solar Charger
Another great way to save by using smart home technology is to invest in solar power. Making power directly from the sun, for free! Many houses these days are opting for large solar panels that generate enough energy to significantly add to their electricity needs, but if you don’t want to make the initial investment then why not go a little smaller and buy a solar charger that will keep your smaller devices topped up.
A small solar charger will keep your mobile phone and camera topped up every night. Even when you’re away, you can have peace of mind that your cameras are still up and running with externally mounted solar panels that you plug your battery-powered cameras into – like the EufyCam Solar Panel Charger. Even during the winter in the UK, you’ll be surprised at how much power you can produce from the sun!
All of these small, simple changes can add up very quickly when it comes to saving money on your utility bills. Smart home devices not only save you small amounts of money every month, but they also safeguard your home against catastrophes that could end up costing you thousands, like water leaks and burglary. They also exist to make your day-to-day life that little bit easier, which is something we could all benefit from!
If you already have some of these smart home devices and would like to be rewarded for safeguarding your home, join Locket – where you can get discounted home insurance for proactively protecting your home.