by Kirsty Weaving 30th October 2020
There are now a whole range of energy saving gadgets on the market and it can be quite overwhelming. They range from more expensive, longer term investments, to cheaper more simple changes. This blog will give you a snapshot of the options available. Whether you are trying to become more environmentally friendly or save some money, energy saving gadgets can be an easy way to become more energy efficient.
Smart plugs work by plugging them into your power sockets, then plugging in the device you wish to control into the smart plug. Using Wifi, they allow you to manage your electronic devices from your smartphone from anywhere in the world. They often have timers which allow you to automatically turn your electronic devices on and off, away modes which turn devices such as lights on and off at different times, great for home security and are often compatible with voice control devices such as the Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
An example of a smart plug I use is the TP-Link Kasa Smart Wifi Plug. You can choose between energy monitoring (At Screwfix and Amazon for £24.99) or without energy monitoring (Amazon, £12.49). The energy monitoring smart plug is useful for tracking my energy consumption, encouraging me to switch my plugs off when not being used at a simple touch of a button on the app. If you have power sockets which are hard to reach, smart plugs can be useful for cutting down energy consumption, making them easier to switch off.
Smart thermostats mean you can access your thermostat remotely, controlling your heating and even your hot water from your smartphone and/or through compatible voice control devices such as the Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Please note that smart thermostats should be installed by a qualified professional.
An example of a smart thermostat is the Hive Active Heating Thermostat (Curry’s, £179.99). The Hive thermostat connects to your heating system so that you can control everything from your phone or tablet. According to Hive, you could save up to £130 a year on your bill by never heating an empty home. For example, you could schedule your heating to come on just as you leave work through the app and based on your phones location, the app will remind you to turn the heating off if you leave your home.
Another example of a smart thermostat is the Google Nest Learning Thermostat, 3rd generation (Amazon, £179.99). Similarly, you can also control the Nest thermostat remotely from your phone or tablet from anywhere. After one week of use, the Nest thermostat learns your preferences, for example temperatures and how long it takes for your home to warm up and adjusts your heating accordingly. The Nest app shows you a breakdown of energy consumption and suggests how you can use less energy.
A simple and inexpensive change you can make is switching to energy saving lightbulbs, LED’s. According to the Energy Saving Trust, replacing your bulbs with an LED of a similar brightness will save you up to £2 per year, per bulb. As well as saving you money, switching to energy saving lightbulbs, LED’s can also lessen your environmental impact. Remember to switch lights off as soon as you leave the room to help save money as according to the Energy Saving Trust, lighting can make up around 15% of a typical electricity bill.
Finally, I thought it would be fun to include a snapshot of the latest innovative technology on the market such as the smart kettle. The latest iKettle (Amazon, £99 – this was available but unfortunately we can’t seem to find it anywhere, keep your eyes peeled for a 4.0! Take a look at some others in this article.) allows you to remotely boil your water from anywhere using an app on your smartphone. You can even ask your Amazon Alexa, “Alexa, please boil the kettle” – pretty cool right! The water level sensor tells you exactly how much water is in your kettle directly on your App, so you know how many cups you can make, allowing you to make sure you have not overfilled the kettle, only heating the amount of water you need, saving on your energy consumption.
If you are thinking about buying some new tech, do not forget to check the energy efficiency ratings, those in the A+ range are using energy more efficiently, saving you more long term! See our previous blog (energy saving tips) to find out more. Always remember to research and read reviews on the latest gadgets before buying.
*Please note prices correct at time of publication- they change so quickly!