Electricity appears to be everywhere. Alongside traditional power plants, there are now plenty of renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar. The abundance of electricity would suggest that it has become cheaper to power your home.
However, the truth is homes are more expensive than ever to power, partly because of rising electrical costs and partly due to the number of items that require power on a daily basis. The average Australian household spends $1,500 on electricity per year. That’s a lot of money you could be putting to use elsewhere.
Fortunately, there are also clever ways to save money on your electricity bills. All you need is the right gadgets. It doesn’t hurt to have a reputable local electrician like ontimelocalelectrician.com.au on hand either to ensure your electrics are up-to-scratch.
Even if you have a new electric installation it’s possible to have electrical leakage, when power is disappearing along with the circuits. An electrician will be able to check your wiring and ensure this is not happening. Their inspection will highlight any other issues and potentially reduce the risk of a fire in your home.
Here are 5 gadgets you should get today to reduce energy consumption
1. Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs
This is one of the best energy savers you can buy and they are not expensive. A traditional light bulb will run at 60-100 watts, depending on how bright you want it. That means 10 bulbs could cost you 1,000 watts of electricity every hour they are on. Now just think about how long the lights are on for.
In contrast, an energy-efficient bulb will use anything for 8-20 watts, but, they’ll offer the same, if not greater brightness in your rooms. Of course, 10 bulbs using 20 watts is 200 watts per hour, that’s significantly better than 1,000 watts per hour!
2. A Power Usage Meter
This is a very useful gadget and a surprising amount of fun. You can pick up a power usage meter virtually anywhere. All you have to do is plug it into a normal socket and then plug your appliance into the meter.
The meter should allow you to see the draw in volts, hertz, amps, watts, and kilowatts per hour. It’s the kilowatts per hour that you’ll probably be most interested in.
The meter will display the power being used by the appliance when it is turned on and when it is in standby mode. The best power usage meters you can buy won’t just show you the current electricity usage on a digital screen. They’ll also have a memory.
This allows you to assess the amount of energy the appliance is using hour-by-hour, day-by-day, and longer, b month or even year, if appropriate.
Once you know the cost of running an appliance you can see if you really need it turned on all the time or if it’s time to replace it with something more energy-efficient.
The best part about this type of gadget is that you can move it around your home, plugging different appliances in. This will help you to find the appliances that are costing you the most and replace them.
3. Programmable Thermostat
You need heating, and cooling in the summer. Eliminating them is not an option. But, if you install a digital programmable thermostat you’ll be able to track the target temperature and actual temperature much easier.
More importantly, you’ll be able to set the time that the heating or cooling system comes on and off.
Did you know that turning down the thermostat by just one degree will reduce your heating bill by approximately 10%?
If you try this and find you’re still warm enough then drop it another degree.
But, the real beauty of the digital programmable thermostat is that you can connect it to a smart home system. It will allow you to turn the heating on and off remotely.
But, more importantly, you’ll be able to monitor the exact times your heating system is on and what it’s costing you. This will allow you to tweak your programmable thermostat, effectively ensuring your house is always warm enough while saving you money at the same time.
After all, research shows that the programmable thermostat is much better for your energy consumption than a manual thermostat. This is one gadget worth getting and replacing your manual thermostat with.
4. Motion Sensors
Most people think of motion sensors and immediately think of outdoor security lights. But, these can be a great investment in your home. The most obvious spaces inside your home are the hallways, bathrooms, and closets.
These are the ones where lights are accidentally left on, especially if you have children.
But, if you add a motion sensor to the lighting circuit the light can’t be left on. As soon as someone has left the room the motion will stop and the light will go out.
It’s pretty cool and can save you a lot of money. At the same time, you’ll find you don’t need to worry or stress about lights being left on, that’s good for your mental and physical health.
5. Thermal Leak Detector
This small handheld tool is a lot of fun, a little scary, and great at saving you energy.
One of the biggest energy uses in any home is the heating system. The best way to reduce the energy used to heat your home is not to turn the heating down and shiver, although that will save you money. It’s to use a thermal leak detector.
The device starts by registering the ambient temperature in a room. Once this is done you can aim it at the walls, floors, and ceiling. The light on the device will change to red for warmer spots and blue for cool ones.
Cool spots indicate that heat is escaping from your home. Pay particular attention to around doors and windows.
Once you know where the heat is escaping you can find out why and stop this from happening. If you’re suffering heat loss in all your rooms this small gadget could save you a considerable amount of money.
The key to reducing your energy consumption is to stop and take a moment to see where you are currently using it. This will allow you to work out where you can change habits and save money, without having to spend any money.
Top this up with some clever gadgets and you’ll find your electricity bill takes a tumble, giving you more money for the more pleasurable things in life.