Tightening the purse strings is something many families are facing these days, but so many people fail to begin the process in one of the areas where it may be easiest: energy usage and efficiency. By getting into the habit of just flicking a switch or a nob, we have grown accustomed to not fully understanding the impact energy usage has on our wallets and everyday lives – let alone the ways in which we can reduce consumption overall.
Fortunately, a variety of smartphone apps are available to help us get control of our energy usage and eliminate those energy hogging habits once and for all.
Designed to make people aware of their energy habits, Kill-Ur-Watts uses your energy consumption statistics from monthly bills to keep track of your electricity usage over time. Using this information, the app will suggest various ways for you to combat wasting energy, and will also display your carbon footprint. If you have friends who are interested in doing the same, the energy score assigned to you can be a fun way to challenge one another to see who can save the most energy. This app is free and was initially created for a Department of Energy contest.
Another free app available for download is the Energy Cost Calculator, which lets you input specific wattage information about any and all appliances in order to see the true cost of operating them. By providing the amount of energy usage (watts), the number of hours per day the device is used and the cost of electricity ($/kwh) in your area, you can see just how much it is costing you to use that washing machine or refrigerator.
While this app only works if you have the Nest Learning Thermostat, it is important to understand just how much a programmable thermostat can save in wasteful energy consumption. By several estimates, installing the Nest Learning Thermostat can reduce heating and cooling costs by nearly 20%! The NestMobile app allows you to change the temperature of your house from anywhere with a mobile phone connection, helping you conserve energy when not at home and acclimatising the environment before you arrive.
Designed to serve as a dashboard, VELObill gives you a great amount of insight into where your energy consumption is coming from and how you rank relative to your neighbours and region. Not only does it track electricity consumption, but it also measures water and natural gas usage. By measuring and comparing your usage against others while taking account of appliances and devices being used in the home, VELObill helps identify trouble areas and gives you ways to reduce your overall utility bills’ costs.
Electrify puts energy efficiency information and tools in the hands of its users. By providing a range of calculators and guides to reduce your energy consumption along with reducing energy loss around the home, you can reduce waste and save energy around the home – all the while lowering your monthly utility bills. With Electrify, there is no excuse to not be in the know when it comes to home improvements that save energy.
Author: Jenny Briggs is an interior designer and a passionate blogger. She works with an energy efficient windows company Windows For Life.