More people than ever are looking for ways to reduce energy consumption and save money on electricity.
And according to some reports, there’s good news on that front.
A February 2017 article in Scientific American points to a recent study showing that U.S. energy costs hit record lows in 2016, thanks in part to growing use of energy saving technology.
- Americans spent less than 4% of their household incomes, on average, on energy last year. That’s 3.9% less per kilowatt hour than a decade ago.
- Part of the savings comes from the expansion and decreasing cost of renewable energy. The U.S. added another 22 gigawatts of capacity in 2016.
- Another contributing factor is growing investment in energy smart technologies, which reached $10.6 billion, up 5% from 2015.
Homeowners and businesses alike stand to gain from this trend toward greater energy efficiency.
- One estimate says commercial buildings could save as much as $60 billion by 2030 by adopting smart energy technologies.
- The Consumer Technology Association projects that home automation could help reduce primary residential energy consumption by 10%, and save up to 100 million tons of CO2 emissions.
Perhaps even better news is that it doesn’t matter if you just broke ground on a new home or office, or if you’ve lived in the same 100-year-old home for years.
Even an older building can be “smarted up” to cut down on your electricity bill — by investing in smart home technology. Here are a few examples of advanced home automation products that can help.
#1: Connected Thermostats
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, more than 40% of your electricity bill pays for heating or cooling.
A programmable thermostat such as Nest can learn your preferences and automatically adjust the temperature for comfort and energy savings — based on when you’re home and which rooms you’re using.
So-called “smart HVAC” systems can even be paired with a connected ceiling fan to help even more!
#2: Automated Lighting
Lots of folks already know that energy efficient light bulbs, such as LEDs or CFLs, can cut down on your lighting costs.
But have you heard about smart lighting yet?
Just like your thermostat, you can invest in technology that lets you program your lights to come on at set times when you need them most — then turn them off again when you’re not home or not in the room.
No more worrying about forgetting to turn the lights off when you leave!
#3: High-Tech Windows, Blinds, and Shades
Your windows, blinds, and shades can be important tools for helping you stay comfortable year-round.
The right technology can help you beat the heat in the summer and stay warm and cozy in the winter.
Smart windows have the ability to lighten or darken depending upon sunlight intensity. You can also get blinds or shades that will automatically open or close at appropriate times of day to let the sun in when you need it and keep it out when you don’t.
#4: Smart Appliances
Managing the use of appliances is another key component of your energy-savings strategy.
Whether it’s turning off the TV when you’re not watching anything, or using energy-hungry devices during off-peak hours, it can be a lot to keep up with during the course of a hectic day.
That’s where smart appliance tools can help you out.
- An advanced power strip can reduce loads on your outlets by cutting things off when they’re not in use.
- Ordinary appliances can be connected to smart technologies to optimize peak load management. This is especially helpful for large appliances like refrigerators and dishwashers.
#5: Whole Home Control
Last but not least, what if you could get all this stuff to work together?
Whole home control technologies let you do just that.
By connecting all of your devices and appliances to a single unified system, you can conveniently and automatically manage your energy loads — from heating and cooling to lighting to appliances — so that everything works together more efficiently.
Your home automation system can be customized to fit the needs of you, your family, or your business and save on energy bills for years to come.
Do you have questions about ways to save energy and lower your electricity bill? Are you wondering whether home automation technology would be right for you, or how to install it?
Give us a call at Complete Electrical Solutions. We’re here to provide the information you need and help you save money on energy.