Nobody likes paying high utility bills, so many of us try to limit energy use in simple ways by making sure we turn off lights, unplugging appliances and keeping the heat and air conditioning set at reasonable temperatures. Have you ever wondered, though, if there are any gadgets worth investing in that can help you in this quest?
Plenty of gadgets exist that claim to save you money and energy, so we’ve sorted through them and found six that can help you keep those utility bills from getting too expensive. Keep reading and find out which ones may be worth considering.
You may have heard of the Nest Learning Thermostat, which after a short period will learn your heating and cooling preferences and adjust the temperature for you. At first glance, the Nest may seem unnecessary since many people already own programmable thermostats, but according to Nest’s website, only 11% of programmable thermostats are programmed to save energy. Many people own them, but don’t necessarily utilize them.
With a Nest, all you have to do is change the temperature up and down as you normally would for a couple days, and the thermostat will learn your preferences. Nest also has an Auto-Away feature which senses when you are no longer in the house and will change the temperature so you save energy. You won’t have to worry anymore about setting the temperature before you leave the house. New second generation Nests have even more sophisticated Auto-Away software that can change the temperature after 30 minutes if it doesn’t sense anyone, and it knows to wait longer before adjusting the temperature if you are typically home at that time.
When you’re saving energy, a leaf symbol will appear on the Nest, indicating that the change you’ve made is beneficial. For convenience, you can also adjust your Nest from your smartphone.
The second generation Nest costs $249.
Using a power strip can be a great way to save money, since you don’t need to remember to turn off as many devices. Now, you can even buy smart power strips and plugs to help you save more energy with less thought.
The Modlet is a gadget produced by ThinkEco that plugs into your wall outlet and connects to your computer or smartphone. It functions sort of like a programmable thermostat for your outlets. With the Modlet’s web-based software, you’ll be able to monitor how much energy your electronics and appliances are using when they’re plugged in and then set a schedule for turning your devices off and on.
If you’d like a similar gadget that’s a little less high-tech, check out Belkin’s Conserve Socket. You plug the device into an outlet and set a timer on it to either 30 minutes, three hours or six hours. Whatever you plug into the Conserve Socket will stop receiving power after that amount of time. Conserve Sockets are available for $9.99.