Energy saving gadgets and the internet of things will help us all to lower our energy bills and reduce our carbon footprints. 2015 and 2016 have seen a winter of relatively mild temperatures, following on from a warm summer it made one of the warmest years on record. This leads to dry and cracked ground which flooded across the UK when the rains did eventually come…and boy they came this past month! After the clean up, questions will no doubt be raised asked regarding the impact of global warming and carbon emissions.
Luckily the past few years have seen the development and launch of a plethora of gadgets and technology, fuelled by the internet of things, which will help us all save energy, lower bills and reduce our carbon footprints. Tech companies have been spurned by consumer demand for ‘smarter’ connected devices around the home to bring us more energy saving, green devices than ever before.
Below are my top energy saving gadgets and tech for 2016. These are devices which, whilst relatively new to the market are based on proven technology and are worth the price you pay and to help you live a greener, cheaper life.
Smarter boilers and thermostats
Let’s start with one of the big energy guzzlers. Whether or not you have central heating at home, your boiler could account for up to 55% of your overall energy usage and costs. The first place to start is by replacing your boiler, at the end of it’s lifecycle, with an new energy saving condensing boiler. These can be up to 98.7% efficient. If you are replacing a boiler installed before 2010 this would give you a huge saving in energy usage and costs.
Alongside replacing your old boiler you should also upgrade any temperature control for it to a smart system such as NEST (from Google), HIVE (from British Gas) and Tado. All of these are intelligent control systems for your boiler and other systems.
The NEst thermostat is now in its 3rd generation and the current model is a smarter system than ever. It is billed as a learning thermostat which will learn to program itself based on your usage patterns, such as automatically scheduling when to turn your boiler on and off and shutting down when you’re away.
Tado Smart Thermostat is also an intelligent system which performs similar functions to the NEst but also uses its partner app to determine how far away from home you are and adjust heating and water heating temperatures accordingly.
The Tado website claims their device:
“keeps in mind how to pre-warm the home most efficiently for your return. This cuts overall heating costs by up to 31%. In the UK that’s a whopping £1000 in just 5 years”.
These devices lead neatly into the world of apps as all of them connect to your smartphone with varying degrees of integration and control of the systems via the net. We’re becoming more and more accustomed to using apps in every part of our day-to-day lives and energy is a big area for connecting your home to the net and controlling it via your smartphone.
In 2016 and beyond smart heating apps via your phone and tablet are going to become much more commonplace. As energy costs rise and supplies fall, heating your home in the most efficient way won’t be a luxury, it will be a necessity.
Energy saving, smart refrigerators connected via the ‘internet of things’ will be entering our homes too as we will all want to take greater control of our energy consumption. Connected via apps to our phones and smart meters, these fridges will be able to turn on and off, avoiding peak energy hours whilst still keeping food inside at the desired temperature through more intelligent control and efficient energy usage.
The final piece of this puzzle will be the installation and application of whole home energy management systems. The will help you control your entire home via smartphone apps and dedicated internet logins. Lighting, heating, air conditioning, appliances and security systems will also be remotely controlled.
To make sure you are taking advantage of any potential savings find your your energy supplier, check your package and shop around for the cheapest energy costs.