We live in the most technologically advanced and supported period in history - and there’s a lot of good that comes out of that territory. Sure: technology can have its downsides, and we’re the first to admit that technology should be created, used, and made only to serve a better and easier life. Some stuff doesn’t need to be tech-enabled. Some stuff works best as dumb as possible.
But energy-saving is one of those areas where the more tech you can pack into your house, the better.
The thing is: time spent inside your house has gone up.
Costs of going out have become really exorbitant, so people are spending more time at home with their loved ones, cooking instead of dining out and watching Netflix instead of going to a movie.
And with more time spent at home, the more energy you’re using up.
But that’s not the only reason your energy bills go high. Sometimes, your energy bills go up because the house is old and your fixtures take up a lot of energy. Sometimes they go up because a light is left on somewhere, there’s a discrepancy between the energy output of your bulbs, or there’s something wrong with the electricity or the water. Add in the fact that energy costs are rising as a result of diminishing fossil fuels, and that’s a recipe for high costs that a lot of people will struggle to meet.
Figuring out what’s happening behind your walls isn’t always easy without incurring a lot more costs. However, there are some apps that can help you.
These are some of our favorites:
1. Light Bulb Saver
One of the biggest energy expenditures is light. During the day, you can open the windows and let sunlight in, but once it starts getting dark earlier (and we’re heading towards those days fast), lights get switched on, and the meter ticks up.
Not all bulbs are made the same. Some light bulbs can use up a lot more electricity than others available on the market. Available for free use, Light Bulb Saver lets you see how much money you can save by switching your current bulbs to something that’s more energy-efficient. It can also help you design a better lighting environment for your home.
How do you know whether or not your energy usage has changed overtime? Without the dedicated reports that come from energy companies, you might struggle to see whether your energy saving bulbs have made a difference.
Leafully helps by connecting you to data provided from over a dozen regional utility companies, and tracks your energy usage over time. If your energy usage has increased or decreased, it can help you figure out where the change has happened, which means that any faulty equipment is easily found and sorted! It’s available, free, on iOS.
There are a lot of ways to help the environment and live sustainably, but it’s not always the easiest thing to understand or the easiest habit to form. Joulebug gamifies sustainable living: through the interface’s own system, you get access to tips on how to make your everyday actions a lot more environmentally friendly, and gain points for living sustainably. You can even compete against your friends and use the built-in calculator to see how much of an impact you’ve made with your different choices. While it might not help save you money immediately, it will help you create lasting habits that are worth making a part of your daily life.
4. Energy Consumption Analyzer
Using graphs, this app shows you the history of your power consumption over time and calculates an average normal rate for comparison. You can show readings per day, per week, or per month for a better picture over time, and the best of all: it’s completely free. While it can’t really pinpoint if something in your house has started to falter, it’s a good way of keeping an eye on things and making sure that your energy levels stick to a range you can afford.
Most of the best energy-saving apps are tied to smart-home systems such as thermostats, lightbulbs, and water tanks, all the better to keep track of your usage. The apps we’ve mentioned above share no particular ecosystem, and so are free to use for everyone who wants to keep track of their energy consumption.
Got an idea for an app that charts your energy usage? Drop us a line. We’re always happy to talk good tech.