Five energy-saving devices to save money on your next power bill


For the third of Australians still working from home and the more than one million unemployed, next quarter's electricity bill is set to be a shocker.

Nearly three-quarters of Australians say their electricity bill is among their top concerns this year and 49% worry they cannot afford to pay their household bills since the pandemic started.

An unexpectedly high power bill can break someone's household budget. Fortunately, smart technologies can help reduce your electricity usage without changing how you use energy around the home.

smart devices to cut your electricity usage

1. Indoor sensor nightlights

These nightlights automatically turn on at dusk, enabling parents to get up at night to tend to a baby, go to the bathroom or get a glass of water without having to switch on lights. From as little as $6 per light, these automatic nightlights plug into a power point and provide lighting for up to 100,000 hours.

Potential savings: Automatic nightlights cost less than 5 cents a month to power. Meanwhile, the running cost of LED lights in the average home is generally 5 cents per hour.

2. Smart thermostats

These devices connect to your heating and cooling systems, enabling you to adjust the temperature from a smartphone app. One example is the Nest Thermostat E, which automatically adjusts the temperature of your home based on your preferences.

Potential savings: The smart thermostat's energy-efficient features can save the average household nearly 12% on their electricity bill each year.

3. Smart power boards and plugs

These look like regular power boards and plugs but connect to your Wi-Fi, enabling you to control connected appliances from an app. For example, the Kogan Smart Power Board (around $50) lets you control individual sockets and set up schedules and timers.

Potential savings: Smart power boards and plugs allow you to monitor how much electricity a device is consuming, even on standby, helping you make changes to reduce your bill. By turning off devices such as TVs and game consoles, you could save more than $200 per year.

4. Solar-powered chargers

Harnessing the power of the sun, these chargers can power and recharge wireless devices such as phones, GPS devices and security cameras.

Potential savings: Solar-powered chargers require no electricity and can save you up to $25 a year if used for phones, iPads and laptops.

5. Smart glass and windows

Smart glass enables you to control the amount of sunlight entering a home through a switch that tints the glass. 'Low-e' glass is another option that gives you more control. Both help keep your home cool in summer and warm in winter with less household energy (electricity or gas) usage. However, smart glass is expensive - around $185 per square metre.

Potential savings: Nearly 40% of household energy usage comes from appliances that heat and cool. Installing low-e glass in a large home (240sqm) for example, can reduce your energy bill by more than $75 each year.

Get stories like this in our newsletters.

Related Stories


Abigail Koch is spokesperson for
Jason Birke
October 29, 2020 9.26am

Failed to mention solar panels and batteries??

Money team
October 29, 2020 9.49am

Hi Jason,

Thanks for your comment.

We've written extensively about solar panels and battery tech in the past.

With the exception of smart windows, the above devices are more accessible and affordable for most Australians. They can be installed quickly and easily, without major changes to a property, meaning they can be utilised by renters.

- Money team

Mark Whitton
October 30, 2020 11.47am

Nest thermostas don't work in Australia.

Money team
October 30, 2020 2.59pm

Hi Mark,

While Nest thermostats aren't as simple to use in Australia as they are in the US, we've been advised they are compatible with most local AC systems. You may need to hire an electrician to connect it in your home. Of course, this would need to be counted in your budgeting.

- Money team

Mark Ting
November 1, 2020 9.36pm

Hi, I recommend googling "Solar Divert Controller "

Save loads in my electric bill heating up 400l hot water tank, didn't have gas option at that time. I Divert excess solar energy to the hot water tank , and keep it hot up to 60c or more if you adjust. And keep it min 40c if ain't sunny. Pretty cool technology. Deal with a guy name mark from qld. Something money magazine might want to research more

Btw very good article

Further Reading