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.
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.