Want to save money on your utility bill? There’s an app for that! Having a more efficient home is only the first step in reaping the benefits of reduced consumption. Creating a home with a green building envelope and systems that use less energy only work when occupants practice efficient consumption. A greener building or home is a combination of a secure building envelope and efficient HVAC systems and appliances which work in harmony to reduce energy consumption. With careful monitoring and good consumption habits, you can ensure the efficacy of you systems. Here are some apps that can help you to monitor and improve your home’s energy efficiency.
This iPhone app enables you to do a complete analysis of the way in which your home uses energy: “Get heating, cooling, lighting, hot water and appliance energy consumption break downs with yearly cost and CO2 emission estimates. Upgrade and retrofit suggestions include yearly savings, economic projections, payback period and information about various energy saving alternatives.” You can download iViro from the app store here.
This app monitors your home’s energy consumption and helps you to develop strategies to reduce usage over time. This is a Green Button application. Green Button is a database developed for utility companies that records detailed energy consumption records for buildings that go way beyond your monthly energy bill. In order to use this app, make sure that your local energy supplier utilizes Green Button data. You can download Kill-Ur-Watts for free here.
Light bulb finder
If you want to switch to more efficient lighting, this handy app will tell you which lights suit your needs, it will find ones in your area that are appropriate for your fittings, order them online and calculate your return on investment (ROI). Download the iPhone app here and the android app here.
Apps for home meters
The ability to control your appliances from your phone gives you ultimate control over energy consumption. You can install thermostats with apps that enable you to change the temperature of your home from your smartphone. Some examples of these kinds of thermostats include Nest and Ecobee. This means you can turn the thermostat down when you are at work and turn it up before you leave work so that you don’t have to come home to a cold house.
Power strips enable you to turn off appliances by using a smartphone app. Even when they are not in use, the standby mode on your home appliances uses energy. With power strips like the Energy Hub, you can turn off devices whenever you want to. More sophisticated power strips like the UFO power center, not only allow you to turn appliances off with your smart phone, but also measure how much energy each appliance is using.
Installing smart meters in your home will allow you to control all of your electric appliances, from HVAC systems to appliances. Smart meters also help you to monitor how much energy you are using from your smart phone so that you can adjust major energy events (like laundry or cooking) to off-peak hours. This will allow for significant savings on your monthly energy bill.