Since the first contemporary smart home devices hit the market in 1998, the technology has continued to expand at a rapid rate. Now, it would be difficult to find a home in the United States that does not have at least a wireless speaker - which also happens to be the most common device. And yes, you can verify that by asking Alexa.
Where is this leading?
If industry forecasts are correct, by 2021 the average home in the U.S. will be utilizing 13 smart devices. Even though science fiction writers like Ray Bradbury did their best to conjure up fear from a home that runs itself, reality shows the benefits of connectivity, safety and convenience to be much more comforting.
However, you might be wondering is whether or not smart home technology can actually pay for itself and which ones actually do. We’re here to help give you insight into the devices that are worth investing in.
Sometimes you have to spend a little to save a lot.
Smart Home Energy Monitor
A smart home energy monitor, like the Emporia Vue: Whole Home and Vue: Utility Connect, does exactly what it sounds like. It monitors the energy in your home and offers real-time feedback on where you’re already saving and where you could be. Energy monitors help identify which appliances are energy savers and wasters. By simply knowing this, you can make decisions about when to use or not use, get rid of or replace them.
What's the Savings Potential?
By investing in a smart home device like Emporia’s Vue that costs just $60, you can expect to see a first-year savings of $40-$174. This is not a one-time reduction. You can expect this savings every year!
Smart home devices like smart thermostats are a must if looking to cut on heating and cooling costs. The smart aspect comes in being able to automatically adjust to a more economic temperature without you realizing it. With the thermostat on and watching it knows when people are home or away, awake or sleeping, doesn’t get sidetracked and doesn’t forget.
How Much Can You Save?
Therefore, your savings can be significant. A study by Nest, one of the most popular smart thermostats, and two more done by independent studies of Nest have found that customers can save 10%-12% on heating and 15% on cooling. By Emporia’s calculations, this equates to a dollar amount of at least $152 in heating and cooling savings annually. It could even go as high as $633 depending on the heating source.
Smart LED Light Bulbs
Smart LED light bulbs like the Hue made by Philips, use an average of 75% less energy and last 10-25 times longer than incandescent bulbs. The minimal energy consumption and long life span of LED smart bulbs is only part of the savings. With built-in motion sensors and the ability to turn them off remotely, you’ll see additional energy savings.
What Are the Savings?
Emporia estimates installing LED bulbs will conserve between 5% and 10% of your energy (or $67-$135). On top of this savings, you'll buy fewer bulbs over time. Plus, you'll potentially you'll run the A/C less by getting rid of the heat incandescent bulbs create!
Not sure which bulbs to replace? Check out this article with a calculator to find out when purchasing an LED bulb will pay for itself.
Another easy way to save energy is to simply unplug everything. However, that's not practical. Therefore, it’s sometimes better to accept that you need to use a little energy to save a lot. What we mean is that smart outlets will draw a very small current while in standby mode, but is negligible compared to the cost savings you will find by utilizing them.
These work by simply plugging into an electrical socket. After that, you install the app on your device of choice. Then, plug an appliance into the smart outlet and reap the benefits, which include:
- Turning devices on/off remotely
- Be forewarned if device is using unusual amounts of energy
- Set schedules for devices to control energy use
- And more!
How Much Can they Save?
Most importantly, Emporia Energy has found that these outlets, depending on how many are used, will save a consumer between 5%-10% (or $67-$135) on their total energy bill each year.
Because of the savings potential of smart outlets, Emporia Energy is currently developing a smart outlet. Because it's an Emporia offering, the outlet will integrate into your Vue system and be controlled through the Emporia app.
Ready to Invest in Smart Home Devices?
In conclusion, Americans are spending $130 billion a year on wasted energy. By switching to one (or more) of these devices, you can save significantly. Moreover, by taking control of your energy use, you’ll be able to make informed decisions that will ultimately put money back in your wallet. And that’s what we call smart!