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Using Devices Wisely: Smart Technology for Energy Efficiency

If 25 years ago someone said you’d be able to change the temperature of your home from your phone while you are sitting in your office at work, the first thought would have been “impossible”. But smart appliances and smart homes aren’t just a thing of the future anymore. You can control your house alarm through your phone, change the temperature on your thermostat with a swipe of a finger and even start your washing machine or dryer while sitting in your bedroom. 

These new apps and gadgets are designed to make your life easier, but they can make your home more energy efficient as well. 

 

Thermostat:
One of the easiest ways to make an impact on energy efficiency is with a smart thermostat, like Nest models. Using your mobile device, you can view and edit your thermostat schedule and monitor how much energy is used and make adjustments accordingly. For example, program your thermostat for weekday and weekend schedules so you are not wasting energy when no one is home. Check and adjust the program periodically to keep pace with changes in household routines. When used correctly, smart thermostats can save up to 25% per month. 

Lighting:
During the short winter days, it’s nice to come home to a well-lit house. But, leaving lights on all day while you are out can waste energy and increase your energy usage. You can now purchase light bulbs that you can control from a mobile app, no matter if you are home or not. With prices per bulb starting as low as $15, there is a wide range of “smart lighting” technology available for your home. Many of these bulbs can be integrated with your Nest thermostat so that you can control the lighting and temperature of your home through one app. (86711001)

Appliances:
As you purchase new appliances, consider purchasing models with smart technology. There are refrigerators available that have cameras inside so that you can look into your refrigerator from your phone – simplifying that grocery run after work. These apps can also let you know if a door has been left open or if maintenance is required. And refrigerators aren’t the only ones. Smart dishwashers, clothes washers and dryers also have smart capabilities that you can control from your phone. This is even more convenient in the hot summer months when you don’t want to run appliances that will add heat to your home while you are home running the air conditioning. Also, be sure to look for the ENERGY STAR® label as you shop for appliances, as they have been tested for energy efficiency. 

Energy Monitoring:
The first step to saving energy is monitoring your energy usage. Whether you have smart appliances or not, the myTCEMC app from Tri-County EMC allows you to monitor your energy usage. The easily navigable app allows you to see usage graphs while overlaying weather data to see how your usage correlates with the weather. It also shows you the cooperative’s outage map and lets you report an outage directly from your phone. The app delivers daily and hourly kWh usage through graphs and lets you set alerts to notify you when you have used a certain amount of energy each day. The myTCEMC app is available on the Apple and Android Marketplace.