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Smart Home Energy Saving Devices That Save You Money

A smartphone connects to a smart home hub to control smart home devices that will save money and save energy.
PublishedMay 4, 2021
UpdatedMay 7, 2024
AuthorCory O'Brien HeadshotCory O'BrienSenior Director - Growth MarketingEditorRyan Barnett HeadshotRyan BarnettSVP, Policy & New Market Development
In this article
Control Your Lighting
Save on Cooling and Heating
Kill Vampire Power
Conserve Water
Unlocking the Full Value of Energy Savings

Adding smart home devices can help you save energy and save money at the same time. Just like solar power, energy-saving smart home products can help you reduce your utility costs and lower your environmental impact. They promise to turn your house into a money saving smart home without the expense of a complete renovation, reducing your electricity bill along the way.

For advanced energy-saving features, you can connect smart home devices with smart home hubs like Apple HomePod, Google Home, and Amazon Echo to control them with virtual assistants like Apple Siri, Google Assistant, or Amazon Alexa.

Looking for energy saving tips? Read on to learn how smart home energy saving devices can save you money by allowing you to control your lighting, save on heating and cooling costs, conserve water, and prevent vampire power loss.

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Control Your Lighting

Electricity to power lighting accounts for more than 10% of the average annual energy bill for a single family home in the United States. Sadly, light bulbs spend a considerable amount of time left on, even when no one is in the room, translating to unnecessary costs and wasted energy.

Eliminating or reducing energy usage for lighting is one of the best smart home energy saving tips. Spending less money on lighting can be achieved by using smart light bulbs or smart switches that automatically dim or turn off lights when not in use.

Smart Light Bulbs

Smart bulbs are arguably the easiest devices you can incorporate into your home for smart home energy savings. All you need to do is replace your old bulbs with these energy saving products, allowing you to save money on electricity in many different ways.

To begin with, smart bulbs provide you with remote control over your lighting, as you can switch lights on or off via an app on your phone. This means you can turn off light bulbs even after leaving your home.

To save even more, smart bulbs can be paired with geofencing capabilities and motion sensors to enable even more energy-saving smarts. With geofencing, your phone can tell when everyone has left the house, and turn off all the lights automatically. For more fine-tuned control, you can pair smart lights with motion detectors that will sense when no one is in a room and automatically switch the lights to a more efficient mode, or turn off completely.

Best of all, the energy efficiency of light bulbs has increased drastically in the past few years. Because smart bulbs are also LED bulbs, they consume 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs, and can last more than 25 times longer. That means that even when they’re on, a smart bulb is using less electricity than an older, “dumb” bulb.

Smart light bulbs help reduce energy costs as well as offer greater control and convenience by offering features such as:

  • Remote control using a smartphone app
  • Voice control via a smart speaker
  • Customize lighting for activities like reading, watching movies, or hosting friends
  • Follow a time-based schedule to turn light on and off

When it comes to smart light bulbs, some of the most reliable brands include Philips Hue, Philips Wiz, Lifx, Cree, Wyze, Ring, and Yeelight.

Smart Switches

Another excellent money-saving smart home device you can use instead of smart bulbs is smart switches. The main difference between smart light bulbs and smart switches is that switches can turn on and off or dim, while bulbs can turn on and off or dim, and have additional features like the ability to change colors or even react to music.

Along with lighting, smart switches can also be used to control fans and other electrical appliances, enabling similar energy-saving benefits like scheduling and automatic turn-off. Some smart switches even come with motion detection capabilities, lighting up a room, hallway, or path only when someone is passing by.

For reliable smart switches, try products from companies such as Philips, Leviton, Lutron, and iDevices as they have an excellent combination of features and support.

Save on Cooling and Heating

Depending on where you live, summers can be very hot and winters can be very cold. This is why many people use heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems and devices such as fans to help control temperature and airflow.

According to the US Department of Energy, up to 55% of the energy used in homes goes towards heating and cooling needs. Therefore, using energy-saving heating and cooling products is crucial for achieving smart home energy savings.

Some of the smart home energy-saving devices you can use for this include smart thermostats, ceiling fans, and window coverings. They are more efficient, use less energy, and help keep the temperature more consistent, making them one of our favorite energy saving tips.

Smart Thermostats

In recent years, smart thermostats have become a popular energy saver as thermostats play the biggest role when it comes to indoor temperature regulation. The ability to control a smart thermostat by voice, smartphone, smart assistant, and other devices makes them highly convenient and helps reduce energy waste.

Instead of leaving your home set to one temperature the whole day, you can program a smart thermostat to follow a specific schedule, and adjust that schedule automatically based on when there are people in the house.

Alternatively, remote control allows you to switch your heating and cooling on or off, or adjust temperature settings at any time and from anywhere. Rather than walk into a cold or hot home, you can set the desired temperature on your way home and find the ideal temperature already reached when you get there. Depending on the brand you choose, some thermostats can even learn your heating and cooling preferences automatically and adjust accordingly.

Smart thermostats can also save money by reminding you when system maintenance is necessary, such as when it's time to change your air filter. Some can even detect issues with your HVAC system and ducts and warn you of potential problems.

In addition to their increased energy efficiency, smart thermostats also offer the ability to monitor your energy consumption, which can help you make smart decisions about how and when to adjust the temperature in your home.

To enjoy the functionality and efficiency of a smart thermostat, popular brands include Ecobee, Google Nest, Honeywell, and Emerson.

Smart Ceiling Fans

To achieve greater smart home energy efficiency with heating and cooling, you can use a smart ceiling fan to support the thermostat. By ensuring reliable airflow, smart fans help cool or warm up rooms, reducing your reliance on HVAC systems that require more electricity to operate. As a result, smart ceiling fans are a smart home product that helps reduce your energy costs and increase your smart home electricity savings.

As with other smart home energy saving devices, you can control a smart ceiling fan using your phone, tablet, or other connected device. This allows you to turn the fan off and on, or adjust the speed from anywhere.

Combining a smart thermostat with a smart ceiling fan is one of the most effective energy-saving tips. Smart fans can make a room feel up to 4 degrees cooler, or circulate heated air to make your furnace more efficient.

When it comes to saving money with a smart ceiling fan, there are many brands and products to choose from. Companies such as Big Ass Fans, Hunter, Hampton Bay, Minka-Aire, and Horevo offer some of the most reliable smart ceiling fans.

Smart Blinds and Smart Window Coverings

Energy-saving devices come in a wide range of forms, including window coverings. Along with controlling the amount of light that gets into your house, smart curtains and smart blinds can also help in controlling temperature. Using smart window treatments that you can control using your phone or voice commands allows you to open and close blinds on a set schedule, or based on temperature, even when they are hard to reach.

To offer even greater smart home savings on lighting and temperature control, you can program smart window coverings to respond to the environment automatically. They can open in the winter when the sun is out to let in the warmth from the sun, and close up in the summer as soon as your AC turns on.

Some of the brands that offer smart window coverings and smart blinds include IKEA, SwitchBot, Graywind, Yoolax, and SOMA.

See how much you can save by going solar with Palmetto

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My electric bill is $290/mo

Kill Vampire Power

Understandably, most people think that electric devices only consume energy when they're on. Sadly, that's not the case. Some devices, referred to as energy vampires, continue to use power even when they're turned off. It is estimated that vampire energy accounts for 13.7% of a US home's annual energy cost.

Using smart plugs and sockets to turn off devices automatically, or disconnect them completely when they're not in use, is an ideal power-saving solution to maximize your smart home energy savings. They can also be used as energy monitors, letting you know exactly how much electricity is being used to power that connected device when it’s on.

Smart Plugs

Achieving smart home energy optimization does not necessarily have to start with an overhaul of your gadgets and appliances. You can begin with simple energy-saving devices such as smart plugs. These energy saving gadgets are small plugs that are connected to an electrical outlet, and serve as a bridge between the outlet and the device you want to power.

By being connected to a Wi-Fi network, you can use this power saver device to switch off other devices via an app. Instead of worrying about whether you left the coffee maker or iron on, you can just log in to your app and switch them off, preventing unnecessary risk. Even better, you can program all of your smart plugs to turn off automatically after the last person leaves the house.

One of the biggest advantages of smart plugs is that they are arguably the cheapest energy-saving devices available, and can turn almost any appliance into a smart device.

Some of the other benefits of smart plugs include:

  • Identify appliances that consume a lot of energy so you can make informed decisions about your next purchase
  • Make your house seem lively and occupied, even when you are away from home, to increase home security

Smart plugs make the transition to an energy-efficient home easy and cheap. For greater smart home savings, try plug-in smart outlets from TP-Link, Wemo, Kasa, Leviton, Lutron, iDevices, and Wyze.

Smart Outlets

If you do not like the idea of a two-part connection to your electrical outlets, opt for smart outlets instead of smart plugs. Just like smart plugs, smart outlets turn all connected devices into smart appliances by connecting them to a Wi-Fi network, allowing you to control them remotely using an app.

The main drawback to smart outlets is that you will have to replace the power outlets in your home. However, the end result can be less obtrusive, as most smart outlets look nearly identical to a regular outlet.

Some of the top smart outlet brands include GE’s Enbrighten, iDevices, Geeni, and Eaton.

Conserve Water

Along with electricity, a lot of water goes to waste in homes. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average household's leaks can account for nearly 10,000 gallons of wasted water every year, and 10% of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day. Finding and fixing those leaks can save homeowners about 10% on their water bill.

In addition to increasing your monthly water bill, wasting large amounts of water goes against the goal of making the world more sustainable. That’s why water conservation should be towards the top of any list of energy saving tips.

Conserving water is not just about dealing with leaks, but also about using water more diligently and efficiently. Some of the smart home saving devices you can use to reduce your water use include smart leak detectors, smart sprinklers, and smart appliances.

Smart Leak Detectors

Although leaks may seem like insignificant drips and drops, they contribute to a lot of water waste cumulatively. Leaks can occur at faucets, under sinks, behind the toilet, and around washing machines. At times, detecting leaks can be challenging. This is where smart leak detectors come into play.

Not only do smart leak detectors sense water problems, but they can also send alerts when they detect an issue, allowing you to address the issue swiftly. This gives them the potential to be very valuable money saving devices.

Depending on the smart leak detector you choose, they may come with additional features such as:

  • Monitoring water flow in pipes in real time
  • Providing recommendations on how to conserve water
  • Shut off the flow of water into the home after detecting a leak

Considering the losses you may incur with water leaks each year, taking measures to turn your house into a money-saving smart home is a prudent decision.

Companies such as iHome, Flo by Moen, D-Link, Proteus, and Honeywell all produce top-rated smart water leak detectors.

Smart Sprinkler Controllers

For your lawn and garden to remain vibrant, you need to water them regularly. However, sprinkler systems often spray more water than is necessary, and they don’t adjust to your local weather. Smart sprinklers can save money on energy by enabling efficient water use, allowing you to easily schedule when they turn on and for how long.

Since smart sprinkler controllers are connected to a smart assistant or app, caring for your lawn also becomes easier. You can turn your sprinkler on and off remotely, and some can even show you how much water is needed each day.

When it rains, a smart sprinkler system can skip a watering session automatically, ensuring that watering is done according to environmental conditions.

When it comes to smart sprinkler solutions, some of the best brands to look at include Rachio, RainMachine, Orbit B-Hyve, and Sprinkl.

Smart Appliances

Another category of smart home energy saving product and water conservation method you should consider are smart appliances. Dishwashers and washing machines use electricity and water to clean clothes and utensils, and smart appliances are an ideal solution as they are energy-efficient and use less water.

More importantly, some smart appliances can even be programmed to connect with the grid and only operate when energy is cheaper to gain additional smart home savings.

Major appliance brands such as Whirlpool, LG Electronics, Samsung, and General Electric produce smart appliances that can save you money.

Unlocking the Full Value of Energy Savings

Rising utility costs (that are already high to begin with!) are arguably the primary reason most people look for smart home energy savings. However, the benefits go beyond just financial savings.

The energy used today comes at a great cost to the environment tomorrow, and we have a finite amount of natural resources available. Efficient use of power and water helps address this challenge by reducing carbon emissions, and lowering the rate at which resources are exploited.

Adding smart home devices is a great first step towards an energy-efficient home, and you can make an even greater impact on the environment and further reduce or eliminate your electricity costs by turning to solar for your energy needs.

At Palmetto, we help consumers make the switch to energy-efficient solutions like solar, allowing you to see significant cost savings on your utility bills. Use our Free Energy Savings Calculator today to find how much money you can save with a solar power system, and continue the journey towards a clean energy future.

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My electric bill is $290/mo
About the AuthorCory O'Brien HeadshotCory O'BrienSenior Director - Growth Marketing

Cory brings over 8 years of solar expertise to Palmetto, and enjoys sharing that knowledge with others looking to improve their carbon footprint. A dog lover residing in Asheville, NC with his wife, Cory graduated from UCSB. If you run into him, ask him about the company he founded to rate and review beer!

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