As technology transforms the way we live, appliances have evolved as well. New smart, internet-enabled appliances keep you comfortable, while other upgrades also reduce your energy use to save you money. As more internet-enabled technology becomes available, it’s important to see how these devices’ energy use compares to your current equipment. Different appliances will vary in their efficiency; fortunately, the internet capabilities allow you to monitor many of these appliances’ energy use. Some items that you may want to consider:
LED LIGHTING: This is the easiest addition to a home that can quickly pay for itself. ENERGY STAR®-rated lightbulbs use at least 75 percent less energy, and last 25 times longer than incandescent lighting, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. A smart phone can operate some newer LEDs, such as the Phillips Hue bulbs. Even basic LED bulbs help savings quickly add up!
SMART THERMOSTAT: If you frequently change the settings on your thermostat, you could cause your HVAC equipment to work more than needed, wasting energy and money. Smart, internet-enabled thermostats, such as Nest and the Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat, include tools such as energy reports and smart phone controls. Some even learn your routine, resulting in optimized comfort while more efficiently using electricity.
WHOLE HOME ELECTRIC MONITORS: You can now monitor your energy use in real-time! Your electric co-op might offer an app that breaks down your daily energy use. In addition, new monitors such as Curb and Sense are Wi-Fi enabled to provide real time data on your energy use. This knowledge can help you take steps to conserve electricity, saving you money.
WATER HEATERS: A variety of water heaters exist, and their energy efficiency varies as well. The U.S. Department of Energy includes valuable information about the types of water heaters and other information to consider, such as its uniform energy factor (UEF). The UEF is the updated measurement to determine a water heater’s overall efficiency, according to the ENERGY STAR website. Some newer water heater models also include internet connectivity to monitor your energy use and make adjustments. Fortunately, your local co-op also offers a POWER MOVES® rebate of $400 on heat pump water heaters with a UEF of 2.0 or greater that replace an existing traditional electric tank water heater, or a heat pump water heater installed in a new home. Visit www.PowerMoves.com for details.
ADDITIONAL APPLIANCES: Tech evolutions have led to more efficient washing machines, clothes dryers, dishwashers and more. Selecting an appliance based on its efficiency will help save you money over the product’s lifecycle. Many new efficient models also are internet-enabled, allowing you to monitor your appliance’s energy use or even connect to a smart home system to provide greater energy monitoring or analysis. Look for the blue ENERGY STAR label to be sure your new appliance meets energy efficient standards.
New smart appliances and devices can help lead to long-term energy savings while maintaining your comfort – and adding savings to your bank account! Visit www.energystar.gov for details about energy efficiency, including information on products that meet Energy Star criteria. You also can learn more about more ways to save with a home energy audit. Contact your electric co-op’s energy advisor for details.