By Lara Sullivan
Smart home technology provides the ability to monitor and control the devices in our homes in fun and engaging ways. Being able to automate when the lights turn on or when the temperature changes can save time. But what about reducing energy use? Here are some simple ways you can use technology to do just that.
Energy Star-certified appliances
The appliances that use 240-volt connections are a great place to begin looking for efficiency gains in your home. Energy Star has been providing energy efficiency information since 1992. Today, devices with the Energy Star label are certified to deliver energy savings. For example, Energy Star certified washing machines use 25 percent less energy and 33 percent less water than standard models. For clothes dryers, certified models use 20 percent less energy. With the average family washing about 300 loads of laundry each year, device efficiency is important.
Heat water efficiently
Water heating is another area that benefits from energy efficient equipment. If you need to replace your electric water heater, consider a heat pump system. Compared to electric-resistance water heaters, heat pump water heaters are often two to three times more efficient. They use electricity to transfer the heat from the surrounding air to the water rather than generating heat directly.
Your co-op can help. Contact your co-op for heat pump water heater rebate information.
Energy use awareness
Did you know there are devices on the market today that show you what is using energy in your home? Energy usage data is provided in real-time too. These devices connect to your circuit panel to determine when and how energy is used. The information gathered is viewable on your phone or tablet. To learn more about these devices, search online for “home energy monitoring systems.”
If you are interested in a device like this, consider professional installation as working on or near your circuit panel is extremely dangerous.
Lara Sullivan is manager of marketing and member services at Henry County REMC in New Castle, Indiana.