Technical knowledge


Posted on May 24 2024 in Energy
Energy saving device

By Steve Hite

Your ability to save money on energy costs could be as easy as touching a screen. These days, there’s no shortage of new technology to try or upgrades available to convince you that now’s the time for the next smartphone or watch upgrade. Yet advancing technology also offers you, families, and even electric cooperatives new opportunities to use energy more efficiently to minimize costs. This can lead to some serious savings for everyone.


Many new appliances and devices, such as thermostats, water heaters, and more, offer internet connectivity to control their operation even when away from home. This connectivity can also offer better control of devices during times of high electricity demand. Devices such as irrigation systems, water heaters, and air conditioners can be controlled to shift energy use to times of lower demand. If your electric cooperative offers time-of-use rates, you can schedule some devices or systems to off-peak times to help minimize your energy costs.


Home energy monitors have been available for several years, yet their value cannot be understated. People can connect a home monitor to their circuit breaker panel to get an in-depth look at their home’s energy use in real time. This can be useful in diagnosing “vampire” loads that may be contributing to high energy bills or just getting a better idea of how to manage energy use more effectively to lower costs.


Many newer devices use less electricity than their older counterparts — particularly those that may be a decade or more old. Technology that has earned an ENERGY STAR® certification uses significantly less energy than many products on the market. By doing a bit of research, you can plan your purchase and save on long-term energy costs. Your co-op may even offer energy efficiency rebates for qualifying appliance upgrades or heating and cooling systems.

By planning your next upgrade, you can research and buy energy-efficient options that will minimize long-term energy use. You can also contact your local electric cooperative’s energy advisor for questions about your home’s energy use and additional advice that can lead you to long-term savings.

Steve Hite is an energy advisor at Hendricks Power Cooperative in Avon, Indiana