Can Smart Home Devices Help Me Save Money?

3 Products that Harness the Power of Technology to Your Benefit

Energy companies and technology publications alike have been touting the benefits of smart home devices for nearly a decade now. From the advent of the very first programmable thermostat to whatever cutting-edge time-saver was just released into the market, the general public has been inundated with stories of how much better their lives would be if they would simply bring this equipment into their homes.

In fact, there’s even a study that pops up on occasion touting a savings of $100 per year if you invest $5,000 into creating a smart home. While Vista Energy believes in the long-term benefits of smart home devices, we also believe you can still save money on your energy bills by investing in the following 3 products.

#1 A Programmable Thermostat

We suggest using any thermostat that lets you program specific cost-saving settings for the right time of day. Whether you choose a basic programmable unit or a fancier smart option, our recommended settings include the following:

  • Summer: 75 degrees F during the day if someone is home, 75-78 degrees F at night if someone is home, and 78-80 degrees F when no one is home.
  • Winter: 68 degrees F during the day if someone is home, 65-68 degrees F at night if someone is home, 62-65 degrees F when no one is home.

Not only will you save time with this efficient “set-it-and-forget-it” strategy, but you can lower your energy bills since the thermostat will automatically adjust itself when you’re away from home or sleeping. And with smartphone access, you can make adjustments on the fly in case you have to deviate from your normal schedule.

#2 Smart Light Bulbs

A smart light bulb is an Internet-capable LED light bulb that allows you to create a custom lighting schedule for your home that you can control remotely. Smart bulbs are one of the most immediately successful products in the home automation and Internet of Things (IoT) markets. Your savings with this technology will come in two specific ways:

  1. The LED technology employed with these light bulbs uses less energy to create the same amount of light as traditional incandescent bulbs, which can quickly lead to a lower energy bill.
  2. Depending upon how “smart” your lights are, you can create a schedule for your lights, turn them off remotely from your smartphone, or set them to turn off when they detect inactivity in a room after a given amount of time.

While your lighting might not use as much energy as your heating and cooling, smart light bulbs give you unprecedented access to controlling your lighting, helping you save on energy costs.

#3 Smart Power Strips

The average home has more electronics plugged in around the home than it used to even a decade ago. Contrary to what you might think, these devices still draw power from the outlet – even when they’re turned off. For example, that little red light on your television or your kid’s Playstation 4 means the device is using energy.

The concept is called “standby power,” though it’s also known as “vampire power” or “phantom load.” In order to respond to your remote control or smartphone, those devices have to stay on in some fashion. Which means, the more devices you have in your home remaining on standby power, the more energy you’re using, and the more money you’re wasting.

This is why we recommend a smart power strip. A traditional power strip typically has 6 to 10 outlets, but only a single switch you can flip to cut off the power. With a smart power strip, you can often control the power to individual outlets from an app on your smartphone. Now, you can turn off all your unnecessary devices at night, while ensuring mandatory-use devices like a Wi-Fi router always have power.

Will I Save Money with Smart Home Devices?

Yes, you will. While we can’t predict how much you’ll save, when you truly use smart home devices as intended, you will lower your energy usage, which can directly lead to lower energy bills.

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