Energy-efficiency, smart homes, eco-friendly lifestyle. Going green is en vogue and good for the planet and the wallet. Going green can save…green. How, though, do homeowners keep track of their energy use? Energy management systems could be a solution!
An energy efficiency management system can help homeowners track their energy use. Knowing their usage data might help them make changes to cut their waste and maybe even save some money in the process. Energy management systems might be readily used in commercial buildings, but homeowners can use them, too.
Those who want to track their energy data easily might do so with the Internet of Things, also known as IoT. However, even utility bills might give homeowners their monthly data, and using that info homeowners may be able to create their own energy efficient management system.
Internet of Things
Tracking energy data might be easy if homeowners are plugged into smart plugs and power strips. These items can be tracked and maybe even controlled via handheld devices like phones or tablets. The site Android Central has a round-up of the best smart plugs for tracking energy!
Many appliances can now even sync up to devices. This could give homeowners more options to control the use of the appliances and maybe track energy, too. Every product, though, might provide different info via apps.
One of the biggest benefits of syncing devices and appliances to phones or tablets is that homeowners can control these items from anywhere. Turn off a plug or power strip remotely! Homeowners can breathe a little easier because the control is literally in their hands.
Even HVAC units can be controlled via the phone! Homeowners can adjust the temperature remotely to ensure that there is less energy waste. This is a huge benefit, as the HVAC accounts for nearly half of the home’s monthly energy use!
Energy Monitoring Apps
Homeowners looking for other ways to track energy consumption need to look no further than their phones—whether Android, Apple or Windows. Apps may differ in what they track and how, but there are many choices available. Some apps need to sync with your utility account, and not all homeowners might be comfortable with providing this information.
Android users also can download the Energy Consumption Analyzer app via Google Play. Users will need to enter meter data (gas, electricity and water) to analyze usage and from there “…the application calculates the average normalized rate of consumption per hour, day, week, or month (between two readings) and draws a graph showing the consumption rate over time.”
One of the easiest ways to track energy usage is through the homeowner’s utility providers! Many offer free apps for download. Depending on the provider, users may be able to see a breakdown of energy use. Some providers, though, only provide info related to making payments or other customer service related functions.
Create a DIY System
Apps can be helpful to track energy use, and some appliances and smart plugs and power strips may provide their own apps to track this data. Utility providers also could provide apps that show usage, too. But not all homeowners want to embrace the app world…and some might not feel tech savvy.
Homeowners can create their own energy efficient management system. All it takes is a little creativity and a few recent utility bills. Homeowners can use spreadsheets or just plain paper to track monthly use. They can create grids or layouts that show each month’s energy consumption and associated cost. While tracking by day might be a bit trickier (and would entail looking at the meters daily!), homeowners who are really dedicated to tracking their use could opt for a daily spreadsheet.
Looking at the data, homeowners can then decide if they want to make cuts in their use. It might take a few months of data tracking to find patterns. And in really extreme cold or hot months, it isn’t uncommon for energy use to spike thanks to a very busy air conditioner or furnace.
Home Energy Audits
If homeowners notice that their energy bills are simply engulfing the budget, it might be time to find ways to cut costs…and wasted energy. Conducting a home energy audit can help homeowners find energy drains and, hopefully, slim down the monthly costs.
Homeowners can conduct their own audit by going to each room to check outlets for unused appliances/gadgets. In the bathrooms, homeowners also will need to look for leaky faucets and pipes (water waste!). Windows also could be a source of drafts or energy loss (heat or cold air escaping). Homeowners also could hire a pro to conduct the audit for them.
Downloading HomeSelfe also can help homeowners conduct their DIY home energy audit. Homeowners will need to take a picture of each room and enter data related to energy use. The app will then highlight any energy drains. Homeowners also can use HomeSelfe to find rebates!
Creating an energy efficient management system and conducting a home energy audit can help homeowners take control of their energy use and find ways to cut costs and zap energy drains. Apps and spreadsheets can provide a look at all the numbers that can help homeowners embrace a green lifestyle…and save some green, too!