One of the major challenges every homeowner faces is how to reduce their utility bills. According to ENERGY STAR®, the average household in the U.S. spends at least $2,000 a year on utility bills (1). This accounts for about 7% of the average homeowner’s income (2).
If you’re one of these homeowners, you might want to invest in some of the following energy-saving gadgets for the home to help lower your utility bills.
Algae powered lamps are the brainchild of French biochemist Pierre Calleja. Heand his team designed an environmentally-friendly lamp that uses algae, which emits the light inside the lamp.
In a filmed TED talk he gave in Switzerland in 2013, Calleja, says
The light that goes through that lamp is very special. It is a very soft light because it goes through a live animal
This lamp uses energy generated through photosynthesis, the process through which plants manufacture their own food, to produce light, while the algae live off the carbon dioxide absorbed (3).
Algae lamps can store this energy for later use, so if you transport the lamp to a dark area, it glows without the need for an external source of power. That means you save the money you would otherwise use on electricity.
An energy monitor is a device that helps you track the energy usage in your home. One good example is the Google Nest Learning Thermostat. It connects to your electricity meter to show you how much energy your household consumes. It also provides information about how you can improve your home’s energy efficiency.
Home energy monitors come with a range of features, from identifying the energy consumption of individual appliances to generating personalized insights for energy efficiency.
These devices may seem expensive at prices above $400, but they can save up to 30% of energy costs when used correctly. That translates to at least $34 savings per month, based on the average monthly energy bill in the U.S. of $114 (4).
Generating your own electricity is an excellent way of reducing your energy bills. While solar energy is perhaps the most popular option among eco-friendly energy sources, wind power is an ideal solution if you live in a region with reliable wind speeds.
Whether you live in a rural area with no access to an electric grid or you live in a suburb and want to lower your utility bills, home wind turbine generators are an excellent energy source. But make sure you do your due diligence before purchasing, as some are not suitable for home applications.
All you need is some knowledge, some land, and a high-capacity battery bank (5). For about $800, you can invest in a mid-range wind turbine that can sufficiently meet your energy needs.
In 2007, Japan released a water-powered battery known as the NoPoPo, short for No Pollution Power (6). While this energy-saving gadget resembles a typical AA battery, you must fill it with tap water before use.
Simply suck the water up with a syringe and then squeeze it into the gadget. Once filled, you can use the gadget to power a device like any other AA battery.
Besides being exceptionally convenient, the NoPoPo batteries are also eco-friendly, with 100% non-toxic substances and 10-year shelf life. However, these batteries produce a low current that is only suitable for powering small devices like flashlights, radios, and remote controls.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, standby power (phantom load) consume up to 75% of the electricity used to power household appliances. Phantom load refers to devices that aren’t in active use but remain plugged into the power outlet or surge protector.
If you have appliances and devices that must always be plugged in, consider investing in smart power strips and energy-efficient surge protectors. When you switch off the main outlet, these devices will automatically turn off all the devices that are plugged in.
If you counted up all the gadgets you have around your home, you might be surprised just how many things you have plugged in. Unplugging them is one step to reduce your power consumption, and and is going cordless. No more messy wires trailing around behind you as you work.
The cordless electric power tools market is booming with a predicted global market revenue of $23 billion (6). But it’s not confined to power tools, you can also get cordless vacuum cleaners, headphones, speakers and many other tech items around your home. In the UK, GTech are exclusively creating cordless electric tools and they are making big waves there with lots of buzz online with people talking about their latest gadgets.
Electricity bills often take up the largest chunk of household utility costs. Fortunately, there are many ways homeowners can lower their energy costs, including investing in energy-saving gadgets and appliances.
If you’re looking for simple ways to cut your energy costs, give one of the devices above – algae powered lamps, home energy monitors, wind turbine generators, water-powered batteries, or energy-efficient outlets and surge protectors – a try.
Dara Brant is the Managing Editor at Green Building Elements. Prior to joining us she covered alternative energy news and local developments at Your Energy Blog. Dara has a passion for sustainable living and wants to do more than her fair share to help build a better tomorrow for future generations. You can connect with Dara on LinkedIn.
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