Clever lightingDo you have smaller household bills in your sights? Then start by switching to LED (Light Emitting Diode) light bulb use around the home to instantly shave money off bills. LED light bulbs are thermally efficient and illuminate just as effectively, but with a fraction of the energy use. They are a little pricier to buy at first, but once the electricity bills start hitting the mailbox, you'll know it was worthwhile. Save even more by combining LED lighting with sensor technology that automatically triggers only when rooms are occupied.
Insulation InspirationSolutions such as cavity wall insulation, although not a new technology, still have a place in the quest for energy efficiency. Other areas where insulation should be addressed include windows. Loss of heat through poorly fitting, single pane windows carves holes in your energy saving plan. For a quick and attractive DIY fix, consider installing internal window shutters. Not only do they look stylish, they add an extra layer of insulation against cold and heat. With their adjustable slats, light and heat levels can be easily controlled, depending on weather conditions.
The high-tech but far more expensive answer would be to fit double-glazing filled with inert Argon gas. With 34% more thermal properties than air-filled glazing, Argon double-glazing shrinks bills, but it's one for those playing the long game – a big investment that will pay off over time.
Thermostat ThemeThe success of the Nest thermostat has enabled homeowners to get on top of their energy usage effectively. This high-tech smart thermostat learns the habits of those who live in the house it patrols. It notes when you sleep, when you rise, when power consumption shoots up and when it drops to almost zero. Using the information it gathers, it effectively micro-manages the energy use in the house for you – to a far greater degree than you ever did before.
Intelligent TechYou've probably heard mention of the 'Internet of Things', but perhaps not grasped what it was about. As tech advances, newly manufactured household products will have internet compatibility to make them more efficient and user friendly. A fridge that knows your diet and can tell you when food is about to exceed its sell-by date – how does that sound? What about a washing machine with greater capacity and lower power usage that is smart enough to turn itself on when electricity is at its lowest tariff? Powering up the oven on your commute with a mobile app or switching the TV on to keep the new puppy company – the internet of things will bring with it a whole new world of gadget and appliance management to make life simpler and more energy efficient.
Saving energy is a good thing, there's no denying it. Good for the earth, good for our pockets. So, it's great to learn about all the new and exciting technological developments coming along – who knew energy efficiency could be such fun?