Maybe you’ve heard about smart technology becoming more common — smart thermostats, smart ovens, smart washers and dryers — but do they really save you on energy costs? Learn how home automation can not only make your life more convenient but also help you save on your utility bill.
First Things First: The Cost of Home Automation
Sure, it’s nice to have the ability to ensure the doors are locked when you’re already three hours down the road and into your vacation. And, of course, having the living room lights automatically come on when you’re on your way home from a late night at work and a block from the house is certainly convenient, too. But, unfortunately, these luxuries don’t come without a price. In fact, HomeAdvisor suggests that the typical range of costs to install a home automation system is between $454 and $2,014, with the national average being $1,209. Many manufacturers attempt to make up for those charges by touting that their smart technology can save you money on energy costs in the long run, but is that true?
The Good News: Smart Home Energy Savings Are Real
Although home automation does require an initial investment, we — and a ton of other consumers — think it’s a wise one. Having a thermostat that automatically adjusts when you leave the house and a smart shower head that conserves water, for example, can equal money savings. Granted, locking your doors remotely doesn’t save you money on your electric bill. But don’t cut your losses yet — many insurance companies are offering discounts of up to 20 percent for automated systems that include that security feature, as well as other features such as smoke, flood, and carbon monoxide detectors.
Ready to Get Started?
Here are some smart home automation cost-saving ideas for home energy efficiency:
- Smart Thermostats: What’s better than a thermostat that can learn your habits and tell when you’re away? A thermostat that also shares its knowledge with you, so you can make further changes to your habits — saving you even more money. This smart technology has been proven to save consumers an estimated $131–$145 each year.
- Smart Sensors: The second highest category of energy use in the home is lighting, and, according to the International Dark-Sky Association, about one-third of that usage may be unnecessary. The solution? Occupancy sensors. With the improved use of optics, these sensors can tell when a space is unoccupied and ensure all the lights are turned off.
- Smart Power Strips: Like the lighting occupancy sensors, smart power strips are equipped with the ability to detect if you’ve left a room and turn off all those “energy vampire” devices, such as the cable box and video game consoles. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimates that these smart strips can save you $200 a year.
- Smart Water Systems: Smart shower heads and touchless faucets certainly help to cut down on water expenses. But have you thought about your outdoor usage, too? According to the Environmental Protection Agency, nearly one-third of your water consumption is outdoors, and about 50 percent of it is wasted. Cut down on all that wasted water with a smart irrigation system.
Wondering if there’s protection for smart-home appliance investments? See what’s covered with an American Home Shield Home Warranty.