6 ways a smart home can save you energy
Saving energy is good for the planet. And saving energy can save you money, so it’s good for your pocket too. Here’s how to start saving with a smart home…
According to Ofgem, the energy regulator for Great Britain, as of 1 April 2022 the average duel fuel variable tariff costs £1970.57 a year, or £164.22 a month 1. This is based on 2.4 people living in it, using 2,900 kWh of electricity and 12,000 kWh of gas. Your actual bill could be higher or lower than the average, depending on how much you use. Our average energy bill guide helps you understand how your usage compares.
Cutting your energy use can cut your bills, and smart home technology can help you do just that. Check out these smart home gadgets to get you started.
1. Take control of your heating with a smart thermostat
Whether you’re home or on the go, a smart thermostat lets you control your heating with your smartphone or tablet. And Hive Thermostat is one of the UK’s favourite. It works with your existing heating system and can save you up to £110 per year. Choose between our best-selling Hive Thermostat, or our more affordable Hive Thermostat Mini.
If you forget to switch your heating off before you go out, or you’re going to be home later than planned, just tap the app to turn it off. No more energy or money wasted on heating an empty home. And you can set your own schedule so the heating’s only on when you want it to be. It’s super handy too. All comfy on the sofa, but feeling a bit chilly? Just tap the app to boost your heating without even pressing pause on your boxset!
2. Turn your heating down by just one single degree
According to the experts at the Energy Savings Trust, turning down your thermostat by just one degree can generate big savings – typically about 10% on your energy bill. Now imagine if this happened in every home across the country – that could save a whopping £670 million, as well as 3.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, per year 2 It doesn’t mean freezing your way through winter though – just go for the lowest comfortable temperature, which is typically between 18 and 22 degrees.
For an even smarter way to save, try Hive Heating Plus. This allows you to monitor your energy usage 24/7, so you can spot quick ways to save. You can set budgets and make sure you stay within them – and lower your carbon footprint too. Using the tips and insights of Hive Heating Plus could save you an extra £40 during the cold months.
3. Control the temperature of every room individually with TRVs
With Thermostatic Radiator Valves you can have exactly the temperature you want in every room – so no more shivering your way through the crossword in one room while someone else is sweating it out on an online Zumba class in another. They’re super easy to fit, and a quick tap on the app lets you set the temperature room by room.
You save energy and money by only heating the space you’re using. Teen off to uni? Switch their radiator off during term time while the rest of the house stays cosy. All gathered in the living room for movie night? Not only can you turn off the radiators in the rest of the house, you can also set them to come on 10 minutes before the movie ends so everyone’s toasty when they go to bed.
4. Swap out your regular light bulbs for smart ones
Traditional light bulbs were invented over a century ago and were extremely inefficient, only converting about 5% of the electricity they use into visible light. The technology has come on leaps and bounds since then, and today’s LED lights could reduce your carbon emissions by 40kg per year 3 – that’s more than a car emits by driving from London to Cardiff 4!
Going for smart LED lights can help you save even more energy and money. Popped upstairs to grab something and got distracted? A quick tap of the app turns off the living room light without traipsing downstairs again. You can set schedules remotely too, as well as turning them on and off and adjusting the colour or brightness.
5. Install a smart meter to monitor your energy usage
You know roughly how much energy you use each month, but do you know what that breaks down to each day? With a smart meter, you can keep an eye on your energy usage – and cost – in pretty much real time. Armed with that info, you can see where you’re spending – and where you can save. That could be by running your washing machine at a time when the tariff’s lower, or taking shorter showers to save water and energy. You can even set a budget, and check if you’re on track to stay within it, which will help you change your habits and lower your bills.
6. Get out of the standby habit with smart plugs
According to the Energy Savings Trust, you can save about £35 per year 5 by not leaving your appliances in standby mode when you’re not using them. Most can be switched off at the wall without issue (although check your satellite or digital TV recorder instructions, they may need to be left on to keep track of what you want to record).
But if it’s a faff to reach the plug each night, standby mode is often the much easier option. The Hive Plug allows you to switch appliances off at the wall with just a quick tap of the app – no more contortions to the back of the cupboard or behind the sofa to get to it!