Energy bills – they're on every homeowner's mind and everyone is looking to find a way to slash them, even only for a fraction. This is no surprise, especially when looking at today's energy prices. Homeowners have seen energy prices, both electric and gas, skyrocket in the past decade to record levels. In some areas of the country, the jump hovers around 30 percent, particularly in warmer areas of the country, where HVAC-related costs are higher than average. For instance, an average household in Maine has a monthly energy bill of $86, a household in New York spends about $111, while a Floridian family will spend approximately $132 every month on electric bills alone.
Luckily, your smartphone can help you control and even lower the amount of money you spend on energy bills. There are a lot of amazing apps which are designed for homeowners who want to know exactly what they spend, how much they spend and how to lower their bills. Let's take a look at some of the best ones:
This app is the easiest and definitely the most fun way to slash energy bills straight from your smartphone. It's a saving app, a game and a social experience platform, all neatly packed in a product that is free for both iPhone and Android devices. It's an app that helps you lower your carbon footprint, have a greener lifestyle and, what's more, you get rewarded for completing certain “green” tasks. These so-called challenges include turning the lights off, lowering the power setting on the refrigerator or putting the AC unit on sleep mode. The app will let you know exactly how much money each of these steps will save you and, thanks to its social features, you'll know how your friends do as well.
You can find out more about JouleBug here:
MyEarth was developed by a team of researchers at the School of Ecology, part of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and helps you keep track of your household's energy consumption. It covers your expenses on electricity, food, travel, recycling and other usage activities. The app comes with various tips and tricks to lower your electricity bills, recycling ideas and a guideline on how to have a smaller carbon footprint.
You can find MyEarth on iTunes and on Google Play:
This app works by connecting to home automation devices (Nest, Chamberlain or Philips) and lets you control door locks, lights, surveillance cameras, thermostats and your AC unit. Wink also has an alert feature which informs you when the heat is off or if there are any intruders in your home.
Learn more about Wink here:
This energy monitoring system uses Bluetooth and multiple sensors to control your home's air conditioning unit. It monitors the overall air quality, temperature, air pressure, humidity, but also the water and electricity consumption. The system comes with its own free app, the Eve iOS, but the system can also be controlled via Apple's Siri personal assistant.
Here is more about Elgato Eve:
Total Connect Comfort
This app was created by Honeywell International Inc. and allows homeowners to control and monitor the AC unit straight from your smartphone. It works together with every wi-fi thermostat produced by the company, but also with other devices on the market, including the Prestige and the Wireless FocusPRO. The app lets you view and set the indoor temperature for every room, change heating settings, view a 5-day weather forecast, change humidifier settings and much more.
Learn more about Total Connect Comfort here:
Nest works together with your Nest Home Automation System and is available for both iOS and Android devices. You can connect remotely with the Nest Learning Thermostat or the Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide monitors to adjust settings or receive notifications. Nest also lets you know how much electricity your home appliances and AC units use, making it a great app to lower energy bills.
Here you can find out more about Nest:
This app looks absolutely fantastic and does what it says – it's a powerful free tool to cut down energy costs straight from your smartphone. It has a crisp, easy-to-use template, simple graphics and shows you the energy usage in multiple ways (graph, chart or list). You can take a note on energy usage highs and lows, but you also get plenty of tricks on how to save energy in your home.
More information on Kill-Ur-Watts can be found here: