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5 apps to help energy efficiency in your home

5 apps to help energy efficiency in your home
Image source: Getty Images

Thanks to the new energy price cap introduced by Ofgem, the UK energy market regulator, in September 2020, millions of UK households have been paying less for their electricity and gas for the last few months. Yet, using energy-saving mobile apps, it’s possible to improve your energy efficiency at home and reduce your bills even further.

What is energy efficiency?

In the simplest terms, it means using less energy to perform the same task.

For example, an LED light bulb is more energy-efficient than an old-style incandescent light bulb. An LED bulb uses less energy (almost 90% less) to produce the same amount of light. That’s energy efficiency in a nutshell.

Increasing energy efficiency is mostly about making small improvements, like replacing old appliances with newer models that are more efficient, or installing energy-saving components like thermostats and valves.

Luckily, we also have mobile technology to help us improve our energy efficiency at home.

What energy efficiency apps are out there?

There are actually a number of energy-saving apps available. We have selected a few we think are worth trying out to help you cut your energy costs and do your bit to save the planet.

1. JouleBug (Android and iOS)

The JouleBug app aims to make saving energy easy, fun and game-like. It’s basically a game that encourages participants to adopt sustainable practices, win points and rewards and share achievements via social media.

For example, you’ll win points and rewards for using LED light bulbs or turning off the light when you leave home.

On average, JouleBug estimates that it can save you close to £150 a year on your energy bills.

2. Energy Cost Calculator (Android and iOS)

This free app uses several equations to calculate the energy costs of devices in your home.

You simply enter the estimated number of hours a device has been in use and its energy consumption per hour (which should be indicated somewhere on the device). The app will calculate your total energy use and how much this is costing you per day, week, month and year. It will also show your total carbon emission per year.

Ultimately, this information can help you use your home equipment more efficiently. 

3. Smappee (Android and iOS)

Smappee aims to provide you with all the information you need to track your energy usage and understand the costs associated with this usage.

First, you’ll also need the Smappee Energy Monitor, which you’ll connect to your fuse box with a clip-on sensor. The Smappee device costs £229. Though it’s certainly not cheap, the cost should be cancelled out with time through energy savings.

The app itself is free. Once installed, you can use it to view and monitor how much energy is being used by every device in your home. The app will also help you project costs for the energy you are using. If you’re away, you can also use the app to control or adjust different energy elements back at home.

The makers of Smappee estimate that by using the app, you could make energy savings of up to 30%!

4. British Gas Smart App (Android and iOS)

This is an all-in-one energy app designed for British Gas customers. It helps you monitor your energy usage and get insight on which parts of your home are using the most energy.

And that’s not all. You can also use the app for other things like reporting leaks, viewing your statements and even paying your bills. In addition, you could earn some sweet rewards like concert tickets and restaurants deals through the app.

5. Green Outlet (iOS)

Green Outlet primarily helps users see which of their home appliances consume the most energy. You simply select your home appliances and the approximate number of hours that each is in use per day. The app will then show the ones that are using the most energy and estimate your monthly energy costs.

Armed with this knowledge, you can take steps to reduce energy consumption. The app is available for 69p on iTunes.

What else can I do?

If you’re looking for more useful tips on cutting down your energy costs, check out our articles on ways to save money on electricity and gas and how to reduce your fuel costs.

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