As the "Big Six" energy companies show few signs of freezing prices, households across the UK are being forced to brace themselves for a seemingly never-ending stream of gas and electricity price hikes. And while the Government has pledged to combat the energy behemoths with intervention and regulation, the general public has little faith that anything will be resolved anytime soon. It's becoming increasingly difficult to reduce your energy bills and lower consumption through traditional methods. It's either go cold or stump up. However, there is a way you can take matters into your own hands - through Smart Home technology.
What is Smart Home technology?
A Smart Home is a residence – commercial or domestic – that consumes less energy while producing the same level – or required level - of output as a standard home. Smart Homes also feature appliances and products that allow you to monitor heating and electricity-use remotely. Many Smart Home systems are automated too - so the energy within your home is only consumed when it's actually being used, for example an automated lighting system with sensors. Turning your home into a Smart Home will save you hundreds – and potentially thousands – every year. Once you've installed smart technology software or appliances, you'll begin to see the benefits on your energy bills. We'll now look into a few of the big savers that'll make a huge difference to your bills instantly.
How can I reduce my heating bill?
Energenie radiator valves
Wasted heating is a massive energy-consumer and can really rack-up the £s on your energy bills. Much waste comes from needlessly leaving the heating on, or by allowing more time than is necessary for the heating to take an effect. Energenie radiator valves let you control your heating remotely and from anywhere in the world via a hand-held device and can lead to realistic energy savings on your heating bill of 25% for commercial and domestic-use alike. The remote Energenie Electronic Thermostatic Radiator Valves allow you to:
- Set the radiator valve to come on at a certain time.
- Add daily timers that are set around your lifestyle.
- Forget about maintenance: the valves automatically perform weekly maintenance cycles to prevent seizure and disrepair.
- Save up to 25% on your heating bills.
- Self-install: Energenie valves can be quickly installed on existing and new heating systems.
Browse Energenie thermostatic valves here
These days most heating thermostats are programmable – so you can input your desired level of heat while you're in, or programme it to switch on at a specified time. A lot of people find this a bit of a hassle though – mainly because it's often a complex process and one you have to monitor constantly to get anything close to an optimal setting tailored to you. A Nest Thermostat
makes this all a lot easier and the best bit is it's completely automated. A Nest thermostat will learn what temperature you like and when you like it, being completely automated in its approach, so it even knows to turn the heating down or completely off when you're away.
How does the Nest Thermostat work?
It's really easy. All you need to do is manually adjust the Nest Thermostat to the temperatures you like for the first few days of having it installed. This will allow the thermostat to understand your heating preferences and it will programme itself to adapt accordingly. After this, Nest will adjust automatically. It'll turn itself down when it knows you're away to save consumption, and it'll even take external weather conditions into consideration. If it gets warmer outside, Nest will knock it down a notch. If it gets cooler, Nest will turn up the heat. And you don't have to do a thing. The Nest Thermostat is designed to save energy, which is why it's been made to show users how they can save even more energy. Every time you adjust the thermostat, you'll see a Nest Leaf symbol appear - which signifies energy-conscious heating use. Over time, it becomes harder for you to attain a 'Nest Leaf' symbol, encouraging longer-term temperature regulation and greater awareness. The benefits of a Nest Thermostat are, in summary:
- Automatically adjusts to your personal needs and even external weather conditions.
- Encourages long-term energy-regulation through the "Nest Leaf" symbol.
- Saves between 8.4% to 16.5% on your heating bills against traditional thermostats.
Please note: A Nest thermostat will need to be installed by a qualified electrician.
How can I reduce my electricity bill?
The quickest and most effective method of reducing your electricity bills is through the installation of LED lighting. LED lighting uses 90% less energy than traditional lighting methods, leading to savings of literally hundreds of pounds a year on lighting alone. See an example of how much a typical household could save below:
||Old Energy Consumption (per bulb)
||New Energy Consumption
|Standard candle bulbs
|Energy saving bulbs
|Total energy consumption
||£412 (per year)
LED lighting technology is getting smarter too, thanks to innovations such as Phillips Hue LED lighting.
What is Phillips Hue lighting?
Through Phillips Hue LED lighting you can remotely manage your lighting needs in a variety of ways to give you greater control, while also allowing you to easily reduce energy-use even further – all from the palm of your hand too. Your entire lighting operates through one single area – the Phillips Hue Bridge System. When this is set up (installation is really easy) you can control up to 50 bulbs from your mobile phone or tablet device. When you've downloaded the intuitive Phillips Hue app, you can:
- Control your entire lighting set-up from your mobile phone or tablet device.
- Dim your lights remotely.
- Set an adjustable ambience depending on the mood you wish to set.
- Choose from 16 million colour temperatures – ideal for entertaining friends and family.
- Add up to 50 bulbs to your system, so you can control them all from one area and remotely.
- Set-up motion sensor technology – lights will only come on when someone is in the room to save even more money on your energy bills.
Discover more about the Philips Hue smart lighting system here