Saving the planet is a noble goal, but who says you can’t put some cash back in your wallet at the same time? This selection of cutting edge gadgetry, curated by the team at specialist business energy comparison website Power Experts, will help drive down your energy usage, save you money and go some way towards making the world a little cleaner, one unused kilowatt at a time.
1. The Belkin Conserve Power Strip — $39.99
Surge suppressors allow you to shut off everything plugged into them at once, stopping phantom energy loads that cost you money. The Belkin Conserve makes this easier than ever. The Conserve is remote-controlled within a 45-foot range. It also includes two “always on” outlets, excellent for the cable box and other electronics that would reset every time they are shut off.
The benefit to choosing Belkin over similar products is that you can buy extra, remote-controlled peripheral switches. You could conceivably turn off every piece of unused electronics in your house with one or two clicks at night.
2. Smart Strip Power Strip — $34.95
When you power your computer off, odds are you don’t need your external hard drives, printers and other peripheral devices to remain on. The Smart Strip Power Strip is designed to recognise when you turn your computer off. It then shuts off power to your peripheral devices in turn, stopping their “standby mode” power sap.
3. The Nest Learning Thermostat — $250
Programmable thermostats are well-known energy savers, but the Nest is the cream of the crop. You can install Nest yourself in about half an hour. Once installed, Nest will ask you a series of questions that will help optimise its performance. After that, it only takes about a week of consistently altering the temperature when you leave the house, come home, go to bed and wake up for Nest to learn your schedule. It programs itself!
The best part about Nest is that it connects to your home WiFi network. You can turn the thermostat up or down from your smart phone no matter where you are. You can also view a detailed report of your energy usage and savings online.
4. Bracketron Stone GreenZERO Charger — $24.95
Cell phones and chargers are some of the biggest phantom energy load offenders. Once your phone is charged and even unplugged, the charger will continue to suck up energy. The Bracketron Stone GreenZERO Charger is designed to prevent that. The GreenZERO Charger shuts off the moment your device is done charging and is compatible with any USB-charging device.
5. Philips HUE LED Lightbulbs — $199.95
HUE’s features begin with basic design. According to National Geographic, LED bulbs can stand up to 17 years of rigorous use, save $80 more in their lifetime than compact fluorescents and $540 more than standard bulbs.
Energy savings are only the beginning. HUE can be programmed as an alarm clock, to mimic the colors in photos and can be turned off and on remotely via WiFi. The start pack includes three lights, the iOS controller app and a WiFi station for HUE.