Top 5 Energy Efficiency Smartphone Apps
Energy cost is one of the biggest monthly expenses for American households. The first step to lower monthly bills is measuring energy consumption – but in the season of food, family and festivals, who has the time to track how long the lights are on?
Save energy without wasting time by using smartphone apps that not only monitor your energy use, but also help you shop for energy-efficient products and power off your appliances. It’s energy efficiency at your fingertips!
1. One-Stop Lighting Shop
Holiday shopping for energy-efficient lighting? The Light Bulb Finder helps you browse for the best light bulbs to fit your fixtures and preferences. It also places your order, and calculates savings and payback period from replacing your current light bulbs.
2. Improve Fuel Efficiency
Did you know that speeding, rapid acceleration and rapid braking can reduce your gas mileage by one-third? To become a more fuel-efficient driver, install greenMeter and position it as you would a GPS. The app’s sensors record your speed and changes in acceleration to tell you if you are driving efficiently.
- Download greenMeter from Apple.
3. Slay the Vampire
- Download the iGo Vampire Calculator from Apple.
4. Make Your Smartphone Even Smarter
Cut down on how often you need to charge your phone with iamgreen’s Battery Saver. This app gives you one screen from which you can adjust many battery-draining settings, such as unnecessarily bright screens and unneeded Wi-Fi. It also includes an energy quiz, offers tips on saving energy and plants a tree with each purchase.
- Download the iamgreen Battery Saver for Blackberry and Android.
5. Coming Soon: Show Off Your Energy-Efficient Profile on Facebook
OPower and the Natural Resources Defense Council are working to launch a Facebook app designed to stir online conversation about energy use. With this social energy app, Facebook friends compete to use less energy and hold each other accountable for their energy consumption goals.
- Be the first in line for the social energy app by signing up for an alert for when it launches.
Other Apps: Make Your Phone a Remote Control
Some manufacturers offer energy-efficient equipment that comes with smartphone apps. Together, these apps and related devices can turn your phone into an energy-saving remote control:
Apps for Thermostats
- Nest is a popular smart thermostat that has excellent video instructions on how to install it and control temperature. If you have a Nest thermostat, download the Nest app from Apple.
- Like Nest, Ecobee thermostats come with an app that lets you control your home’s temperature from your phone. If you have an Ecobee thermostat, download the app from Apple or Android.
Apps for Power Strips
- Smart power strips from UFO Power Center tell you the real-time energy cost of the devices plugged into each of them and allow you to turn off the power strips from your phone. Download the Energy UFO Plus app from Apple.
- EnergyHub offers power strips and sockets that turn off connected devices from your phone. Download the EnergyHub app from Apple or Android.
Apps for a Variety of Appliances
- General Electric’s Nucleus system estimates real-time electricity rates and energy use to tell you how much you are spending on electricity from moment to moment. Nucleus is designed for homes with smart meters but can be modified to work without them. If Nucleus is operating in your home’s Wi-Fi network, download the GE Nucleus app from Apple.
- The Control4 home automation system comes with an app to dim lights, turn off your TV and program the thermostat. Hotel for the holiday? If your hotel is equipped with Control4, you can control your room’s appliances, housekeeping and dining options from your phone. Download the Control4 home app and the Control4 hotel app from the Apple. Control 4 will be available on Android soon.
Images and videos courtesy of Eco Hatchery (Light Bulb Finder), Apple App Store (greenMeter), Nest and UFO Power Center.
Alliance Communications Intern Sumayal Shrestha was a major contributor to this article.