In partnership with AESP: The increasing roles of DERs, connected technology and Big Data are driving rapid change in energy efficiency. As we shape the Utility of the future, this community will help you keep up with the latest developments. 


Make Sure Your Smart Utility Sensors are Saving You Money

image credit:
Emily Newton's picture
Editor-In-Chief, Revolutionized Magazine

Emily Newton is the Editor-in-Chief at Revolutionized Magazine. She enjoys writing articles in the energy industry as well as other industrial sectors.

  • Member since 2020
  • 47 items added with 44,368 views
  • Apr 12, 2022

During the COVID-19 lockdown, residents recognized their utilities’ economic impacts. Many individuals invested in smart appliances to combat their rising energy costs. Autonomous utility sensors accumulate and distribute smart home data to residents’ smartphones.

Residents can use this information to adopt low-impact lifestyles and access smart home energy savings. Engineers and energy professionals identified ways individuals can ensure their smart sensors are saving them money. Making the most of one’s autonomous technology is more critical now than ever before.

Rising Global Utility Costs

Since Russia invaded Ukraine, global gas prices have increased. Russia is one of the largest oil and gas producers and distributors. Gas prices directly impact residential energy costs because most electricity comes from fossil fuels.

Wars, government policies, and natural disasters affect residential utility costs. The cost of water is also rising and adversely impacting individuals’ utility savings. Rising global temperatures from climate change increase the global evaporation rate.

Water displacement is influencing resource scarcity, which increases water prices. Smart utility sensors track and limit individuals’ resource exploitation. Residents can access financial savings when effectively utilizing autonomous technologies.

Some individuals believe installing smart devices automatically lowers your utility costs. While autonomous devices may impact individuals’ utility bills, they can optimize their savings by investing in the top systems. Engineers developed smart technologies to target lighting, temperature control, and water system efficiencies.

Smart Light Savings

Residential buildings consume nearly 59 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity annually from lighting. Conventional incandescent lights require significant amounts of power to function. Energy from lighting increases individuals’ monthly utility costs.

Smart lights use up to 9.5 watts of electricity, which is about 50 watts less than conventional lighting systems. Reducing systems’ energy reliance can minimize utility costs.

Ecological engineers are also combining technologies to decrease material and operation costs. Quebec uses smart streetlights as Wi-Fi hotspots and electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. Increasing smart light functions reduces material costs and preserves natural spaces.

Residents can additionally decrease lighting-related power costs by installing light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs in their smart systems. LED lights use about 75% less electricity compared to incandescent bulbs. They also last longer, helping individuals save money on bulbs over time.

Smart Thermostat Savings

Smart thermostats also help residents reduce their utility bills. Individuals’ cost savings depend on the type of thermostat they use and its settings. Researchers explored different settings’ effects on energy efficiency and utility costs.

Setting one’s smart thermostat between 65°F and 70°F can reduce its power consumption. Over time, efficiently set systems may reduce monthly energy prices. Individuals can also improve smart home energy savings by programming their thermostats to function on a set schedule.

Smart thermostat manufacturers like Nest and Ecobee claim their systems save residents about 23% on utility costs. They preprogram their thermostats to remain at 72°F. Residents can save even more on their energy bills by installing the right smart thermostat for their temperature control needs.

Before installing a smart thermostat, individuals should evaluate their HVAC unit type. Not all HVAC Units are compatible with smart thermostats, so it’s important to note if it can connect to wifi. Homeowners may also set reasonable energy efficiency goals and identify compatible technologies. Residents can read online reviews about customers’ utility cost savings after installing specific thermostats.

Smart Water Savings

Smart water systems also contribute to residents’ utility savings. Water heaters cost individuals about $438 annually. The systems rely on freshwater supplies and electricity.

Autonomous water systems can reduce energy waste by 40% on average. Increasing a water heater’s energy efficiency significantly lowers utility costs. The technology uses sensors to monitor individuals’ water usage and relay smart home data.

Energy professionals are using smart water utility sensors on a large scale to monitor city water supplies. Utility companies can save nearly $2 million on average, annually, by installing autonomous technologies.

Smart systems with the highest utility savings contain leak detectors, contamination indicators, and pipe corrosion data trackers. Utility companies and property owners may install autonomous systems with all available features to access the top cost benefits.

Smart Power Strip Savings

When individuals leave electronics plugged in overnight, they consume electricity. Engineers call these behind-the-scenes power draws “energy vampires.” Energy vampires can add nearly $200 to a resident’s utility costs each year.

Smart power strips may save enough electricity to support 11,000,000 residential properties. The technology restricts appliances’ power consumption based on various features. Residents’ cost savings depend on the type of power strip they invest in.

Smart power strips relying on timers produce lower cost savings. Activity-monitoring power strips have the highest cost savings. Individuals can connect their computers, TVs, lamps, and chargers to the smart system and access economic and environmental benefits.

Energy Audits for Smart Home Data

Before investing in smart home technologies, residents should receive an energy audit. When professionals conduct audits, they determine each room’s energy usage. They also evaluate the energy efficiency of home appliances.

Residents can use the assessment data to invest in compatible smart technologies. Individuals may also receive continuous assessments using a smart energy monitor. The technology connects to a home’s energy meter and collects smart home data.

Smart energy monitors divide their readings into real, reactive, and apparent power findings. Each sector independently impacts one’s utility prices. Residents can use their monitor readings to make lifestyle changes to consume less electricity and water.

Smart Home Energy Savings With Renewables

Individuals can save even more money by connecting their smart devices to renewable energy sources. Photovoltaic (PV) panels provide independent power directly to residential buildings. They also deliver the most cost-effective electricity supply on the market.

City planners are also evaluating the economic success of utility sensors and creating smart grids with renewable energy. Supporting smart appliances with renewable power decreases operational costs and increases the grid’s reliance. Cities may experience fewer outage-related economic losses by connecting autonomous technologies to solar panels and wind turbines.

Saving Money and the Environment

When residents install smart appliances, they can access economic and environmental benefits. Minimizing one’s energy reliance decreases greenhouse gas emissions. Shrinking a property’s carbon footprint also increases its value.

Adding smart electricity and water systems to one’s home additionally increases its compatibility with the decarbonized energy sector. Many countries are developing structural energy grid changes to combat adverse climate change effects. Smart technologies reduce future financial stress during the global transition to sustainable systems


No discussions yet. Start a discussion below.

Emily Newton's picture
Thank Emily for the Post!
Energy Central contributors share their experience and insights for the benefit of other Members (like you). Please show them your appreciation by leaving a comment, 'liking' this post, or following this Member.
More posts from this member

Get Published - Build a Following

The Energy Central Power Industry Network® is based on one core idea - power industry professionals helping each other and advancing the industry by sharing and learning from each other.

If you have an experience or insight to share or have learned something from a conference or seminar, your peers and colleagues on Energy Central want to hear about it. It's also easy to share a link to an article you've liked or an industry resource that you think would be helpful.

                 Learn more about posting on Energy Central »