Smart Home Energy Savers – Guest Post

This is a partnered guest post.

The average home spends approximately $1,900 per year on utility bills, and most of it is wasted. But did you know you can improve your home’s energy efficiency with smart home technology? Otherwise known as home automation, these systems are becoming standard in homes for their energy efficiency and cost savings benefits. The convenience and comfort factors are pretty nice too.


Programmable Thermostats

Heating and cooling costs account for 43% of the average home’s energy use. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, programmable thermostats save money. By programming thermostats to even one degree warmer while you sleep over an 8-hour period, you can cut your energy bill by 10%. Do this automatically when you’re away from home and the savings increase.


Programmable thermostats work a variety of ways like adjusting the temperature based on time of day, change settings to conserve when you leave the house and even make adjustments remotely via smartphone before returning home.


Lighting Controls

Lighting usage consumes about 11% of your home’s electrical use. By using new lighting technology, you can reduce this by 50-75%. Advancements in lighting reduce the amount and wattage used, therefore, saving money. Automated dimmers reduce lighting to the levels you need for specific tasks such as higher for cooking and lower for watching TV. You’ll never use more than you need. By simply dimming lights by 25%, you can reduce energy used by those lights by up to 20%.


Motion sensor automated lights are great for families with children. They come on when you enter a room and turn off after the room has been vacant for a set time. These lights come in handy in kid’s rooms, family rooms and laundry rooms, and keep you from running behind your kids (or spouse) turning off lights.


Outdoor lighting used for decoration or security can be controlled through a whole-house system or can be as efficient as using solar powered path lights and motion sensor lighting. Landscape lighting can be automated to come on at dusk and off at dawn.

Motorized Shade Controls

Another innovation of the Smart Home are motorized drapes and shade controls. Shade control helps maximize your natural light, reducing electrical costs. It can also be used to reduce cooling and heating costs by using natural heat to warm your home during the winter, and barrier cooling in the summer.


Smart Power Strips

Phantom power, the wasted energy used by plugged-in, but turned-off electronics, still draws between 1-10 watts each. Phantom power can account for 5-10% of your home’s energy use. A smart strip works by “sensing” the power-down of attached electronics. Some strips can turn off several devices on your entertainment system when the TV is turned off. Other strips can turn off outlets when the room is unoccupied for a predetermined amount of time.


Outdoor System Control

Outdoor systems like automatic sprinklers and pool and spa pumps can all be further automated for greater efficiency. Program sprinklers to conserve water and put high wattage consumers like pool and spa pumps, air conditioners and water heaters on load control modules to manage power consumption.


Stand-Alone or Integrated?

The best thing about smart home technology is that it can be integrated together and controlled from a touch screen or remotely via the Internet. The energy and cost savings will truly begin to add up when these systems interact together.


Security, energy efficiency and lower prices are behind home automation’s increasing popularity. Homeowners are integrating smart devices with home security systems and new home builders are offering security and energy management packages.


As with most technology, both ends of the spectrum are available. There are high end, elaborate integrated systems and standalone devices or simple DIY systems and everything in between. It all depends on the level of control you want, and your budget.



High end sophisticated systems can be thousands of dollars, but often include “the works” like home theater, whole house audio and other in-home communication and convenience systems. Mid-range systems have become very affordable and can include thermostat, lighting control and security starting around $1,000. Basic DIY systems can be as low as $100 and may require a bit of tech know-how.


Take a look around; are there areas in your home that could benefit from energy efficient smart home technology? The best way to get exactly what you want and to make sure it works properly is to consult a home automation specialist.


The money you spend up front will be returned through energy savings and increased home value. You’ll also have greater peace of mind while doing your part to decrease your home’s carbon footprint.


Madison Parker is a security expert whose interests in teaching people proper methods for home and personal security led to the creation of You can get more tips and advice on her blog here!


I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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  1. We have a programmable thermostat.

  2. What great tips on saving energy! Thank you!

  3. I want to look into that smart strip! And I’ve had programmable thermostats. Those really do make a difference!

  4. I’ve never heard of smart power strips. Sounds like a must have!

  5. I wish we had the dimmers.

  6. I think that one of the reasons behind the popularity of smart homes is availability of plenty of mobile apps for controlling and monitoring energy wastage in homes. Also, many energy conservation companies are now offering smart meters for energy use monitoring.

  7. We have a programmable thermostat, and love it.