The smart-home tech market has convenience covered — but that’s the easy part. It’s time to focus on which products are going to keep your energy bill down and your savings up.

In this weekly column, hosts Brandon Doyle, Doyle Real Estate Team with RE/MAX Results, and Colton Pratt, project manager, walk through smart-home products and showcase their capabilities while reviewing pros and cons. 

From smart plugs and video doorbells, to voice assistants and smart alarm systems, it seems the smart-home tech market has convenience covered — but that’s the easy part. Now that we have a seemingly endless lot of smart-home technology to choose from, it’s time to focus on which products are going to keep cash in your pockets. Watch the video above to find out which products work best for keeping the energy bill down.

1. Smart thermostats

The majority of household energy usage is related to heating and cooling, and there’s no reason to keep your home at your preferred temperature if you’re not there to enjoy it. Adding a smart thermostat is estimated to save between 10-20 percent annually. Ecobee and other smart thermostats use a geofence around your home to tell when family members are away. Be sure to check for rebates from your local utility company or deals on smart thermostats.

Our pick: Ecobee

2. Smart plugs

As we mentioned in Episode 8, smart plugs can help stop energy vampires such as TVs and DVRs, which suck nearly as much energy when they’re off or in standby mode as they do when they are on. Another big source of energy consumption is computers.

Our pick: Amazon Smart Plug

3. Sense energy monitor

This monitor is installed right in your main electrical box and can identify energy consumption of appliances in your home. It connects to your phone app anywhere in the world via your home’s Wi-Fi and internet connection. Two clamps with sensors are placed around the main wires coming into the home, and a breaker is added to power the device. If you’re not comfortable opening your electrical box, I would recommend having a licensed electrician assist with the installation.

A big benefit of monitoring household energy usage is to create awareness that encourages users to turn off devices that aren’t in use. You can set goals right in the app and compare your home to other users with similar households. You can also receive alerts when devices have been left on or are malfunctioning.

Our pick: Sense Energy Monitor

4. LED Bulbs

Simply switching out your old light bulbs for energy efficient LED lights will get you a great bang for your buck. Most bulbs sold in stores now use 75 percent less energy and last 25 times longer than incandescent lighting

Our pick: Phillips LED bulbs

Brandon Doyle is a Realtor at Doyle Real Estate Team — Re/Max Results in Minneapolis and co-author of  Mindset, Methods & Metrics – Winning as a Modern Real Estate Agent. You can follow him on Twitter.

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