Top 10 Energy Saving Devices to Help Lower your Bills
Welcome to our roundup of the best electricity gadgets and energy-saving devices in Ireland. Encouraging energy-efficient habits in your household will certainly bring your electricity bills and gas bills down, and these cool home electronic gadgets not only look stylish but will also help you save some cash in the long run.
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Electricity Usage Monitor or Owl Monitor
Electricity monitors work with Nightsaver tariffs but not all are suitable for homes with solar PV (photovoltaic) panels installed. The real benefit of energy-efficient home electricity monitors is that by plugging appliances in or out or simply keeping an eye on the monitor when the dishwasher or dryer is on, you can get a more accurate idea of where the majority of your energy bill spend is coming from. Meaning that though this in itself is not directly an energy-saving device, you can get a feel for what household products are costing you the most to use, and make appropriate changes to cut back on these costs.
Below are some of the most highly rated electricity monitors which you can review:
- Efergy Engage Hub
Efergy Engage Hub, once known as the Owl Electricity Monitor, was one of the market leaders when it comes to wireless home energy monitors, and for good reason. This product has since been replaced by the Efergy Elite Energy Monitor, however, the core role purposes and abilities remain the same.
The monitor features an easy-to-read at-a-glance LCD and the information displayed includes real-time and all-time energy consumption, carbon emissions, and average consumption.
It works within a maximum range of 30m from the electricity meter and refreshes every 12 seconds to give you the most up-to-date information. It also has applications on both Android and Apple stores, allowing customers to monitor their usage on the go. Prices start from €99.09.
- Geo Minim Energy Monitor
Featuring a snazzy black back-lit LCD, the Geo Minim has been beautifully designed and is easy to use. It has also received the prestigious Which? Best Buy Award.
Its attractive LCD shows current and past energy consumption, carbon emissions, and even room temperature. The Geo Minim is fast becoming one of the more popular energy monitors on the market.
Like the Efergy Engage Hub, it also has a range of up to 30m distance from the electricity meter. Prices start from €110.00.
- Loop Energy Saver Monitor/Loop App
Unlike the previous monitors, the loop energy saver monitor had two different models for monitoring gas and electricity consumption.
In contrast with other monitors, the Loop Energy Saver Monitors don’t come with a display, instead offering a free online service and app to monitor your energy usage, as well as a free lifetime subscription to the Loop Energy Saver Service.
It appears, however, that this product may have been discontinued, and instead, Loop encourages consumers to download their app called Loop Energy, which is available on both Android and Apple stores.
This app fulfils much the same purpose as their original monitor device but allows for a much greater degree of interaction, and a wider array of available facilities. With the widespread use of smart meters, this app has the capability of connecting to your meter directly, and passing you the data directly, saving any form of physical installation or electricity gadget near your meter. Loop additionally claims that users of their Loop App can cut down on their energy consumption by up to 10%!
- Eco Eye Smart PV Energy Monitor
Unlike the previous monitors, the Eco Eye Smart PV Energy Monitor is specifically designed to work with Solar PV panels. It displays electricity (both electricity used and generated), and can also tell you the current import or export value of either electricity being drawn from the grid or fed back to it.
Rated 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon, its design may not be as eye-catching as the Geo Minim or Efergy monitors, but customers seem to be very satisfied with it, despite the higher price tag of €115.00.
The Eco Eye Smart PV Energy Monitor also seems to have joined with the Owl Monitor recently in transferring their device availability to Efergy, however this time in the form of their Efergy Engage Hub. This hub comes in at a slightly cheaper price of €110.65.
Likewise, the Efergy Engage Hub offers its services via its dedicated app system rather than a tablet-like device or monitor, which through doing so allows you greater accessibility, while cutting down on the cost of their package. Their app is called Efergy Engage and is available on both Apple and Android stores. Currently, however, this has been rated at a meagre 1.9 out of 5 by their Apple users, showing room for improvement on this platform.
Some energy suppliers partner with companies that produce smart thermostats and energy monitoring devices. For example, SSE-Airtricity and Electric-Ireland are in partnership with Climote and offer the Climote Thermostat as part of their deal.
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- Efergy Engage Hub
Breville HotCup Hot Water Dispenser
This glossy hot water dispenser looks like a premium coffee maker, and with an 8.3 out of 10 rating on the Currys website and over 23 customer reviews, it certainly seems to provide a premium service. It has a fast-boil 3kW element, produces boiling water within just a few seconds, and will dispense up to five cups without needing to be refilled, ensuring you only boil the water you need.
Boiling a full kettle up to five times when you’re busy or distracted can use up €2 of electricity so we think the Breville HotCup will definitely earn its keep. Pricing for the 1.7-litre model starts from €49.99.
Pressure-cooking food is a much faster and less energy-intensive way of cooking, Instant pots are smart programmable pressure cookers that automatically regulate temperature to maintain appropriate pressure levels. This means you can switch them on, dust off your hands, and walk away until the alarm beeps to let you know your food is done.
The instant pot has become very popular in the few years it has been on the market, and some models, for example, the Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1, also allow you to use them as a slow cooker, steamer, or even make yoghurt in them. Prices for the Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 start from €89.99.
Samsung Family Hub Smart Fridge Freezer
There is a wide range of energy-saving gadgets available for the kitchen in Ireland, but how many of them actually save us money?
Your fridge and freezer are some of the most expensive appliances to run in your household, due to their size, and the fact that they are always on. Depending on their size, modern energy-efficient appliances can use between 400-500 kWh per year, translating to an annual electricity bill amount of between €140 - €175.
Newer fridge-freezer models can retail for between €200-7,900 depending on the size, model, and energy efficiency rating. If you have an old inefficient fridge-freezer, we highly recommend upgrading because older models can use up to 1400 kWh per year, a whopping €490 worth of electricity.
Where Samsung seeks to improve upon more modern efficient fridge-freezer models, is by reducing the amount of times the doors need to be both opened and left open, and also cutting down on food waste by tracking expiration dates for food.
Cameras inside the fridge snap images every time you open and close the door, transferring them to the large display on the outside of the door. This means you can check what ingredients you have without opening the door, and you can also check remotely, so if any doubts surface while shopping, the answer is only a short click away.
We’re not sure that cost savings from not opening the door as much will compensate for the expensive price tag or classify it as an energy-saving device, starting at €1,649.99 and rising all the way to €4539.21, but if you have the cash to splash, it’s attractive appearance as well as some of its other options such as Spotify connection, recipe channels and a fun digital noteboard, may sway you.
Window Solar Charger
Working from home has become a core part of the lives of many people since the pandemic. While this may save money in some areas such as transport, it can also increase the size of your home energy bills. The difference between paying for electricity and heating just every evening and at the weekends, when compared to being at home 24/7, can result in greatly increased energy costs.
So why not try to lighten the load a little with one of our top picks for home office energy-saving gadgets?
For those lucky enough to have a window seat, consider buying a window solar charger.
There are different models generally available across the market, starting from the mini window solar charger such as in the image to the left, to larger panel-style chargers that could even be suitable for use in mobile homes or when out camping.
These forms of chargers tend to be reasonably priced and can be found in a multitude of outlets, with prices starting as low as €25 for relatively low-capacity energy-saving devices, making these renewable energy chargers both friendly for both your pocket and the environment.
Logitech Wireless Solar Powered Keyboards
Many wireless keyboards recharge via USB cables that connect to either a PC or a charging adapter, and as such increase the electricity drawn upon by those devices.
Logitech has come up with a lightweight keyboard with an attractive glossy black mini-solar panel area, that will hold a charge for up to three months in a darkened room. Prices start from €99 upwards and the keyboards come in black only.
If you or any members of your household are guilty of taking overly long showers, this nifty little shower gadget will help out and is as cheap as chips. Priced at around €11.83, you simply place the Waterpebble near the drain in your shower and it will monitor the amount of water used.
The Waterpebble works by using a simple traffic light system to indicate how much time you’ve spent, and guides you towards shorter and shorter showers in small decrements. Considering the price and the fact that with proper use it can conserve both water and the energy used for heating your water, it’s a bit of a no-brainer to add to your residential gadget arsenal. Though it may take a little self-discipline to avoid simply ignoring it after a tough day...
Both energy and water can be wasted in the bathroom, especially water, so it’s definitely worth taking a look at our pick of gadgets for saving energy in the bathroom.
Not many of us have the luxury of having hot water on tap 24/7 and are guilty of leaving the shower on to heat up while getting on with the rest of our morning routine. The issue is that we often “miss” the point at which the water has become warm and end up flushing hot water and money down the drain, while we dither about getting into the shower or not.
Not to worry, the people at Evolve have come up with a solution: the Evolve Ladybug Showerhead Adapter, priced at €27.02. Cold water exits as usual, but when the water temperature reaches 35°C the flow is reduced to a trickle until you’re ready to get in. When you get in you then simply pull on the cord, and full flow is resumed. This water-saving adapter is a quick, easy and cheap way to improve your home's energy efficiency.
Nobody likes gingerly tip-toeing across icy bathroom tiles, but having the heating on in the bathroom also seems like a little bit of a waste. After all, we spend very little time there when compared to other rooms, such as the living room.
Enter Infrared Panels. They don’t have to be connected up with any complicated piping or wiring as they can just be plugged in and warm up a room pretty much instantly after being switched on.
Infrared panels also use over 50% less energy to produce the same amount of heat as convection heaters, and it doesn’t hurt that their sleek modern highly-customisable designs are pretty easy on the eye as well. They are also more efficient than electric radiators at heating spaces evenly, though don't quite have the power of traditional gas heating systems. Prices for these devices start in the region of €49.99 and increase as far as you can stretch your budget
For more information on ways to save energy with high-efficiency heating systems, check out our guide on the best way to heat your home.
In this post, we share our recommendations for energy-saving water and electricity gadgets Ireland can offer your household. For information on energy-saving tips take a look at our guide on 101 ways to save money on your utility bills.
Energy Saving Light Bulbs
Compared to your larger home appliances like a boiler, home heating, fridge, and washer, light bulbs are very low-energy consuming goods. Nevertheless, paying that little bit more for LED light bulbs will help lower your energy bill and help the environment at the same time. It is a quick and inexpensive way to start saving energy across the home.
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