As the seasons change from cold to hot to even more hot and then cold again, it can be hard to stay ahead of your energy consumption. First you’re blasting the airconn to try and stop yourself from baking, then you’re snuggling up to the electric heater to stay warm.
Whatever the weather, it can often feel like you just can’t catch a break when it comes to energy bills. While our number one tip for reducing your power bill is to switch energy providers, downloading a handy app to track how much you use is also a good way to cut down on costs.
Here are 5 of our favourite apps to help you not only track your usage, but also review the energy efficiency of an appliance you might be thinking about buying.
Energy Rating Calculator App
If you’ve ever been shopping for a new fridge or washing machine, chances are you’ve probably come across the energy rating label. This is a great way to assess the energy efficiency of an appliance, but did you know that there is also an Energy Rating Calculator App?
This is a free app distributed by the Department of Environment and Energy to help you review the energy efficiency of appliances you might be thinking about purchasing. Simply enter all the relevant product information and the app will show you how much that particular model/appliance will cost you to run each year. It can even help you compare between two different models to see which one might be the better option.
Available: iTunes or Google Play
Light Bulb Saver App
If you’ve been thinking about swapping your old light bulbs out for more energy efficient ones then you might be interested in downloading the Light Bulb Saver App.
It’s simple enough to use. Just enter the type of bulb you have at the moment, including how many watts/lumens it uses and the app will show you how much you could save by switching to a LED or CFL bulb. So for instance, if you currently have a 40 Watt incandescent light bulb, you could save around $86 over 10 years by switching to an LED bulb or $83 over the same amount of time, by switching to a CFL bulb*.
The app also allows you to adjust the average purchase price for each bulb, giving you a more accurate idea of your savings versus your expenses.
Although switching out your old light bulbs may not seem like much of a bright idea in the short term, in the long run it could really have the potential to save you some much needed dollars.
Available: Google Play and iTunes
Designed by a Sydney-based start-up, the Wattcost app works hand in hand with the Wattcost Beacon to help you track your daily energy consumption.
The Wattcost Beacon is a wireless device that captures real time energy data from your fuse box and feeds it back to the Wattcost app on your smartphone. The app then analyses the captured information and suggests not only how you could cut your power usage and save money, but also any potential safety measures you could take.
Features of the app include:
- Real time energy use tracking - this helps you to assess how much energy you’re using at different points throughout the day.
- Safety alerts to let you know when an appliance has been left on or if the fridge door has been left open.
- Handy tips to help you lower your energy use and estimates of how much you could save by doing so.
- Machine learning algorithms that analyse different factors, such as the weather and past usage to advise you on the cheapest times to run appliances.
Cost: App, free. Wattcost Beacon, $199 + postage
Available: The app can be downloaded on the Google Play store or the Apple App Store
Similar to Wattcost, Powerpal comes in an app and a Home Energy Monitor device. Together the two are designed to help you track your energy use in real time, allowing you to review how much of a dent each appliance is making in your energy bill.
Once hooked up to your meter, the Powerpal Home Energy Monitor and app can help you save money in the following ways:
- It shows you what your real-time energy usage is, so you can figure out what exactly is upping the cost of your energy bill and make smarter decisions about when and for how long you run certain appliances.
- You can see what you’re spending in real-time and set yourself a monthly spending target.
- By allowing you to review how your home uses energy and from that figure out whether or not you could make even bigger savings by switching to solar power, for instance.
- Lastly, the app supplies you with a weekly energy tracking report, detailing approximately how much you’ve spent, whether it’s less or more than the week before and how much of your energy is used up on appliances that are always running.
You can find more information on what meters are compatible with Powerpal Home Energy Monitor on Powerpal’s website.
Cost: App, free! Home Energy Monitor $129 (at the time of writing)
Available: App, the Apple App Store or Google Play. Home Energy Monitor, can be shipped anywhere in Australia (at the time of writing)
This app is a little more focused on lowering your carbon footprint in a fun way rather than reducing your energy costs drastically, but it does show you how being more environmentally conscious can help you save money.
In the JouleBug App everyday habits, such as turning the lights off or washing your clothes at cold, are listed as actions. Once you’ve completed an action, the app will tell you whether you’ve saved money, reduced your carbon footprint or both!
The app also allows you to connect with others, so you could even turn your sustainable endeavours into a fun competition with friends and family.
Available: Google Play and the Apple App Store
Time to shop around for a more competitive energy deal?
While freeing up space on your phone to download some nifty energy saving apps might be a good place to start, it’s not the only thing you can do to cut costs on your energy bill. Besides adopting better energy habits, reviewing the deal you’re getting with your current energy provider could also save you a lot of dollars in the long run.
Don’t know where to begin? Why not head to Mozo’s energy comparison tool, to see what offers are available in your area. Or check out our range of energy saving guides to see what other tips and tricks you could be using to save money on your energy bill.
*The Light Bulb Saver App estimates savings based on an average use of 3 hours per day, per light.