Rising demand for power is taking its toll on both our wallets and the environment. Did you know that Australian households are directly responsible for around a fifth of Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions? In fact, the average Australian home generates over seven tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year! And energy rates on are the rise.
Household electricity prices have risen a whopping 110% over the last five years and are projected to increase a further 7% in 2014-15. With no end to the increases in sight, it’s up to you to make your household more energy efficient. There are a few ways you can do this, including selecting or upgrading to high energy star rated appliances and developing energy efficient lifestyle habits, like turning electronics off at the power point.
Many of us are doing these things already, so we’ve found five nifty little devices that can help you increase your everyday energy-efficiency, saving the environment and your wallet one kilowatt at a time!
The USBCell looks just like your regular disposable AA battery, but unlike an everyday alkaline battery, it never runs out! The USBCell can be recharged by simply flipping open the cap to reveal an inbuilt USB plug which fits directly into any powered USB port. Around 8000 tonnes of the 345 million handheld batteries Australians purchase every year are disposed of in landfill, which makes them the most common form of hazardous waste. USBCell rechargeable AA batteries are an affordable, reusable eco-friendly alternative that saves not only your time and money, but the environment too.
The WeMo Switch uses your home Wi-Fi network to provide you with wireless control over your electrically powered devices from your smartphone or tablet. Simply download the free WeMo App, plug the switch into an electrical outlet and plug your device into the switch. The WeMo system is modular, so you can set energy-saving schedules for multiple switches and devices and even control them remotely when you’re away from home by using your mobile internet connection. You’ll never have to worry about wasting electricity by accidentally leaving anything on again!
Solar Powered Smartphone Case
For energy efficiency you can literally carry in your pocket, check out the Surfr series collection of hybrid solar and battery powered smartphone cases for various iPhone and Samsung Galaxy models. Thin-film solar panels cleverly concealed inside a protective lightweight hardcover case help to provide you with almost double the battery life of your phone. With power enhanced by the natural energy of the sun, these stylish environmentally-friendly cases can keep you charged up and in touch on every adventure!
We use our computers almost every hour of the day but in those moments when we leave them idle they can be a huge drain on power. The Ecobutton offers an easy solution guaranteed to instantly increase energy efficiency. Plug it into your USB port, download the software and when you leave your computer for any reason, just press the Ecobutton to activate an economical sleep “ecomode” that can be quickly deactivated by pressing any key to immediately continue where you left off. The Ecobutton also displays your carbon footprint and electricity costs on your computer screen, so you can easily monitor your energy usage (and savings!) throughout the day.
Even after your have turned your TV off, you could still be sucking electricity through the accessories you have connected to the TV that are left in standby mode. Also known as “vampire power”, devices left in standby mode account for 10 per cent of energy consumption in the average Australian home, which adds about $1 billion a year to our power bills. The TrickleSaver helps stop these “vampires” and their standby power suck through its inbuilt current sensing circuitry which senses when the TV is switched off or on and automatically activates or deactivates the current to that outlet, reducing the drain of standby mode.
The Final Word
With better habits, efficient appliances and few helpful gizmos, you can reduce your energy consumption. Consider reviewing your energy provider too; rates and packages vary and you may be able to money by making sure you have the best plan for your household, so shop around and compare energy providers today to see what you can save.