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Savings At The Touch of a Button

Apps that help you save energy

March 2023

by Abby Berry, Contributing Columnist

There are several reasons why people are interested in cutting back on energy consumption — some are primarily motivated to save on their monthly energy bills while others may be more concerned about reducing their personal carbon footprint.

Regardless of why you’re interested in using less energy, there are several smartphone apps that can help you do just that.

Here are a few apps that can help you achieve meaningful energy savings:

1. Smart thermostat apps: You can purchase an ENERGY STAR®-certified smart thermostat for as low as $100, which can save you 8% on annual heating and cooling costs, about $50 per year. The device will quickly pay for itself, and you’ll gain insight into better ways to heat and cool your home. Plus, the ability to control the thermostat from anywhere can equate to real savings.

2. Energy cost calculators: If you’re wanting to reduce energy use at home, it’s important to know where your consumption is going. Energy cost calculators can help pinpoint your energy use with a few simple steps and identify areas to save. The concept is simple; just plug in the wattage of your various appliances and how often you use them to see which are using the most energy. Most energy cost calculator apps are free and can be downloaded to any Apple or Android device.

3. JouleBug app: If you’re competitive and enjoy gamifying — well, everything — the JouleBug app is right up your alley. JouleBug makes energy conservation simple and fun through personal tasks and badges earned within the app, group challenges you can tackle with friends, and communities you can join to learn about local sustainability efforts. The JouleBug app is free and can be downloaded to Apple or Android devices, and it’s an easy tool to make saving energy fun.

Whether you use an app or not, saving energy is always a smart idea that can help you save money on your monthly bills and reduce your carbon footprint.

Abby Berry writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.