Want to save energy this year? Yes, there is an app for that…actually, there is a burgeoning new field of apps designed specifically to help you reduce the energy you use every day and saving money through green living. If you are tired of using your phone for calendar updates and games to distract the kids (or yourself, in certain business meetings), then take a look at some of the best energy-saving apps around. It is time your phone started helping you live a better – and less costly – life.
Wattulator has a funny name, but this $1 app helps you literally track the wattage you use for major appliances. This is an incredibly detailed app that lets you input a vast amount of information about the power you use, then provides you with ways to reduce that power. Properly used, it can reduce monthly energy bills. However, Wattulator takes a lot of attention to detail and strong knowledge about your power supply and the voltage of all your devices.
If your personality is not up for all this work, then consider something far simpler, like Light Bulb finder. Download this free app when you go light bulb shopping, and use it to find the most energy efficient replace for burnt-out bulbs.
The list would not be complete without the 2012 Department of Energy winner, Leafully. Like Wattulator, Leafully is designed to help users track energy, but is less about mathematics and more about user experience. Sign up, use the government-sponsored Green Button feature to automatically download information on your appliances, and keep posted. In addition to tracking your energy usage, Leafully offers “Activities” that encourage users to become a community, take part in green activities, and save energy around the house. Leafully is free to subscribe to.
Like Leafully, Melon is an award-winning, free energy saving app that makes use of Green Button to track energy and Energy Star requirements. However, while Leafully is a residential app, Melon is designed primarily for businesses. This commercial app is designed to not only help businesses reduce their energy usage, but also to qualify for Energy Star benchmarks and benefits. It includes building information, tips to change energy activities, and an Energy Star score. If you are a small business owner or can influence energy costs at your workplace, give this app a chance.
4. Everyday Energy Tips
Everyday Energy Tips is a $1 dollar app for users that want to save money on their utilities, but are not sure where to look for inspiration. As the name says, it gives up an energy tip each day. If the tip does not help you, feel free to ignore. It the tip makes you pause, then incorporate it into your daily life and watch the results. This combines education and novelty with what can often be a tedious discipline. Topics include how to determine if you have enough insulation, how landscaping can save energy, and how you can seal your windows more completely at low costs.
5. Battery Apps
It is difficult to pick just one battery app. There are versions for every platform and even every model, each designed to carefully measure and improve phone battery life. Sometimes it is the little things that can make a difference, and extra battery life is one of life’s prizes in today’s busy world. Apps like Google’s Battery Saver or Battery Doctor Pro are popular options. Depending on your phone, these apps show you the current battery charge, how long that charge will last based on activities, and what you can do to make the charge last longer. More in-depth apps can even create alerts concerning battery-draining activities.
Neil Dunsmore is a consumer energy expert, helping ordinary Americans secure extraordinary deals on their energy bills. Visit Electric.com for more information.