From home automation systems and smart thermostats to LED light bulbs, we’ve covered the latest in energy-saving tech before, but since every kilowatt-hour counts on the monthly bill, there’s always reason to look a little deeper to get the most out of your energy dime.
Belkin Conserve Insight (BestBuy.com)
Connect a home device—like your TV, laptop, microwave or refrigerator—to this simple tool and it shows how much wattage the device uses, what it’s costing to power it and the carbon dioxide produced. Analyzing energy problem areas is a good first step toward implementing solutions—and for just $19.99, it doesn’t make sense not to.
Bits LTD CCG5 (BitsLtd.us)
This smart power strip ($45.95) has three plug-in sections—one for devices that never shut off (like a wireless router or DVR), another for those such as a Blu-ray player or printer that work only when another device is on, and a single plug for the primary machine itself (usually a TV or computer). When the primary device is not in use, everything in the green section shuts down, while the red devices stay on. Simple.
LG Smart ThinQ Refrigerator (BestBuy.com)
The refrigerator is probably the worst energy guzzler in your home or office—it needs lots of power, and it’s always on. It would therefore be wise to find the most energy-efficient fridge you can. Armed with an LCD screen that alerts you when produce is about to expire (and also suggests recipes), this $3,499.99 beast features a cooling system that quickly micro-adjusts temperature and humidity.
Samsung 55-inch LED 1080p HDTV (Samsung.com)
The Environmental Protection Agency says this $1,149.99 television is the most efficient on the market in the 50-inch-and-up category, thanks largely to an “eco-sensor” that automatically calibrates the screen’s brightness to the ideal setting, which can vary greatly throughout the day.
Fenix ReadySet (FenixIntl.com)
Originally designed as a portable power source in the African bush, the $275 Fenix ReadySet works just as well in the backyard or at a tailgate or an outdoor trade show. Juice it up via the small solar panel and revive your smartphone several times, or power a tablet or laptop for hours.