Since the advent of utility bills, individuals and businesses have made an effort to lower costs, and in turn, conserve energy. Now, there is a range of smart, efficient technology to help. Whether it is as small as a household thermostat or as large as a wind farm, innovations in energy management technology can reduce consumption and costs.
At one time or another, everyone forgets to manage the heat or air conditioning before they leave the house. Smart devices like the ThinkEco modlet and smartAC kit and Nest Learning Thermostat allow homeowners to save energy and money by pre-setting on-off schedules for their services, monitoring energy usage and remotely controlling temperatures from a smartphone or tablet.
Smart technology is also conserving energy around the nation by utilizing renewable, environmentally-friendly energy sources, such as solar power. Big Belly Solar’s sun-powered trash receptacles provide real-time and historical data that can be accessed by collection crews to inform their operations, allowing them to limit trips and improve efficiency by saving on both manpower and fuel costs.
Another renewable energy alternative gaining ground in the U.S. is wind. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 2012 was the wind industry’s strongest year yet, with turbines and wind farms across the nation generating enough capacity to power almost 15 million homes. Innovative companies such as Wing Power Energy harness wind to control 4G LTE-enabled equipment and provide services like public Wi-Fi, video surveillance and digital signage. As with solar, the costs of wind power continue to decrease, bringing it closer to the cost of traditional electricity sources.
With smart energy devices rapidly increasing in popularity and the clean technology industry expected to grow $385.8 billion over the next decade, the possibility of a more sustainable, cost-efficient future looks strong.