Holiday 2017: an energy saver’s gift guide
Find our top four picks for great holiday gift ideas that can save your loved ones energy and money.
About this time every year, the clock begins ticking down on a precious holiday commodity: days left to shop. Last-minute grasping for “just the right gift” can lead to a lot of stress. We're here to help with a few gift ideas that can save your loved ones time and money. Here are our top four energy-saving gift ideas for 2017.
The gift of convenience
Close to 50% of a home’s energy bill goes to heating and cooling. So a smart thermostat is one piece of tech that can really pay for itself. How? It learns from your usage to understand your preferences, then self-programs to save you energy. Top products, like the Nest and Ecobee, can be remote-controlled through smartphone apps, and also integrate with hands-free, voice-activated devices like Amazon Echo. Before you purchase, make sure a smart thermostat is compatible with your home system.
The gift of ambiance
The Philips Hue wireless LED lighting system lets you control your lights via remote app, from anywhere in the world. Turn off lights you left on, set automated timers, and make it look like you’re home when you’re not. You get smooth dimming, too, without hiring an electrician. Plus, Hue integrates with Alexa, Apple Homekit, and Google Home for full voice control of your lighting. Get up and running with the White Starter Kit. Or check out their Ambiance line that creates custom moods and color-syncs with movies, games, and music.
The gift of awareness
Sense Home Energy Monitor is one cool, energy-saving gadget. An electrician quickly installs the box in your electrical panel, no rewiring required. Once you download a free app and connect the monitor to Wi-Fi, Sense can track your usage in real time, tell you exactly what—or who—hogs the most energy, and help you make changes to lower your bill. It can even alert you to unusual usage while you’re away (or just tell you what time the kids really got home last night). A great gift for anyone who wants to save on their electricity bill!
The gift of guidance
What if you’re shopping for someone who doesn’t want a “smart” device in their home? An on-site energy assessment is still the single wisest step anyone can take to start saving energy. Think of it this way: you’re giving a gift of valuable insight into their home’s energy efficiency and how to improve it. Then they can choose what to do with that info, like adding insulation, air sealing, or ENERGY STAR® certified appliances. Search for a nearby contractor by zip code. And remember, Vermont Gas customers often qualify for free energy audits.
Happy holidays from Efficiency Vermont! As always, feel free to contact us with any energy-related questions.