Bring Energy Tech Home for the Holidays
Help build a brighter future with smart home gift ideas
Electric cooperatives across North Carolina are investing in new technology to help provide reliable electricity at the lowest possible cost, while also pursuing responsible sustainability goals. But advanced energy tech isn’t just for the power grid outside your door — affordable solutions, connected to a home wireless network, can help use energy more efficiently. (They make great gifts, too.) Here are a few types of devices that are readily available:
Wi-Fi enabled thermostats can be programmed to activate heating and cooling on a schedule, remotely, or take over the job themselves. They also provide “demand response” opportunities for electric utilities to reduce costs by trimming energy use. Prices start at $100.
Popular brands: ecobee, Google (Nest), Honeywell
These can play music, make calls, or even locate a misplaced smartphone, and entry-level models can cost as little as $30. Their biggest potential lies in the ability to act as a hub for your other smart devices.
Popular brands: Amazon, Apple, Google
These devices plug into any outlet, connecting it to your network and making anything plugged into it “smart.” Control lamps (or Christmas lights) by voice via a smart speaker, or remotely via a smartphone app. Most cost around $20.
Popular brands: Cree, GE, Phillips, TP-Link
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Electric co-op innovation