How Home Technology Can Help You Save on Utility Costs

June 18, 2012 | Comments

When most people think of technology, they imagine all of the ways that tech can make a home a more fun and exciting place to live and entertain. But technology isn't all about giant TVs and mega-watt surround systems. In fact, modern technology in the form of a home automation system can actually make life easier — and save you money.

Modern technology not only simplifies and automates certain tasks, like turning on multiple lights throughout the home with a single command. It also can help you to be green; both the planet-saving kind of green that comes from cutting energy usage and the money-saving green that comes from reducing your energy costs.

Automation systems can cut utility costs in a number of ways. By setting up timed events that happen each day at a given time — or based around events like sunrise and sunset — you can make sure that outside lights don't stay on burning electricity and money all day. An automation system can also respond to triggers, such as a voice command or a door opening. For example, a motion sensor can detect occupancy in a room, automatically turning off lighting when no one is present.

The more of your home's sub-systems that are controlled or monitored by technology, the more your utility costs can be cut. The most common elements of a home automation system include:


  • Make sure lights aren't left on when they shouldn't be
  • Have lights automatically turn off when the room is empty
  • Dim lights to save electricity and extend bulb life


  • Use shades to block out sun and heat during hot periods to cut cooling costs
  • Raise shades to let in sun to heat the home during cool periods
  • Let in natural lighting to offset need for electrical light

HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning)

  • Save energy by automatically raising or lowering temperature to avoid heating or cooling an empty home
  • Set temps a bit warmer or cooler when you sleep, but make sure the temp is changed to a comfortable level before you wake

Water Heater

  • An automation system can cut power to this unit overnight so the tank isn't constantly heating water that won't be used

Slaying Vampire Power

  •  "Vampire power," which is the name given to the power used by small items like computers and cell phone chargers when in not in use, can be kept from draining your wallet by cutting power to affected outlets


  • Sensors can ensure that your system is never watering the grass during a rainstorm

With a home automation system, you can perform elaborate functions from across the house or from the other side of the world via the Internet. Use your mobile device to configure your system exactly as you wish, helping save energy and money.

To learn more about having home automation system installed and turning your home into a smart home, search for a local qualified CEDIA member home technology professional near you.