A smart plug is a device you plug into an outlet with an additional socket on the front. Users then plug electric appliances into the smart plug, which works as a remote controller to that outlet.
But can they help you reduce your electricity consumption?
These gadgets are wonderful for many uses. For example, have you ever left the house wondering if you turned the iron off? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there, and luckily smart plugs can help.
But what about devices that need to stay plugged in — will a smart plug help reduce their electricity usage?
This article covers everything you need to know about this handy tool’s potential impact on utility costs.
How Much Energy Do Smart Plugs Use?
When not in use, a standard outlet doesn’t consume any electricity. So why would anyone want to use a smart plug if it consumes energy, and how could that consumption save you energy?
Smart plugs consume a small amount of electricity to maintain a connection with your home’s Wi-Fi.
Annually, a smart plug uses around 10kWh. However, this seems negligible — especially when you consider the energy these plugs have the potential to save you, which we’ll get into next.
How Much Energy Could a Smart Plug Save You?
Smart plugs use energy since WiFi powers them. Therefore, you should ensure they’re a worthwhile investment. Simply put, if you spend £35, will you get £35 in savings back?
Smart plugs provide a solution for machines that stay plugged in. Plugged in devices drain power all day long, even when turned off — driving up your power consumption and electricity costs.
This waste of energy is known as the home idle load and is integral to how smart plugs may save you a considerable amount of electricity in the long run. The key word here though is may. You have to use smart plugs strategically if you want to see worthwhile energy savings. We’ll cover more of those strategic tips below.
How much energy a smart plug can save you depends on how you use it. According to the Energy Saving Trust, the average UK household wastes £60 per year to provide electricity to devices left in standby mode. But with a smart plug, you can put some of that money back in your pocket.
How to Maximise Energy Savings With Smart Plugs
So now you know it’s possible to reduce energy consumption using a smart plug, but how?
As previously mentioned, this requires you to be strategic and plan carefully. Here are some tips to help you maximise your energy savings by utilising these handy devices throughout your home.
Make Use of Schedules
You probably don’t need to use your Echo Show in the middle of the night or access your home desktop computer while you’re at work. But unless you do something about powering all these devices while you’re not using them, they’ll continue to use electricity.
With a smart plug, you can use schedules to set these outlets to shut off when not in use automatically. Once you’ve programmed your smart plugs, your devices will be in an optimised energy-saving mode.
Identify High-Energy Consumption Devices
Make the most use of your smart plugs by using them with devices that consume the most energy. By pairing these plugs with the machines that impact your home’s idle load, you can put them to the best use.
Take Advantage of Off-Peak Energy Times
Some utility companies charge more for electricity during peak hours. By utilising a smart plug, you can strategically take advantage of off-peak times when electricity is charged at a reduced rate. Cut off the drain of your high-energy consumption devices during more expensive hours after you’ve set up your smart plugs.
Of course, sometimes there’s not much you can do about the time of day when you use some of your machines, but things like battery chargers and electric vehicle charges can be set to only be active during off-peak hours to help you reduce your energy usage.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Power Does a Smart Plug Draw When Switched Off?
Smart plugs use around 10kWh annually — this is so they can maintain a connection with your home’s Wi-Fi. Of course, traditional outlets don’t use any power when not in use, but smart plugs can reduce the idle power draw in your home from devices that are plugged in and not in use. When used strategically, smart plugs can save more energy than they consume.
Want a “set it and forget it” method to help you reduce your home’s idle load? Check out EcoFlow’s Smart Plug today. Not only will you improve your energy savings, but you’ll also contribute to a greener way of life for your household.
Interested in other ways to take your home’s power into your own hands? EcoFlow offers multiple power solutions, such as Power Kits and Portable Power Stations, whether you want independence from the grid or reliable home backup power.