By Adrian Justins
Many householders are focused on saving energy, especially in light of the climate emergency and, for some, the prospect of rising energy bills this autumn. The good news is that consumer technology companies are working to improve efficiency and some manufacturers provide energy-saving calculators online to help buyers realise the long-term savings that can be made.
This six-bedroom house in Paradise Island, the Bahamas, has energy saving and eco-friendly features including Nest smart thermostats, solar panels and electric vehicle charging ports. However, the new owners of the $5.95m property might consider adding some of the following gadgets to make further efficiency savings.
Kelda air-powered shower, £949
When water is injected into a high-velocity air stream in this Kelda shower, it breaks up into droplets that are two-and-a-half times the size of those in a standard shower. This gives the sensation of greater spray force but uses less water. Water consumption is 5 litres per minute against the 10 litres of a standard shower, with Kelda estimating that a family of four could reduce its annual water usage by roughly 55,000 litres and cut their home energy carbon emissions by approximately 10 per cent.
Eve Energy smart plug, £34.95
Users of this smart plug, available from the Apple Store, can schedule electrical appliances such as lamps, fans and heaters to switch on and off using an app. Power monitoring shows the energy consumption in both kilowatts per hour and monetary costs so as to discourage unnecessary usage. Setting it up is easy, by scanning the QR code printed on the side of the plug. Adding an Eve Motion wireless sensor (£44.95 from the Apple Store), allows appliances to be triggered to come on and off when someone leaves or arrives home.
Hive smart thermostat, £224.10 including installation
With a smart thermostat hooked up to your central heating, the days of accidentally leaving the heating on or coming home to a cold house after a holiday belong in the past. Comprising a controller, smart thermostat and smart hub, Hive Active Heating allows you to control and analyse your heating using an app. A geolocation feature reminds you to switch off the heating if you have gone out and left it on, while schedules can be set remotely. Different radiator temperatures can be programmed for different rooms. Hive is compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit.
Gloster solar powered floor lamp, £1,499
Fashioned by designer Henrik Pedersen, the Ambient Mesh outdoor floor lamp, available from Lagoon, can be charged using its top-mounted solar panel or, on cloudier days, mains power. A remote control with a 35-metre range offers eight brightness settings, with the battery life of the LED lamps quoted at roughly eight hours on the brightest setting. Chic enough looking for indoor use, the 176cm-tall lamp has a white powder coated aluminium base with teak trim and an all-weather sorrel wicker shade. The product is also available as a pendant or table lamp.
Hoover washing machine, £379.99
The HWB510AMC model, available from Euronics, uses an algorithm to calculate the most suitable programme in terms of detergent, water volume and duration according to the material of the clothes being washed and the load size. The machine is also equipped with Hoover’s latest Eco-Power Inverter Motor, which is at least 42 per cent more energy efficient than a traditional washing machine motor. With no brushes that can wear out, the motor should need less maintenance. It also vibrates less and is therefore much quieter, especially during the spin cycle.
Property photography: Christie's International Real Estate