Get Tech Savvy: 2016 Guide to Technology

JULY: Go Green – Apps for Energy Efficiency

We all like to be efficient. The desire to excel, operating at maximum performance with minimal wasted energy or effort – applies to much of our lives. Whether it’s a meal schedule designed to optimize workout results, or an innovative filing system that makes finding work documents faster and easier, efficiency is really about working smarter – not harder to reap the best benefits possible. When it comes to energy efficiency, the potential benefits include both contributing a smaller carbon footprint to the global environment and simply lowering your electric bill so you can spend the savings on something more fun. The best part? Lowering the amount of energy you waste need not be a lofty task – these three amazing smartphone apps help you track your use and lower your overall emissions in no time.

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Illuminate your best bulb choices
Lightbulb Finder, by Eco Hatchery
This useful free app empowers consumers to easily switch from conventional light bulbs to more efficient ones, lowering their electric bill and personal energy emissions. Unbelievably, the app is estimated to potentially save the average American household’s electric bill over $120 and cut their environmental impact by 1,360 lbs. of CO2. Best of all, it’s easy to use – with only simple inputs about home fixtures and bulb styles, the app instantly recommends energy-efficient bulbs with the right fit, appearance and quality, displaying a bulb image, specs, savings, and emissions reductions. Users can purchase energy-saving bulbs through the app or at local retailers.

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Make everyday more sustainable Joulebug, by CleanBit Systems
The makers of the Joulebug app know forming good habits is a lot easier when it’s fun – that’s why they developed games and challenges designed to promote sustainable living. Users strive to earn points and “Pins” awarded for effective energy usage – things like adjusting the thermostat, cold water washing, installing LEDs and more. You can also get inspired by your fellow Joulebug users as the app has a social element that shares sustainable accomplishments. Not only are users rewarded with high scores and personal satisfaction, the app also tracks the energy bill cost reductions over time – which really serves to incentivise the switch to living green.

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Watch your water
Water Usage Calculator, by NGWA
Lowering your electric bill is just the beginning – now you can watch your water with an app created by the National Ground Water Association designed to identify how you could conserve more water. Users answer simple questions about shower, toilet and appliance use, which is then illustrated as a comprehensive look at how much water you’re using in your dishwasher, toilets, shower and more. Get ready to be water wise.

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