8 Free Apps That Help You Cut Energy Consumption and Costs

app-energy-consumption

It’s small, it’s shiny and it’s sitting in your pocket.

It’s your smartphone, and it can perform all kinds of handy tasks, from simulating ukulele sounds and translating foreign languages to summoning rideshares.

Arguably one of your smartphone’s most valuable functions is its ability to help you conserve energy. Leading an energy efficient lifestyle saves you money, enhances your quality of life, and protects the environment for future generations.

With a hot summer just around the corner, you may be cranking up your AC, watering your lawn more often and mapping out summer road trips. To help reduce your energy consumption and cut down your energy bill, whip out your smartphone and download these 8 nifty apps.

1. JouleBug

Available on Android and iOS

Designed to make sustainable living fun, JouleBug rewards you with pins, badges and points every time you make an eco-conscious choice. Earn points for sustainable decisions, such as buying local, drinking draft beer instead of bottled and turning off the lights when you leave a room. Connect with your friends to see who can win the most points for eco-friendly actions. With the app, you’ll also learn energy-saving tips, plus stats on the energy and money you’ll save with your sustainable choices.

2. Light Bulb Finder

Available on Android and iOS

Named “Best Overall App” by the Environmental Protection Agency, Light Bulb Finder guides you through the process of swapping out your incandescent bulbs for energy-efficient ones. Simply input information about your home and current lightbulbs, and the app will suggest energy-efficient equivalents. You can view details on recommended bulbs’ energy usage, appearance and lifespan, and order bulbs directly from the app.

3. Water Use Calculator

Available on iOS

Created by the National Ground Water Association, this app lets you calculate your daily, weekly and annual household water consumption. To estimate your water usage, the app asks you a series of questions about the number of people in your household. Based on this information, the app automatically computes how much water is being used by your showers, dishwashers and other common appliances. The app compares your water consumption to the average American household to reveal whether your family’s habits can be improved.

4. MyEarth

Available on Android and iOS

MyEarth was dreamt up by a team of researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Human Ecology. The app allows you to catalog the energy you use on a daily basis. MyEarth tracks your consumption based on everyday electricity, recycling, travel, food and usage activities. The app recommends things you can do differently to conserve more energy, such as recycling or replacing old appliances with more efficient ones. To demonstrate how even small actions can be steps towards a larger goal, MyEarth displays an image of a polar bear on an iceberg that grows as you conserve more energy.

5. CarbonDiem

Available on Android

The CarbonDiem app uses GPS data, GSM CellTower location and data from phone sensors to detect your transportation mode in real time. After determining whether you are traveling via car or plane, the app calculates your carbon emissions. With CarbonDiem, you can track the greenhouse gases emitted by your travel habits and adjust them as needed.

6. greenMeter

Available on iOS

Much like CarbonDiem, greenMeter detects your acceleration when you are traveling via car. Using this data, the app can to provide you with information on your vehicle’s power, fuel usage and cost, crude oil consumption, and carbon emissions. As you drive, the app gives you feedback on whether your habits are environmentally friendly. It allows you to input information about your vehicle, current weather conditions and the average fuel cost for your area to ensure an accurate analysis.

7. Wink

Available on Android and iOS

Wink connects to home automation devices from popular energy-wise brands like Nest, Philips and Chamberlain. Using Wink, you can control lights, thermostats and other appliances after you’ve left your home. Use voice prompts such as “Ok Google, activate Away Mode on Wink” to lower your thermostat, lock your doors and turn off your lights. With the app, you can also be alerted of activities going on in your home, such as when a thermostat is adjusted or when a door was opened.

8. Carticipate

Available on Android and iOS

Carticipate helps you save money on gas and lessen your environmental impact by locating carpooling, ride-combining and ridesharing opportunities in your area. After posting your ride, the app will connect you to nearby users who are traveling to your destination. Carticipate includes a handy scheduler that allows you to post and manage multiple trips throughout the week.

Source: www.money.usnews.com

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