The best high-tech, eco-friendly gadgets

Who says you can't save money and give the environment a helping hand at the same time? These five high-tech gadgets not only make your home greener, they can also reduce your energy bills.

1. Nest Thermostat

More and more people have been taking up smart thermostats over the past few years, and Nest is one of the best on the market. It's based on the idea that most people don't really fiddle with the heating; they tend to leave their homes at the same temperature all day. So Nest programmes itself. Once it knows your schedule and what temperatures you like, it knows when to turn the heating up and down. You can control it from your smartphone, too. Nest boasts that, used properly, its thermostat can save you up to 20% on your heating bills.

2. Savasocket

We all know that leaving the TV on standby can be a real waste of energy, but it can also be a tricky habit to break. Standby saver extension leads are a great solution; they let you cut off power via remote control, so you don't have to flick the mains switch every time you want to turn the TV on or off. The Savasocket is one of the most efficient around, using just 0.19 watts. That's pretty impressive, especially considering that the Energy Savings Trust standby mode target is 0.5 watts. And it's wallet-friendly as well, with the potential to save owners up to £85 on their electricity bills.

3. Wattson Classic

Sometimes learning how to save money is as simple as understanding where you need to change your habits. The Wattson Classic is a portable device that warns you in real time when you're consuming too much energy. It does this by changing colour - red for when your energy usage is above average, purple when it's normal, and when you're saving money it glows a soothing blue. Users of the device report shaving up to 20% off their energy bills; it's impressive what a bit of awareness can do. You can back it up with our free budget planner, so you know exactly how much you're saving on utilities.

4. Water Pebble

Another monitoring gadget, the Water Pebble sits in the shower and tells you how much water you're using. It monitors the amount going down the drain and uses a simple traffic light system to warn you when your wash is becoming wasteful. The clever part is that, over time, the pebble starts to cut down the amount of time between lights, subconsciously encouraging you to cut your shower short. Because an 18l shower uses a third less energy than a 22.5l shower, this can save you big bucks in the long run.

5. Freeloader Pro

This portable solar charger turns you into an electricity freeloader by powering your mobile devices with solar energy. The range includes adaptors for mobile phones, tablets, digital cameras, and other small electrical appliances. Although phone chargers are hardly a drain on household energy, using roughly 0.4p a week, the solar charger is still a great investment if you want to go green. It's also perfect if you want to charge your devices on the go: for example while camping, hiking, or on a long road trip.

Posted by Money Dashboard


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