Electricity is one of those utilities that is notoriously hard to control. Have a leaky pipe? You'll know about it pretty quickly. Start taking shorter showers? Your water bill will reflect that. Electricity, on the other hand — how do you know whether the culprit is a outdated refrigerator or your bad habit of keeping your laptop plugged in 24/7.
Tracking energy use on your own is complicated. Fortunately, there are tons of smartphone apps out there that make it a whole lot easier. Here are four that we've enjoyed using.
1. Energy Cost Calculator | Google Play | iTunes
Loved by the best eco publishers in the business, Energy Cost Calculator helps users determine which appliances in their home are consuming the most energy. Simply pop your data into the app and watch as it calculates the energy cost of each item per day, per week, per month and per year.
The Energy Cost Calculator app also has a neat feature that alerts you if you are exceeding recommended carbon use — perfect for those of us who are making an effort to reduce our carbon footprints.
2. Smappee | Google Play | iTunes
Don't ask us what "smappee" means...we really have no idea. But it doesn't really matter, does it, because this app is fantastic! Smappee provides users with all the data they need to understand the cost of their energy use. Just know that it comes with a price tag and is only available upon request.
When you download the app, you'll be provided a clip-on sensor that can be easily attached to your fuse box. From there, Smappee will do the hard work of monitoring your energy use via the app.
All info is provided to you in real time, displaying data from the past 30 days. And if you need to make adjustments to any of your devices, you can do so remotely from the app. Super handy!
3. Nest Mobile | Google Play | iTunes
"Hey Google, make it warmer in here." That's the Nest in a nutshell! While this app only works with the Nest Learning Thermostat, it comes highly recommended for a reason. Managing your energy consumption at a distance is as easy as asking the system to check in for you.
The Nest Mobile app also displays your energy history over time, including how long the heating and cooling systems ran. From there, it's up to you to make adjustments as you like. We're big fans!
4. Energy Consumption Analyzer | Google Play | iTunes
This app does exactly what it says it will do: analyze your energy consumption! Simply add your meters for gas, electricity and water to the database and take readings whenever you'd like!
From there, the app calculates your average consumption per day, week or month (comparing between two readings) and draws a handy graph that makes the data visual. Include your average cost per unit when you sign up and the graphs can also show you the kind of cash you're spending on these utilities. Cool, right?
Do you track your energy usage or do you handle things more by feel? What's your strategy?