Technology is rapidly developing, and serving more and more purposes. Technology has become part of our everyday lives, and for better or worse, smart technologies can actually help you save significantly around the house and on your insurance by providing more accurate readings than traditional methods – as we investigate below.
What is smart technology?
Smart technology is the next step in the ever so recent technological revolution. Smart technology is best described as a contextually aware computing system which is capable of making “decisions” without human intervention and acting on them.
Smart technology uses machine learning and data to perform work which could be completed by humans manually. No need to estimate how much electricity you are using each month or what your average mileage will be on your car. Smart technology uses IT in order to get the most accurate readings possible.
Using smart technology to save on your home and utility bills
With utility bills on the rise constantly, we are always looking for ways to save money on household bills. There are actually smart gadgets that can break down how much you are spending on your bills, monitoring how much each appliance costs to run depending on how much you use them.
Energy Usage Monitor
One option for doing this is known as an Energy-usage monitor or home energy monitor. As well as telling you in real time how much you are spending on your home bills, it lets you know how you can save, prompting a change in your expensive habits when it comes to household bills.
According to the UK Governments survey with the Energy Saving Trust , the average household could save between 3 and 15 percent on their annual bills if they used a home energy monitoring system – this averages out at about £75 a year.
Of course, simply purchasing and owning a home energy monitor will not save you money. You will need to use it as a guide in order to implement your new habits when it comes to household bills. You need to actively change your behaviour with the help of this device before seeing any changes in your outgoings.
Smart meters and energy-usage monitors are different. Smart meters automatically send out the information concerning your energy usage straight to your energy supplier through the wonders of wireless networks, getting rid of manual reading and estimated bills. Smart meters also measure your energy usage, unlike the energy-usage monitor. The energy-usage monitor does not send the information to your supplier, only smart meters can do this. Energy usage monitors send information wirelessly to a handheld visual display unit where the data is re-calculated and displayed as real-time power usage.
It has been said that by 2020 in the UK, energy suppliers will replace every single meter with a smart meter, since they are so successful. Furthermore, having these in place in everyone’s home, will save the energy companies from sending staff out to read your meter in person.
Smart lighting can save you a lot of money too. The way it works is that rooms in your house can be controlled from afar or scheduled to turn on and off at pre-set times from your smartphone or tablet.
As well as being able to turn off a light on the other side of the house, saving effort and money, smart lighting has other functions. As mentioned, you can pre-program the times in which the lights come on – so some use them as alarm’s, gently waking them up in the morning or keep them on for a few hours a day if they go away. Some types of smart bulbs even have the function to play music, putting out tunes from your ceiling. Overall, smart lighting is guaranteed to save you money if used efficiently.
Even the role of sensor lights has a part to play in reducing your costs – turning off automatically if a room is not inhabited for a period of time.
Similar to smart lighting, smart heating works efficiently to control the heating in your home and save you money along the way as a consequence.
Smart heating through the likes of Hive allows you to monitor and control the heat on your home through the platform of a phone, laptop or tablet. For every degree you turn down your thermostat, you could be saving £60 a year. Using smart heating, you could experiment with the heating to see if you are setting the heat too high unnecessarily. Furthermore, if you have forgotten to turn off your heating whilst you are away, you can simply do this from your smart device. Hive claim they can save you up to £150 per year on your heating bill.
Using smart technology to save on your insurance
Insurance can be a huge drain on your bank balance, and while this may be the case, insurance is absolutely necessary. Traditionally, the ways to lower your insurance was to bulk up the security on your home or car or consider paying a much higher voluntary excess in the hope that you don’t need to make a claim. However, smart technology offers new and more affordable alternatives based more on usage.
To save money on your car insurance, consider installing a black box on your vehicle. The Black Box has been around for a few years now and have become a very popular device to add to the dashboard of your car. It is a small device, the size of a smart phone, which uses GPS to record the quality of your driving, including your speed, turning, braking and acceleration.
It encourages people to drive more safely with the knowledge that your insurance company is basically monitoring your driving as if they were sat in the passenger seat. If your quality of driving is considered as safe, you should see savings on your insurance premiums pretty quickly, potentially saving up to 20% per year.
In addition, you get a far better reflection on the amount of mileage that you do per year. This is one of the main things that your insurance premium is based on and most policies work on an average or estimate based on the previous year. It follows the idea that the more mileage you do, the greater risk of being involved in an accident or making a claim.
However, since a black box is constantly monitoring your mileage, you are able to get a better reading on the average mileage you do.
A small round device called a CUJO protects your household items from external cyber-attacks. It acts as a firewall which can be connected to your smart phones, TV, tablets, computers and so on. Having this device can help to lower your home contents insurance and lower the risk of you having to fork out money for replacements for the devices in your home, all because they are protected from hacking.
At Uncle Buck, we are committed to responsible lending and helping customers save money and take control of their finances. Read more on our website for information about Uncle Buck and the instalments loans we offer.