From giving you severe weather updates to ordering you groceries, Alexa™, the virtual assistant that comes with Amazon™ smart speakers, can make your life more convenient. But did you know it can also help you save money on your energy bill?
Americans waste around $130 billion on energy every year, according to The Energy Resource Center, a Colorado-based non-profit. Using a few simple smart home devices—and connecting them to Alexa—can help reduce this waste along with your bill. Just switching to a smart thermostat can save you up to $50 a year, according to Energy Star®. We'll show you show.
At Asurion, we help you get the most out of the tech you love—whether you're looking for the best smart home gadgets or for fun things to ask your virtual assistant. Here's our guide on how to lower your energy bill with Alexa.
Energy-saving smart home devices that work with Alexa
“Hey Alexa, give me some energy-saving tips."
Say that phrase to Alexa, and your virtual assistant will respond with ideas about lowering your utility bills. A few examples: “Keep your thermostat at 78 degrees in the summer," or “Turn off the lights when you leave the house." Good advice, right?
But the best use of your virtual assistant's money-saving talent is to pair your smart speaker with one or more of these devices:
We'll show you different ways Alexa can work with your devices to lower your electric bill. All you need is a smart home gadget and a good internet connection.
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Save energy with Alexa skills
Skills are like apps for Alexa. When you turn them on, you can use voice commands to ask Alexa to play music or check the weather. You can also control your home's temperature, lights, and security, with smart home devices like the Nest™ Thermostat, Philips Hue™ smart bulbs, or the Ring™ doorbell.
To connect your smart home devices to your virtual assistant, say, “Alexa, discover devices" or open the Alexa app and follow these steps:
- Open the Alexa app, and select Devices.
- Tap the + icon, then select Add Device.
- Choose the device type and brand, then follow the onscreen prompts.
Once you're connected, you can say, “Alexa, turn off the lights," or “Alexa, turn down the heat to 68 degrees," making your home more energy efficient without even leaving the couch. Learn more about the best Alexa skills to enable on your devices.
Conserve energy with Alexa custom routines
Voice commands are handy for turning smart home devices off or on, but it's more efficient to set up routines to adjust your energy use automatically. Try launching a routine to turn off your holiday lights so they don't stay on all night, or you could start a routine to shut off the lights and lower the heat when you tell Alexa you're leaving the house. The savings will start to stack up, and the planet will thank you.
Follow these simple steps to set up a routine:
- Open the Alexa app, then press the three bars in the upper left corner to open the side menu.
- Select Routines.
- Tap the + sign in the upper-right corner.
- Tap When this happens, then select from the options, like when you arrive or leave.
- The next steps will vary. Here's what to do next if you select Schedule.
- To schedule your routine, select the time you want it to turn on: once a week, every day, every weekday, or weekends only.
- Confirm the time and day(s) you want to start the routine, and tap Done.
- Under new routine, tap Add action.
- Select controlling a smart home device, then select your device.
Use Alexa Hunches to save energy
Still looking for how to reduce your energy bill with Alexa? With the Hunches feature, which is turned on by default, Alexa alerts you when a connected smart home device isn't working. This could save you money—think of a light left on all day.
You can also turn on automatic actions so Alexa can act on hunches—like automatically lowering your thermostat at your normal bedtime—without you having to give a voice command. Here's what to do:
- Open the Alexa app.
- Open More > Settings > Hunches.
- Tap Set up automatic actions.
- Select the hunches you want Alexa to act on, like lowering the heat when you're out of the house.
Check your energy use with Alexa
If you know how much energy you're using, you can adjust it. Alexa can help. Check out the Alexa Energy Dashboard to see trends in energy use by week, month, time of day, etc.
- Open the Alexa app.
- Tap the Energy Dashboard icon to see graphs and details of your energy use.
New to smart home devices? Check out our guide on how to set up your dream smart home.
Make sure your smart home is protected
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