Smart Energy Savings
As technology gets smarter, so can your energy use.
Innovations in smart technology have made it possible to operate lights, appliances and other electronic devices without ever touching them or lifting a finger at all in some cases.
Smart switches utilize your home's Wi-Fi network—allowing you to operate them from almost anywhere through an app on your smartphone. That means you can turn off lights after you leave the house. Some advanced smart switches can dim your lights, while others allow you to sync your lights to turn off and on when the sun rises and sets. If you own a smart speaker, you can tell it to turn on the lights in any room where a smart switch is installed. Overall, smart switches can give you more control over your energy use to save energy and money.
Smart outlets and plugs
Smart outlets or plugs work in a similar way, allowing you to automate devices and control them with a smartphone app or smart speaker. Turn lamps, coffee makers, TVs and other electronics on and off remotely or set them to a schedule. Watch MGE Energy Lab: Smart Lighting Explained to learn more about smart outlets.
Smart power strips
Many electronics, like computers and smartphones, draw "phantom" power even when they are turned off. But you don't have to unplug them to save energy. Smart power strips use a combination of timers, sensors and Internet connectivity to reduce energy use. The strips power down devices when they go unused.
Eligible customers can obtain a smart power strip and other energy-saving products for free from Wisconsin's Focus on Energy. New in 2018, renters and condo owners can take advantage of Focus on Energy's Simple Energy Efficiency program. The program offers a free pack of energy-saving products worth up to $40 to MGE customers who apply.
For answers to questions about smart technology call MGE's Home Energy Line at (608) 252-7117 or 1-800-245-1125. You can also send an email to AskExperts@mge.com.