Most gadgets end up costing you money, which is a perfectly fair deal – unless they conk out a day after the warranty expires. But some benevolent tech can save you so much that it ends up paying for itself.
We’re talking about the nightwatchmen who keep an eagle eye on your energy and water use, nudging you when you’re going overboard and helping to turn off the pipes remotely when you accidentally leave them on full blast.
Say hello to the money-savers who can help you justify splurging on even more tech…
On a cold winter morning there’s nothing nicer than spending far longer than you really should in a hot shower. But that kind of luxury is a waste of water and money.
The Hydrao shower head monitors how much H2O you’re using and flashes red when you pass the 50-litre limit. The companion app will tell you all about your water usage. Handy for when pub chat dries up.
Despite what the cat might say, heating your house when he’s the only one home isn’t economical. Using a smart thermostat to take control of your heating, however, is.
Not only can Nest be controlled from your phone, but it sets itself to an energy-saving mode when it detects nobody’s home. Nest says its thermostat will pay for itself within two years, on average. Head here for our review.
The world’s most energy-efficient lightbulb will save you £170 per bulb in electricity bills and new bulbs over the lifetime of the product. The caveat is that the lifetime of the product is over 27 years, so all those savings will take a while to add up.
In the meantime, you can enjoy their pleasing design, the nice light they give off, and the fact that you won’t have to change a lightbulb until 2043.
Belkin WeMo Insight Switch
People are constantly banging on about unplugging your gadgets to stop them leaking money, but seriously, who has the time? With an Insight Switch between the wall and the plug, the whole tedious business can be done from your phone.
It also monitors energy usage and you can set schedules, so the bedroom heater switches off when you’re safely asleep.
Fuel consumption apps
Is an app a gadget? Philosophers have debated this particular problem for hundreds of years, but to this day, there is no solid answer. Regardless, we’re throwing fuel consumption apps into the mix here, because they’re genuinely useful tools for monitoring how much petrol you’re wheels are churning through, and how efficient your driving habits are. Fuelio for Android is and Gas Manager for iOS are two apps to help you get started.