The average US household spends around $1,856 on home energy bills every year. Fortunately, new energy-saving design features and technologies can help you save electricity around the home and slash energy bills. Cool roofs, smart power strips, ring doorbells that flash light at times, and motorized shades are some of the latest designs providing environmental and sustainable benefits.

Cool roofs

A cool roof has been cleverly designed to reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat than regular roofs. Not only do cool roofs help create a more comfortable home, but they also help homeowners save energy and reduce energy bills, since there’s less need for air conditioning — even on hotter days. In the past, cool roofs were either only white or lighter shades, but now they’re also available in darker hues, without losing solar reflectivity. Cool roofs are constructed for longevity, and are typically made of highly-reflective sheet covering, paint, shingles, or tiles.

Smart power strips

Smart power strips cost the same as regular power strips, but offer impressive energy and money-saving benefits. It’s all too easy to leave your electronics plugged into power strips around the home, where they drain power even when not in use: the so-called ‘energy vampires’ that expend unnecessary energy when you’re not using them. Conversely, smart power strips shut down power to devices that are fully charged or in standby mode. This saves you significant money — standby power consumption ranges from 5-10% of your household energy consumption, on average. The Isolé IDP-3050, for example, even has a motion detector. When the room is empty for anywhere from 30 seconds to half an hour (you set the time frame), it shuts down power to six of the eight outlets.

Motorized shades

Motorized shades automatically either open or shut, depending on the temperature both inside and outside your home. During the hottest times of day, they shut, meaning you don’t need air con. And, when the sun’s out during colder weather, they open to let in light and heat. Motorized shades can be controlled with a remote control, mobile app, or even voice command. For example, Lutron’s Serena motorized shades can be controlled with both Alexa and Siri voice control. They also integrate with smart home systems like Nest and HomeKit, as well as connecting up to other smart home gadgets.

Energy-saving design features and technologies can help slash your energy bills while supporting the environment. Cool roofs, smart power strips, and motorized shades are some of the latest ways you can enjoy energy-saving benefits in your home.