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Do Smart Plugs Save Energy? The Surprising Answer!

Woman Controlling Smart Plug Using App On Mobile Phone

Smart plugs have been one of the most popular items in the home automation category in recent years. And for a good reason: they’re an easy way to add basic automation and energy monitoring to your home without spending much money.

But do smart plugs save you energy? Let’s look at it in detail.

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What Are Smart Plugs?

Smart plugs go directly into your wall outlet and provide a way to control whatever is plugged into them via an app on your smartphone. They typically connect to your home’s Wi-Fi network. So, it’s possible to control them from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection.

Some smart plugs also include energy monitoring, so you can see how much power your devices use. Smart plugs are also an affordable way to add a touch of smartness to your place.

How Much Energy Does a Smart Plug Use?

A smart plug typically uses a single watt of power in standby mode. However, since smart plugs are always connected to your home’s power supply, they are also drawing some power, even when they’re not used to control anything.

The average consumption is 1 to 2 Watts a day. However, if you have connected the smart plug with a Z-Wave or ZigBee standard, it will use less energy. You can expect it to use 0.3–0.6 watts of energy.

Woman plugging a device into a smart plug
Image By: Stock-Asso, Shutterstock

Can Smart Plugs Save Energy?

As you can see, a smart plug uses very little energy. It’s so low that it doesn’t make much of a difference in your electricity bill. However, the main way smart plugs can save you energy is by helping you to be more efficient with your appliance usage.

For example, let’s say you have a coffee maker every morning. You can set a schedule with your smart plug so that it turns on automatically, brews your coffee, and then shuts off. Thus, you don’t have to remember to turn it on in the morning. It turns off automatically after brewing, so you don’t have to worry about leaving it on all day.

You can also use smart plugs to monitor your energy usage. Many plugs will track how much power your devices use. The information can be helpful in understanding which appliances use the most energy. Such awareness can help you change your habits and be more energy-efficient overall. 

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory found that smart plugs can save 1%–4.58% of energy or 500–1,000 kilowatts a year. That calculates to a month’s worth of electricity for some people.

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Benefits of Smart Plugs

Smart plugs are beneficial for a variety of reasons. Here are some of them:


Smart plugs allow you to set automatic timers for appliances and lights. For example, if you have put on holiday decoration lights, you can set a timer so they turn on and off at the desired times automatically.

Instead of letting them be on the whole day, you can set the timer for them to turn on in the evening. In this way, you can save energy and money.

It’s also useful for people who are forgetful or have a hard time keeping track of time. The automatic feature of smart plugs eliminates the need for someone to remember to turn off the lights or appliances.

Ease of Use

Did you forget to turn off the lamp before getting into your warm and cozy bed? You don’t need to get out of bed to turn it off. With smart plugs, you can control your home appliances with your voice or phone.


You can control your smart plugs with voice commands if you have Amazon Echo, Google Home, or Apple HomeKit. You can just say, “Alexa, turn on the lamp,” or, “Hey Siri, turn off the fan.”

With smart plugs, you don’t have to get up or look for your phone to control your appliances. Instead, you can do it with just your voice.


Smart plugs can help improve the safety of your home in several ways. For example, you can use them to remotely turn off appliances in case of a fire.

Some appliances, such as space heaters, can be a fire hazard if left on for too long. With smart plugs, you can set a timer so that they turn off when not in use.

Woman setting a smart plug at home using her smartphone
Image Credit: Stock-Asso, Shutterstock

What Are the Common Uses of Smart Plugs?

The common uses for smart plugs are as follows:
  • To control lights and appliances remotely
  • To create a schedule for when devices should turn on or off
  • To monitor energy usage
  • To receive alerts if a device is left on
  • To use voice control to operate devices

Are Smart Plugs Worth It?

Most smart plugs use 1–2 watts of power. Since energy bill measurement is in kilowatts per hour, a smart plug will add maybe $0.01–$0.02 to your monthly energy bill. Even if you had 10 smart plugs in your home, it would only add $0.10–$0.20 to your monthly energy bill. That’s not much. So, in most cases, smart plugs are worth it.

How to Maximize the Benefits of a Smart Plug

You can maximize the benefits of a smart plug in several ways. One way is to use it to help manage your energy consumption. For example, you can set timers for when devices should turn on and off. Additionally, you can monitor your energy usage to see where you can save.

It’s also important to choose the right smart plug for your home. For instance, if a smart plug costs $15, it should save you at least $15 on your energy bill.

When looking for a smart plug, look for one compatible with Amazon Echo, Google Home, Apple HomeKit, and other voice-activated assistants.

If you want to connect your smart plug to a home security system, ensure it is compatible. Additionally, read the reviews before purchasing a smart plug.

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Smart plugs are a convenient way to manage electricity consumption in your home. With smart plugs, you can schedule when appliances should turn on and off, set up automatic timers, and remotely control them from your smartphone.

Featured Image Credit: Daisy Daisy, Shutterstock


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