These Valentine’s Day gift ideas are sweeter than chocolate

Smart Valentine's Day Gifts

This Valentine’s Day, skip the grocery store flowers and box of chocolates and instead get that special someone in your life a sweet tech gift that will help them save energy and money.

These days, it seems like there is a “smart” version of just about everything! Many smart devices work independently without an internet connection, but would need to connect to Wi-Fi if you want to control them from your smartphone or other mobile device. Here are a few of our favorite high-tech gifts for the home that your sweetheart is sure to love:

Smart thermostat

Smart thermostats make it easier than ever to maximize the efficiency of your home’s heating and cooling system by learning your behavior and making automatic adjustments. And, as a Piedmont Electric member, you can save even more by joining our smart thermostat savings program.

When you purchase a Nest or Ecobee smart thermostat and sign up for our program, you’ll receive a $50 rebate and get paid for allowing Piedmont Electric to adjust your thermostat through your in-home Wi-Fi by a couple degrees on very hot or cold days.

Of course, you will always have the final say in your home’s temperature and you can change your thermostat back at any time. You can find all the program details by visiting pemc.coop/thermostat.

Smart blinds

Consider installing smart blinds throughout your home, which have a built-in motor so that they can be raised or lowered with the click of a remote. Or, you can take it a step further by setting your smart blinds on a schedule so that they automatically open when the sun rises and close when it sets.

This is particularly helpful during these cold winter months when you want to let light in during the day to help keep your home warm and comfortable.

Smart vents

You may not pay much attention to your heating and cooling vents, but with the invention of new smart vents you could be singing a different tune. These automatically adjusting vents can redirect airflow out of rooms that are over-conditioned and into rooms that need it.

A set of smart vents for your home can be the perfect complement to your smart thermostat and both will have your wallet feeling happy when your monthly energy bill arrives.

Smart outlets

If you regularly read our newsletters and bill inserts, you’ve probably noticed that we talk about “phantom load,” which is what happens when appliances and electronics are plugged in and using energy, even when they’re not in use.

Smart outlets, which plug into traditional electrical outlets, allow you to control whatever you plug into them from an app. For example, you can plug your television into a smart outlet and then plug that into your regular electrical outlet.

Then, using an app on your mobile device, you can turn off the smart outlet so that it’s not using any energy. The next time you want to use your TV, all you have to do is turn the smart outlet back on and then turn on your TV as usual.

You can see how much impact smart outlets will have on your energy bill by visiting pemc.coop/tools and using our phantom load calculator to see how much phantom load is currently being used in your home.