Is your home assistant draining your energy bill?

Have you ever wanted to turn off the lights, listen to the news or order food by simply using your voice? That is the power a home assistant can provide. These handy products have made their way into many homes across the country since the first smart speaker became available in late 2014. By the end of 2018, there were 66.4 million users of smart home assistants or smart home speakers in the U.S.

One in four Americans now own a smart speaker, and 40 percent of those people also have more than one in their homes. The most popular smart speakers are the Amazon Echo and Google Home.

Smart speakers have become the next big thing. Google Home starts at about $129, and the Amazon Echo starts at about $180. However, there are smaller, more basic versions that start at $25 for the Amazon Echo Dot, and $49 for the Google Home Mini. These smart speakers can truly act as assistants, whether by helping you set reminders, establishing routine commands or informing you of today’s top stories.

As smart speakers become more prevalent, you may wonder if these products impact your energy bills. Tests have been conducted to see how much power a smart speaker uses, including different modes of use, like when the assistant is on standby mode or listening to a command. Moderate-level actions like playing music at full volume have also been tested.

The Amazon Echo speaker uses 3 watts of electricity while on standby, and if it were left on standby mode for one year, the total cost would only be about $3.15. While moderately active (like telling a joke or playing music at a medium volume), the Amazon Echo uses 4 watts. At the highest power use (like playing music at full volume), the Amazon Echo still only uses 6.6 watts, which is just slightly more than double its standby use, and if used consistently at this level, it would cost $6.93 for the year. For comparison, the Google Home uses slightly less energy than the Amazon Echo at 2 watts while in standby mode, saving you about $1 a year in total energy costs.

As you can see, the costs to use smart speakers are minimal, and the difference in prices between available products and their abilities are still relatively small. So, don’t be afraid to buy one.

Source: Maria Kanevsky, NRECA

Above: The Amazon Echo Plus is one of the most popular smart speakers available on the market today.