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Save money with Amazon’s energy dashboard. Here’s how



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Amazon

Amazon is new energy dashboard started rolling out to customers on Monday. Announced at the company virtual media event in September, the dashboard provides statistics on time and energy consumption Echo speakers and displays as well as on certain third-party Alexa devices.

Sustainability has been a recurring topic for Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos since its launch The climate promise in 201

9. The pledge outlines the technology giant’s climate change goals, including plans to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2030 and go net carbon by 2040. Amazon also launched one Label “Climate Pledge Friendly” for products sold by the online store. Products must meet at least one sustainability certification, as determined by partners such as Rainforest Alliance and Energy Star, and Amazon’s own Compact by Design certification. Bezos also announced a fee of $ 10 billion Bezos Earth Fund to tackle climate change last February and $ 2 billion Climate Pledge Fund to Combat Carbon Emissions in June.

Amazon’s climate plans have received some criticism. “It is hypocritical to announce that climate change is the greatest threat to our planet while simultaneously boosting the fossil fuel industry by providing advanced computing technologies to the oil and gas industry so that it can more efficiently discover and drill more oil.” Greenpeace USA Senior Campaigner Elizabeth Jardim said in a statement following the Bezos Earth Fund announcement.

The energy dashboard is just the company’s latest effort to achieve its sustainability goals. Since I have several Alexa-compatible devices at home, I decided to check out the new energy dashboard. Here is the full list of devices currently working with the energy dashboard.

How to set up the energy dashboard

OK, first question: how do you find the energy dashboard? Here I will walk through the steps to find it in the Alexa app and how to configure it.

Step 1: Open the Alexa app

Amazon’s smart energy dashboard is housed in the Alexa app, which is where all your Echo devices and all your Alexa-connected products live.

Step 2: Select Devices

Click on the Appliances tab in the lower right corner of the app home screen.

Step 3: Click on Energy Dashboard

There is a subtle Energy dashboard option about a third of the Devices page on the left with a small lightning bolt icon (see the first screenshot below). Click It.

You won’t see much at first.

Screenshots by Megan Wollerton / CNET

Step 4: Time to configure

After you open the energy dashboard, you’ll see roughly what’s in the second screenshot above. It may look a little different based on the specific devices you have connected in your Alexa app.

I currently have a dozen smart products ranging from Echo devices to lights and security cameras – so the app immediately took me to a mostly blank page with only “Lights” at the top. That’s because you need to enter some information to get energy estimates for your devices. Click Get started to start.

Note that the energy dashboard cannot be tracked all of them of your smart devices connected to Alexa app. In the fourth screenshot it indicates that the dashboard only works for “compatible Alexa devices such as lamps, TVs, thermostats and water heaters …”

Step 5: Add device details

If you already have devices that are compatible with the energy dashboard in your Alexa app, you will see the average number time your lights (or TV or water heater) are on without you having to do anything (see the first screenshot below).

But in order to give you energy estimates, the app needs a little more info. When I clicked on Deck light under my list of compatible devices in the dashboard, I was asked to add wattage info. I wasn’t sure about the deck light wattage at first, so I clicked Learn more at the bottom of the screen to go to the Help page (see the third screenshot below). The help page offers standard wattage specifications for different bulbs, but you can also visit the specifications of your specific device for the most accurate information.

I followed the same steps for my other smart bulbs and the next day I had an estimated total energy reading for my devices.

Enter details about your appliances to get energy usage estimates.

Screenshots by Megan Wollerton / CNET

Is Amazon’s energy dashboard helpful?

I am still in the early stages of testing the energy dashboard, but I find it helpful so far. It is similar to the dashboards you see in smart thermostat apps that provide an overview of your usage. This feature is especially useful if you are surprised by the numbers and are able to make adjustments that do not affect your daily life, but can save you a little money and use a little less electricity.

You just see some of your home’s energy usage with Amazon’s energy dashboard, as it only works with select Alexa-compatible devices, but I’m already seeing benefits. The time averages for my lights were higher than I realized and I adjusted their on / off schedule to take this into account. We will see if the energy estimates turn out to be useful over time (it is too early to do anything with them now); I’ll be back with an update later this year.


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