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3 easy ways to get free and discounted smart home gadgets

Smart home devices are an amazing development. They can remotely control your home, keep an eye on the front door from your vacation destination, or turn off the light after you’ve already crawled into bed for the night. Some of these devices even work through voice activation, eliminating the need for a remote completely!

While these devices sound appealing, many are quickly turned off by the high price tag. Consumers have become accustomed to paying for convenience through devices like smartphones, but it’s hard to justify the purchase of a smart home device when your current thermostat or doorbell works just fine. A lot of people view it as frivolous.

But it’s so more than that. A video doorbell isn’t just about not wanting to get off the couch to see who is at the door, it’s a genuinely effective safety feature. A smart thermostat can reduce energy costs, extending the benefits beyond just the cost of your monthly bill.

Utility and insurance companies have recognized these benefits and are beginning to offer incentives to consumers who choose to purchase this technology. Read on and we’ll tell you more.

Get smart home savings from your utility company

Your local energy company may be charging a bundle, but they may also have opportunities for savings that you’re missing out on.

Many of the large utility companies in the U.S. now offer consumer discounts on smart light bulbs and smart thermostats. If you’re already in the market for a smart thermostat, you could potentially find a savings of $50 or more with a simple call to your local power company.

For example, Consumer Reports found discounts for thermostats or light bulbs from utility companies such Pacific Gas & ElectricSouthern California Edison and Consolidated Edison.

Join a program and get free smart gadgets

What if you could save on your bill just for using smart home devices? Some energy companies are now offering bill credits or annual rebates for consumers who sign up for programs that allow the company permission to adjust their thermostat in times of high energy demand, like peak hours. You won’t lose complete control, as you can still manually adjust it back, though it may affect your discount.

Bonus: See some of the best smart home products.

With programs like these, you could be required to choose a new thermostat from a handful of models that the company has selected. Fortunately, with enough savings, you can significantly offset the cost, if not cover it completely over time.

For either discounts or rebates, check with your local utility company.

Insurance companies discount smart devices

Energy companies aren’t the only ones offering discounts for smart home devices. Many insurance companies, recognizing the cost benefit of a safe and secure home, are offering discounts to consumers who choose to add security cameras, smoke detectors, video doorbells and other select devices. The discount may apply to your homeowners’ insurance, renters insurance or even the device itself.

Bonus: Get your insurance company to pay for your smart gadget.

For example, through an Amazon partnership, Travelers Insurance is supplying some of its customers with a free Echo Dot. The program requires the purchase of a smart home device kit ranging in price from $135 to $320. These kits can include anything from cameras to leak sensors and more, but they all integrate with the free Echo Dot that comes with it.

Check with your home insurance company to get more details about programs and free devices.

What’s the risk?

Before you make your next smart home device purchase, what’s the harm in giving your energy or insurance company a call to find out if you are eligible for any discounts? All it will cost you is a moment of your time and it could provide savings beyond the cost of the initial device.

Bonus: The dangers of making your home a smart home

If the company features a more robust website, you may even be able to dodge that phone call and take care of the entire process online in a matter of minutes.

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