Will your energy bills REALLY get cheaper with a smart appliance? We quizzed a Samsung executive to find the one cost-cutting change to make

​Samsung Chief Customer Officer Deborah Honig sits at a desk with a mug

Deborah Honig serves as Samsung Chief Customer Officer and outlined a number of steps GB News viewers could take to cut energy bills and enjoy the benefits of automation in their home

Aaron Brown

By Aaron Brown

Published: 27/03/2024

- 17:08

Updated: 27/03/2024

- 17:44

Cut your energy usage by as much as 70% if you take the right steps when setting up your new smart home

Whether you’re looking to cut your household bills, keep a watchful eye on your property when you’re away, or control your lights from a smartphone app — there are several reasons you might want to invest in smart home gadgets.

But switching lightbulbs, thermostats, doorbells, and dozens of other household appliances to internet-equipped alternatives is a lot of effort — and comes at a cost. So we asked Samsung executive Deborah Honig, who serves as Chief Customer Officer, what one purchase would make the biggest difference to newcomers to smart home technology?

“Add a Samsung appliance to the mix, like a smart washing machine,” Ms Honig advises GB News viewers.

When combined with the AI Energy Mode baked into the South Korean firm’s smart home platform, the Samsung executive estimates you could cut energy consumption by “up to 70% for washing machines”.

samsung animated gif showing some of the most common uses of the samsung smartthings app with the ai washing machine

Samsung builds its SmartThings automation and AI Energy Mode technology into a number of its home appliances, so you can keep tabs on the amount of electricity used by each device in your home — and change your habits to cut down on costs


Ms Honig explains: “This is because it can not only identify how heavy the load is but also how dirty the washing and adapt the washing cycle accordingly.”

Earlier this year, Samsung struck a partnership with British Gas to incorporate its PeakSave scheme, which offered discounted energy prices during off-peak times, including half-price electricity between 11am and 4pm on Sundays, into its SmartThings platform.

SmartThings is a one-stop-shop that lets you monitor and control all internet-connected appliances and devices in your home, including smart thermostats, ovens and fridge-freezers, video doorbells, smart TVs, and more. You can control all of these gadgets with the touch of a button on the smartphone app, your telly remote on a Samsung Smart TV, or using AI voice assistants like Alexa.

AI Energy Mode inside the SmartThings app shows an exact breakdown of how much energy your appliances are using, so you can quickly spot the best time to use appliances and understand the best ways to cut down on your usage. Although that data is available on the Energy Monitors dished out for free by most energy companies, these screens rarely let you dive into historical data.

samsung smartthings app show with energy monitoring on screen on an android phone

Samsung has already coded a number of energy-saving and monitoring features into its SmartThings platform, but these become much more powerful with the integration of British Gas and up-to-date pricing alerts direct from the energy supplier


"Now, the single biggest change that you can make to save money on your energy usage is taking your SmartThings energy use data and combining it with PeakSave information. You can then optimise your home appliances, using energy when cost and demand are lower,” Ms Honig says.

And you don’t even need to be home to start a cycle on the washing machine or dishwasher when energy costs are at their lowest, since it only takes a few swipes on your smartphone.

Many of these internet-connected appliances will learn from your habits too — automating some of the most arduous parts of household chores.

Ms Honig adds: “For instance, not only can you monitor the washing machine’s energy use in real-time and change settings from your smartphone, but the app can also remember laundry habits, suggest different washing cycles, and let you schedule your wash from anywhere.”

Aside from washing machines, the Samsung executive says that AI Energy Mode within the SmartThings app can reduce energy consumption by 15% for refrigerators.

Given the success of the deal with British Gas and its PeakSave scheme, we asked Samsung’s Deborah Honig whether more partnerships with energy suppliers could be incoming for the 285 million people globally who use the SmartThings app?

“Our work with British Gas is in its infancy but so far has been very successful," the Chief Customer Officer told GB News. “Collaboration has always been one of our core values and we are always looking at how we can best work with likeminded companies and innovators to enhance the customer experience.”

It's possible we'll see new perks for British Gas customers with a few Samsung appliances and the SmartThings app too. Speaking at the time of the announcement, Catherine O’Kelly, managing director of British Gas Energy at British Gas, said: “This venture is a big milestone in providing British customers with simple and affordable ways to help save money on their energy bills and cut carbon. This is the first step in our collaboration with Samsung, which will see us combine our strengths and bring more innovative solutions to the market."

If you’ve already got a few gadgets at home — maybe a Ring video doorbell, a Nest thermostat, or a Philips Hue bulb — Deborah Honig advises downloading an app that brings all of these devices from rival companies under the same roof, figuratively and literally.

“The best first step you can take in creating your connected experience is by simply downloading the SmartThings app. This will enable you to connect and manage devices and appliances that may already be installed in the home such as a Ring doorbell, Philips Hue lights or Nest heating system that would otherwise be managed in separate apps.

"The SmartThings app allows you to manage multiple elements of your home all through one simple interface and is a great way to start a connected home,” Ms Honig tells us.

Of course, Samsung isn’t the only option around — with Google Home, the Home app from Apple, and Amazon’s Alexa app offering a very similar set of features. Whichever you settle on, getting any internet-connected devices in your home to start talking to one another is the best way to get the most from your purchases and start to save money.

If you want to ensure that everything will work seamlessly with one another, looking for the “Matter” logo on any smart lightbulbs, thermostats, security cameras, video doorbells, smart speakers, door and window sensors is a good start.

That’s because it’s a new standard devised by the biggest technology companies that means you’ll no longer need to hunt around packaging to find a “Works With” HomeKit, Google Home, or Alexa sticker. Matter-equipped devices will work with all of them.

a lightbulb router screen and other smart home gadgets with the matter logo

A collection of smart home gadgets with the Matter logo, indicating that they meet the industry-standard and will work with Samsung SmartThings, Apple Home, Amazon's Alexa, Google Home, Ring, and dozens of other popular brands


If you have an iPhone, your spouse uses a Samsung phone, and your child has a Fire tablet from Amazon —there’s no worry, all of these devices will be able to communicate with Matter. We asked Deborah Honig about the importance of the platform for those looking to build a smart home.

“Matter is made to expand but simplify the smart home ecosystem experience and will continue to grow in importance as we keep developing our smart home technology to meet customer needs. It makes it easier for devices to be set up in the same way each time and provides a seamless connection between different types of technology, especially our very own SmartThings app which can connect with any supported Matter Controller,” Ms Honig tells us. “We’re seeing more people looking to bring tech into their homes in a cost-effective way and they want proper interoperability when connecting devices from different brands.

“Matter is a great starting point for those looking to level up and customise their homes.”

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