With so many gadgets floating around our homes these days, saving energy is obviously becoming a number one priority. The more advanced gadgets get, the more efficient they usually are, but that's not always the case. Can a small piece of tech - an energy monitor - actually help you reduce your energy bills though?
You might have bought yourself an eco-shower or some energy efficient bulbs, but how do you know the impact they're actually having? Some technology out there even comes with its own built in energy monitor, such as the Haverland TT designer electric radiator, so you can see for yourself how much energy you're 'spending', but the truth is, at the end of the quarter your energy bill doesn't really reveal much about what's going on in your home does it? You're given a final figure with how many kilowatts you've used and an amount you have to pay, and that's it. The Government are currently working on plans to roll out Smart Meters to homes which should hopefully offer a little more insight into our energy habits and appliances, but could an energy monitor add even more value?
The Energy Saving Trust have recently run some trials using some average priced, off-the-shelf energy monitors to assess their money saving potential. They found that the average household could save anywhere between 5% and 15% per year by using an energy saving monitor in their homes - that's between £25 and £75 off a basic £500 annual electricity bill. But let's be honest - an energy monitor doesn't actually directly save you energy, it just keeps you informed about how your appliances are running, and which ones to avoid using where possible.
So how does an energy monitor work?
An energy monitor does exactly what it says on the tin - it monitors energy usage. Most of the units on the market now are portable and wi-fi enabled, meaning you can carry them around your home or place them somewhere prominent for easy reference at any given time. Using this technology, you can see how much energy you're using, whereever you are and whatever you're doing. You don't need to be tech savvy or have a degree in computer science to set one up either - it simply collects information from your meter and gives it to you in a readable, easy to understand format, instead of a load of 1's and 0's that nobody really related to until they hold their energy bill in their hands.
It shows you how many kilowatts of electricity are being used in your home, per hour, at any given time. It also tells you how much this equates to in terms of £££ (so you know how much you're currently spending per hour), and it'll even tell you your greenhouse gas contribution - so if you're conscious of the environment, this little piece of tech can help you do your part. For example, an average person who's sitting at home, working on the laptop with the TV on in the background and perhaps a light on, might be spending 5.1p per hour. This can be valuable information if you've got a buzzing household with a large family always leaving lights on and doors open (so the heat escapes).
What's the verdict?
An energy monitor will help you save energy. Not directly, but it will give you some important visual cues and strong information which could help shape the habits of you and your family. When you're at home and all of your appliances are on standby and the lights are all on, you probably don't think too much of it. You might question it for a moment, but then roll your eyes and get on with your evening. But if you could actually see, in real time, how much that was costing you, you'd probably react a little differently. In this sense, an energy monitor is a useful puchase for homeowners, even if it's just to help us get better acquainted with our energy guzzlers and how to better manage them to make a positive difference.
Eco Stores Direct are here to bring you the very latest in energy news, views and opinions from across the UK. They are also suppliers of energy efficient electric heating solutions and are constantly assessing the market for the best products and the latest ground-breaking technology which they think will make a real difference to their customer's homes. Eco Stores Direct are devoted to helping you reduce your carbon footprint and bring down your energy bills and they work hard to raise awareness of energy efficient products that can make all the difference. For more information on their range of energy efficient electric radiators or designer electric panel heaters, call one of their friendly team today on 0330 300 4444 for a free assessment.