If there’s one thing that most people are concerned about at the moment it is the prospect of ever rising utility bills, which can serious impact on household finances. This is particularly the case for the millions of families and pensioners on fixed incomes, where rising utility bills can become a genuine source of concern. However, there are ways to fight back and monitoring the energy that you use in your home is a great way to start.
How Can You Monitor Your Energy?
It’s possible to find out how much energy you are using at home by using special ‘smart’ meters. These nifty gadgets simply clip onto the wire that leaves your meter. The data collected by this electrical clip is transmitted to a mobile device and screen, which can be housed anywhere in your home. It will show you just how much energy is being used in your home at any one time, displaying the information in real time so that you can make decisions about whether to switch off one or more appliances.
These energy meters are brilliant for families who are keen to learn more about the impact of using appliances, particularly in respect to cost, when they aren’t needed. For example, if the heating is turned on, the energy usage will immediately become apparent on the reading from the energy meter. This can then be calculated into a cost by using the energy tariff details and there are online comparison websites that enable you to find out more by calculating your usage in comparison to other families or households that are similar to yours.
Information To Change Behaviours
You may find that the information shown on your energy meter rapidly changes the behaviours in your household. For example, it will be possible to see the instant saving made by switching off lights that aren’t needed; this is a great measure in itself, as the Energy Saving Trust has calculated that UK households waste around 170 every year simply by leaving lights on that aren’t needed. Similarly, if you can see the cost of putting on the heating, you might think twice about switching it on when you simply need a jumper! You might decide to put your washing out to dry on the line rather than use the tumble dryer and you might prefer to cook on a single hob rather than heating the entire oven for a single dinner. You can use the information provided to influence your decisions and modify your behaviour. In return, you should notice a real drop in your energy usage and bills often as much as 10% over the year.
Where To Get Your Energy Meter
Most utility companies provide these meters on certain tariffs for free, or at a cost of between 25 and 50. You can also purchase them online or at a local hardware or DIY store. There are various makes and models available. You might also want to test the outcomes of other activities, such as changing your light bulbs to energy-efficient LEDs (light-emitting diodes) and installing loft or cavity wall insulation to reduce your heating requirements. It all adds up!