The UK Government announced “Free Energy Meters For Every Home” back in 2007, and it’s finally come to fruition in 2009. While you can’t keep the Energy monitor for ever, you can now get a an Owl Energy Monitor on a Free one week loan from your local library, just as you would a book… Nifty!
I’d been thinking about getting one for a while but the cost of the meter vs what I’d save was questionable in my mind, after all, applying a little common sense to your energy usage and you can reduce your energy bill substantially without a meter. But getting one for free, even just for a week was worth a shot.
Easy to Set Up
The first thing you need is Batteries, 6 of the little beggers… I thought it might have come with them, but then unsavoury types that borrow the meter would probably keep them, so hey, no probs. Once the batteries are in, you just sync up the transmitter and receiver and fit the transmitter sensor round the live feed to your consumer unit (full instructions as given). It’s as simple as that. The receiver/display unit should then start to show how much electricity is currently being used.
You can then set the various tariffs up on the receiver display module using the info from your latest electricity bill. Don’t forget to press reset on the Display to start afresh, or you may end up adding the last users consumption to your readings.
Those useful people at our local library had included some templates to use for logging purposes, which was very kind of them. Listed on there were the most common household appliances such as Kettle, Toaster, Dishwasher etc so you could work out the consumption of each device as you used it, and keep a tally over the week.
It Soon Adds Up
It’s amazing how Energy Conscious you become when you’ve got one of these things on your Electricity supply. Even with hardly any gadgets or appliances we found we were paying 2p per hour, which then doubled and trebled as the Fridge & Freezer kicked in. Turn the kettle on and Wham… up to 25p per hour. Dishwasher 30p per hour while it’s heating the water.
Most notable was leaving my Computers switched on over night. Even during Economy 7 hours, leaving 2 computers, a Laptop, 2 external hard drives, router and couple of other gizmos running was costing around 3p per hour. Which even at Economy 7 rates is £25 a year. Doesn’t sound a lot, but me and the Mrs can get a meal out for that. I’d rather do that than leave the stuff switched on!
Get Your Name On The Waiting List Now!
Give your local library a ring now and put yourself on the waiting list to get one of these gadgets right now. It’s a real eye opener. Just by having one on a weeks loan, I reckon some of the changes we’ll make as a family to our energy consumption will save us well over £50 a year…