Saturday, July 16, 2011

A new gadget

On Wednesday my new energy monitor arrived. I have been waiting for this, and if I am honest it was one of the things that persuaded me to switch energy companies - well I do love a new gadget.

For those not familiar with the monitors, essentially you just install a transmitter in your meter box, which connects around your live cable, and this sends a signal to a unit in your house. You then program the device with the unit price that you pay for your electricity and the display tells you how much energy is being used in your home at any one time. I really is as simple as that.

What follows is of course hours of fun as you run around the house turning things on and off to see how much your consumption goes up and down.

Here are a couple of items that I knew used a lot of power, but still the actual amount was a surprise.

Firstly, turning on this lamp


just a single halogen bulb, turns my monthly estimated monthly bill from this

    to this

That's £30 a month for one light.

This lamp,

which has an energy efficient bulb, costs just £2.06 a month. A much bigger difference than I thought.

Apparently, on the Jeremy Vine show (which I can't actually bear to listen myself -I always switch stations at this time) they were using the number of solar panels required to boil a kettle as a scaremongering argument against renewable energy (for overseas readers this is a daily show of 'whinging pom heaven' on national radio, where members of the [sometimes ignorant] public phone in and moan about the issues of the day). Anyway, when telling my mum of how much entertainment my new monitoring gadget was providing she told me about the show. Now, I know a kettle uses a large amount of energy for a short period of time to boil water, and so I decided to check out what happens on the monitor when you boil the kettle. Are you ready for this?


Yes, that does say £400! An increase of £387 per month - just for turning on a half filled kettle - thankfully we don't permanently boil the kettle! 

I would say there is definitely an argument for solar panels so that we use the cash we make on feed in tariff when we are not boiling the kettle to pay for the energy we use when do! There is quite an attractive deal here for that, if you are rich enough to buy the panels in the first place!

This brings me to a current issue in Oz -  I think I am mpressed by initiatives in my other country regarding the carbon tax - seems simple, market regulated and fair



correct me if I'm wrong!
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2 comments:

  1. Interesting gadget, solar panels are getting more main stream here and there cost are getting more reasonable. Mike is wanting to get solar panels for our house.

    By the way welcome to Motherhood.

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  2. I love this gadget...you'll end up having a competition with yourself to use as little as possible. We have had the PV panels installed as you know, along with the eco cent and we're now watching our electric meter go backwards!! That is a refreshing change! I think more people should have these gadgets, perhaps it'd be the wake up call needed for them to really understand that just changing a bulb can help and only boiling the amount of water required for the cup.

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