If you thought you could reduce your energy usage – and therefore your monthly power bills – by up to 30% without really trying would you do it? Of course you would! That is exactly what power monitors are allowing consumers to do. They tell you where, when and how much electricity is being used in your home so that you can be constantly aware of your household’s energy output. Once you’re cognisant of your usage and thinking about what actually needs to be on at any given time, it’s amazing how quickly you adapt your habits. Simply making energy usage visible is an easy way for every household to reduce their energy consumption and their bills.
Why use a power monitor?
- • Most of us are completely unaware of how much energy we consume. We simply pay the bills at the end of the month and think no more of it. Power monitors, which can be purchased via your energy company (AGL Energy Provider offers a wide selection), give us visible, real-time figures which we can use to compare our usage day-by-day.
- • Power monitors also remind you to turn idle appliances off. For example, if your energy usage is higher than usual for a particular time of day, you may suddenly remember you’ve left a light on in an unoccupied room or haven’t switched the computer off. Such simple things can make a huge dent in our energy usage.
- • If you are actively trying to conserve energy, a power monitor can be motivational, proving that your efforts are having an immediate and clear effect. Closing the gap between taking action and seeing feedback will help you to maintain your conservation efforts.
- • You can immediately see how much an appliance costs to run in an hour, a day and over a month.
What types of power monitors are available?
Plug load power monitors
These are plugged directly into a socket and a single device is then plugged into them (although they can be connected to several via an extension socket). They can then monitor the amount of energy the device is consuming in real time, which is displayed on a digital screen. By inputting your electricity rate, it will then tell you how much that device costs to run when in use. Plug load monitors are great when you’re starting out on your energy-saving mission and when you’ve just bought a new gadget, as they can tell you how much energy each device uses and how much it is costing you. If you’re interested, some also display other data such as carbon emissions.
Wireless whole-house power monitors
As the name suggests, these power monitors track electricity usage for the entire home by connecting to the electricity metre via a wireless sensor. The sensor sends information about how much power you’re using to the monitor, which converts it into kilowatt-hours (the unit by which your electricity provider charges you) and then displays it on the screen. By converting it into standard units, you can then input the amount your provider charges you so that you can instantly see just how much you’re spending – and how much you’re saving when you start to switch off lights and appliances which aren’t being used.