A gadget you should buy if you really want to save energy during the cost of living crisis

Watching our energy use has become the UK’s most popular pastime as families come to terms with rising costs for warmth this winter.

While everyone is saving money where they can, one little gadget is enjoying record attention, with data from Google showing there has been a massive 251% increase in searches for monitors. energy as households face a winter where prices are around £750 a year on average higher than last year.

Even with the government energy price guarantee and the £400 Energy Rebate, a household with average consumption will still pay £1,900 for energy this winter, compared to £1,277 last winter.

Read more: Energy-saving tips that will save you money – and others that are a waste of time

With all eyes on energy costs, a plug-in energy monitor could be the smartest £10 you spend this year, as it tells you exactly how much electricity your appliances and gadgets are using. when used. A plug-in monitor differs from a smart meter in that it displays real-time information for each gadget individually, rather than your home’s overall energy consumption. This allows you to make an informed decision about what to use and what to forego, as well as making decisions about how long you can afford to use gadgets and technology.

Here we take a closer look at these gadgets:

How do I use an energy takeover?

An energy monitor is simple to use and plugs in between an outlet and the plug of the device to be measured. Some plug-in meters require a backup battery. Simply plug it in, then plug your kettle/toaster/coffee maker/laptop into it like you would an extension cord. You can then read the amount of energy used by your device.

What is the difference between energy monitors and smart meters?

Energy monitors do not replace your existing energy meter, but just an addition. Smart meters send information about your consumption directly to your energy supplier, while energy monitors do not. Smart meters can accurately monitor your gas and electricity usage remotely, so you don’t have to provide meter readings and your bills will be perfectly accurate.

How much money could an energy monitor save you?

An energy monitor alone won’t save you energy, but it will make you aware of how much energy you’re using. It’s a great tool to help you change your behavior and reduce your bills. You can see the effects of leaving appliances on standby or using an air fryer instead of an oven, for example

How much do energy monitors cost?

From around £10 for a basic model such as this one up to around £30. You can buy them in any store that sells electrical kit such as Amazon Where Visfix.

What is the alternative to energy monitors?

If you want to try to figure out how much an appliance is costing you and you have a smart meter, you can turn everything off at the wall and wait for the smart meter to show zero usage. Remember to temporarily unplug items that are on all the time, such as refrigerators, freezers, and routers, as well as devices with screens. such as microwaves and ovens.

If you then plug in the device you want to monitor, you should see how much power it consumes on your smart meter.

Although smart meters are not so easy to identify the energy consumption of each device, they are practical for devices that do not have outlets, such as alarm systems, immersion heaters, electrical circuits. lighting, central heating pumps and controllers, showers, stoves and other direct-wired appliances. devices.

You can also use an application such as Loopwhich analyzes data from your smart meters and promises to show you how to consume less, save money and reduce your ecological impact.

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Edward N. Arrington