Essentially an Energy Monitor allows you to check the total amount of electricity that you are using in the home at any one point in time. It is a simple, inexpensive way of communicating with your household the actual cost of electricity and of motivating yourself to start controlling the bills.
It is particularly useful when you want to find out the annual, monthly or even daily cost of using particular appliances, or even groups of appliances. In my home for example I test the electricity usage before and after I activate the power strips which enable you to easily switch off a group of electronic appliances in the home at one point in time. I found that leaving the Television, DVD player and Playstation 3 on at the same time costs me £40 per month!
You are also made conscious of the amount of energy consumed by leaving appliances on the standby mode – these items such as TV’s Fridges, Microwaves and home cinema systems contribute to what is known as your house phantom load – that is the amount of energy that is being consumed for no particular benefit to you or the household. Eliminating these and calculating the benefit is very satisfying.
Other Energy saving tools
Once bitten by the energy saving bug you might consider investing in energy monitoring plugs that turn appliances that are not being used at specific time of day.
These varieties of energy monitors are also equipped with a timer that allows you to set the times you want a particular appliance to stay off such as during the times when you are out of the house or going to bed.
Your energy footprint
The final reason why you should invest in an Energy Monitor is that it provides you with the data to make a more informed choice when considering which electrical appliances to use in your home. If you have no idea how much it costs to run a fridge for a month (around £5) then you will not be particularly swayed by the increasing energy efficient fridges as you have no base point to benchmark from!
Purchasing energy saving items is an investment for the future, as they invariably have a payback period within 5 years and will save a lot of money long term. The secondary benefit that we haven’t touched on here today is the ‘green’ issue – the lower carbon footprint caused by your reduced energy consumption will give you a happy glow for many months to come!