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Energy Monitors

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Energy Monitors

Do you know which appliances in your home or office use the most energy? Energy monitors can help you find out.

Energy monitors show you in real-time how much electricity your home is using, when you turn on a light or other electrical appliance they display shows the change in load. Many energy monitors also show the cost of electricity being used.

Energy monitors range from devices which plug in and monitor a single lamp or appliance – good for really working out how much electricity your TV uses, for example – to those which connect to a computer and allow you to see graphically how much energy you've been using.

Energy Monitor Log of Oven

The chart shows how much electricity was used while baking bread – you can see how the oven uses a lot of energy as it heats up and then the thermostat turns the electricity on and off to keep the oven at the right temperature. The two big spikes show when a kettle was used while the bread was baking.

It's been estimated that almost £1 billion is wasted each year by leaving appliances on when they're not being used and energy monitors can help reduce this.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 August 2011 14:54  

News from the Eco Fair

Solar Photovoltaic Systems

This is one local resident's experience of installing and using a Solar PV system.

With interest rates at a record low it occurred to me that Photovoltaic Solar Panels might just be worth investing in and would satisfy my environmental desire to benefit the planet albeit in a modest way. They would increase the value of our property so Roger and I decided it was a win-win situation.

Having done our Research we embarked on sourcing a supplier, shopping around is always advisable for major projects. Be prepared for some hard sales tactics, double glazing salesmen have reinvented themselves as solar panel salesmen. Despite being advised that we didn’t need planning permission fortunately we did contact our local council and were informed that we needed to apply for a ‘lawful development certificate’ as the panels could be viewed from a public highway. This cost £75 and actually was the only serious irritation in the whole process.

With our supplier chosen, our deposit lodged and our certificate in place we waited two months for installation; such was the demand for the product. Due to the accessibility of the garage roof, where the twelve panels were being fitted, the installation took just six hours.

Upon completion we registered with our energy supplier and watched the DC/AC meter start to click over. After three months we submitted our first reading on the 20th December and were duly sent a cheque for £78. This equates to a 3% annual return on our investment which isn’t bad given the atrocious weather in November and December.

So my top tips are:

  • Do shop around; there was a £5k difference between the highest and lowest quotes.

  • Be prepared to be the target of some aggressive selling tactics.

  • Do talk to your local council and energy provider early in the process.



Feb 2011