What is a home energy monitor?
There have been a number of changes to the energy market across the last few years, as companies move towards a more ethical, user-friendly experience. Changes to fuel mixes, for example, have seen suppliers put a greater emphasis on renewable sources, meaning the energy you use has less of an impact on the environment.
And you can take these green energy efforts even by investing in a home energy monitor, a device that lets you track exactly what power you use in your home, without the fuss of waiting until your next bill. Usually the size of a mobile phone, an energy monitoring system receives information from your energy meter informing you of what electricity you’re using.
How does a home energy monitor work?
A sensor on the home energy monitor gathers the necessary information from your meter and a transmitter then sends this data through to the handheld device, which then coverts your usage (in kWh) into cost (in pounds and pence), meaning you can to identify where you’re spending the most money on energy, then make changes to cut your bills.
The monitor will also give you data about your green gas emissions and the raw data of what kWh you’re using.
Although the handheld device doesn’t actively suggest ways you can save money, it allows you to identify when you’re using the most energy and which appliances are costing you the most money.
What’s the difference between an energy monitor and a smart meter?
There main difference between an energy monitor and a smart meter is where the information they gather goes, and how it’s used.
A smart meter is designed to relay information on energy usage and habits directly to your supplier. Smart meters will eventually replace traditional gas and electricity meters and gives an accurate reading to your supplier whenever they need it.
An energy monitor, on the other hand, calculates your usage for your own benefit, and no data is passed through to your supplier. Your monitor can give you an accurate usage estimate and cost, which can then help you compare energy suppliers, so you can save money by switching to a better deal with a new provider.
How much does an energy monitor cost?
Energy usage monitors are not expensive, and usually cost between £25 and £40, but can sometimes be provided by your energy supplier free of charge. It is always worth contacting them to see what they offer before forking out any money yourself.
For a relatively small cost, using an energy monitor to get a handle on your energy usage could help you make significant savings on your future energy bills. The ability to check the running costs of your household appliances can be a real help, and there’s no need to worry about your data being compromised, as any information goes only to you, not your supplier, so you’re free to use it how you want.
How to get an energy monitor
If you can’t get an energy monitor directly from your supplier, you should be able to pick one up online or from any high street electrical store. Prices range from £25 to £40, with different levels of functionality throughout each meter.
If you do manage to get one from your energy supplier, make sure you’re happy with the terms of the deal, as some suppliers only will only offer one if you sign up to a new tariff. If you then sign up to an expensive deal, the higher rates might cancel out any savings you make by being more energy efficient.
If you’re concerned about the amount of energy you’re using, and how much your monthly bills are costing you, and energy monitor is a great tool to help you become more energy efficient, and help cut your bills.