Anything that can help bring down energy bills is welcome in my house, so I jumped at the chance to try out the
EDF Energy 'EcoManager'
. The device monitors the energy usage of household appliances and calculates their daily and monthly running costs to encourage energy efficiency.
It is very straightforward to set up - you simply plug the device you wish to monitor into a transmitter which then sends all of the relevant usage data to the control panel.
You can also use the control panel to turn on or off any connected appliances at the same time.
The standard pack comes with three transmitters included but the control panel has the capacity to monitor up to 14 transmitters at a time. You can keep track of even more appliances if you have them plugged into a multi-socket adaptor and, by doing this I was able to monitor my computer, printer and desk lamp using just the one transmitter.
To purchase your Eco Manager, click here and enter ECOMANMSM10 to get your exclusive moneysupermarket.com 10% discount. The real cost of home appliances
Looking around the living room I decided that the TV and the kettle were probably the two things that I used more frequently than anything else and this got me thinking as much about my lifestyle and my own energy consumption as it did about the energy usage of my appliances.
So the TV and kettle both got plugged into the transmitters, with my home computer becoming the third appliance to get the 'big brother' treatment.
Now that everything had been set up, in a surprisingly hassle free manner, I could relax and find out exactly what the electricity company were charging me £130 a month for.
The first appliance I checked up on was the kettle. And having monitored the usage of my kettle I now understand why the national grid gets twitchy every time there's an ad break in Coronation Street.
The control panel showed me that boiling water for my single cuppa was using over 1.5 kg of CO
, and if the kettle was left consistently boiling, it would cost a staggering £10 a day. 2
I decided that anything that was going to deter me from making tea could not be a good thing so I move on to monitor the energy efficiency of my fridge and freezer instead... and that's when things went wrong.
When meddling with appliances such as freezers it's important to remember to plug them back in correctly as you stand to lose a whole load of frozen food if you let it defrost, which is exactly what I did.
And things went from bad to worse as I soon discovered that, between them both, my fridge and freezer accounted for over half of my monthly electricity bill. I now have to work out whether it is actually worth replacing them with newer more energy efficient models.
It wasn't all bad news though as I found that, although it appears to be switched on for around 90 per cent of the day, my TV was costing me less that £5 per month to run.
In addition, my home computer, printer and desk lamp were costing just over £10 per month in spite of my excessive internet surfing, blogging and gaming.
Changes for the better
Overall, I found the EDF Energy EcoManager to be a really useful little device and it certainly opened my eyes to the costs of running even the most basic household appliances, both financially and environmentally.
And now I know just where my money is going it's time to try and make the necessary changes to limit the damage to the planet as well as my wallet.
Here are some of the steps I have taken to reduce my energy bills:
I have changed all the bulbs in my house to energy efficient ones and although this has been a fairly large initial outlay I am hoping that I can reduce my lighting costs by around £70 over the life of each bulb as they use less energy and can last up to ten times longer than standard bulbs.
I also make sure that I turn off lights in any rooms that are not in use.
When washing clothes I always make sure that I have a full load and try to wash everything on a 30 degree wash. However, this is not always practical after feeding time with the kids.
Now that summer is here I line dry all of my clothes outside instead of using the dryer and come the winter I will use a clothes rail as draping clothes over radiators limits the amount of heat that reaches the rest of the house.
Another good tip that I have discovered is to regularly defrost the fridge and freezer and make sure that all of the seals are intact. In addition, I have learned not to leave the fridge door open for longer than necessary and to never put hot or warm food into either. This increases the workload placed on the appliance and uses up more energy.
I always take a shower instead of a bath and have lowered my hot water tank's thermostat down to around 50 degrees Celsius.
After discovering exactly how much energy my kettle uses I only ever use as much water as I need to make a cup of tea.
I also turn off all appliances at the wall when not in use, this may annoy the rest of the family but it saves energy and money.
It is also a good idea to see if switching energy provider can save you money - customers that have used moneysupermarket.com to make the
switch have saved an average of £382.
Please note: Any rates or deals mentioned in this article were available at the time of writing.
Rate This Article
Click on a star to rate this article.