A tech-savvy approach to saving energy in the home


As energy costs have continued to rise, making the most of opportunities to cut costs has become an important part of running your home efficiently. It’s very likely that utilities costs are responsible for a sizeable share of your expenditure and, if so, there are a number of ways in which you can identify and make savings. There are clever little gadgets and straightforward solutions that will help you to monitor energy output. Here is a quick guide to the most useful options.

Environmental sustainability

By taking action at an individual level, you are making an important contribution to ensuring that environmental sustainability is protected and improved. Wasting energy is both unnecessary and harmful. Instead, responsible use of ethically sourced materials for improvements such as double glazing and roof insulation will help you to keep energy costs down and reduce your carbon footprint, thus benefiting the environment. In the same way, by switching off your appliances and lights when they are not in use, rather than leaving them on standby, and by reducing room temperatures (turn down your central heating thermostat by a degree) you are actively cutting energy costs and saving money.

Using the technology

There are some great little gadgets available to help you monitor energy output so that you know where and when to take action. Wireless access means electricity meters have become increasingly sophisticated, with hub kits allowing you to monitor energy use in real time via your mobile devices and your computer. You can also look at the history of your energy use, checking how much you have spent on a particular day, week, and month, or even at a particular time.

Generally, installation of wireless electricity meters is very straightforward. In your circuit breaker panel you clip a small sensor onto the supply cables. The sensor is connected to the transmitter by a lead, which is how data is sent wirelessly to the hub (use an Ethernet cable to connect the hub to your internet router). Your router is now ready to wirelessly upload the energy data, which is converted into kilowatt hours, thus displaying how much energy you are using.

Minimising heat loss

As well as monitoring energy use, you can take a few simple steps to keep it to a minimum. Make sure your loft and walls are insulated. Install solid rather than glazed doors as heat is lost through windows, and use door curtains and draught excluders during winter months. Double or triple glazed windows and wooden shutters will reduce heat loss; shutters provide an extra layer of insulation internally and make an attractive feature in any room.

Neither tech gadgets nor energy conservation measures need be unduly costly, and they will help you to monitor and, therefore, control the household energy use. It’s amazing what can be achieved with a few simple changes, and this is really an investment for your future, including the future of your family and that of the wider environment.


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