A couple of months ago I had a bit of a winning streak and was lucky enough to win three different blog competitions within the space of about two weeks. It was probably all my good luck for the year used up in that fortnight, but still, at least I got some good luck!
One of the prizes that I was most excited about came from the My Zero Waste blog and was an Owl Wireless Electricity Monitor. I've been after an electricity monitor for years (in fact since first starting on Green forums and blogs back in 2006/07) but the cost of one always put me off. When you look at how much energy bills are rising though the cost of one actually pales into insignificance!
This Owl monitor is so simple to use. You just clip one part onto one of the cables on your meter and then the second part can just be in the house with you; there is a wireless connection between the two. The house unit stores data on how much energy you are using and you can also connect it to your PC via USB and download the data to your computer so that you can examine it in more detail. Unfortunately the software doesn't work on a Mac so we are yet to use this functionality, but I can see that it would be super useful if you want to study just how much you are using and work out why.
The screen can tell you how much you are using at any one time and as well as measuring in kW (which are the units you will see on your electricity bill) you can also display the data in terms of the amount of carbon you are producing. Also displayed is the amount used since you last reset the device – a scary figure. The device also has the ability to program in the cost per unit so that you see how much it is all costing you. This works fine if your electricity company has a flat rate. If you (like us) get charged a different rate for the first X kWh it is a bit more tricky, but some simple maths can give you an average cost to put into your Owl.
Since having the Owl in the house I have really been thinking hard about what I am using when and am also much more aware of what devices are particularly energy hungry. The first time I looked at it when the kettle was on really scared me. Although I tried hard to be good before now I really do make sure I only boil enough water for what I need and also make sure I'm there to use the water as soon as it boils, rather than coming back five minutes later and reboiling the kettle to get the water up to temperature again.
I now wish I hadn't quibbled about the price of an energy monitor before as I am already seeing financial returns from this one in just two months of use. It won't be long before it has paid for itself in terms of savings on my bill, and there is also the positive effect on the environment to consider too. If everyone were to take steps to reduce their electricity consumption then it would make a huge impact in terms of the overall amount of carbon produced. It may only be a small step for each household, but all those small steps add up to quite a journey.
This is NOT a sponsored post – I just liked my Owl monitor so much that I wanted to tell other people about it. If you do want to buy a monitor yourself then please consider doing so via Amazon and this link, as doing so will not cost you any more, but will give me a few more pennies towards my electricity bill. Thank you.