Small changes in the home can lead to big energy savings

It’s that time again. Energy prices are going up and it can be a real struggle for many households to work out how they can afford to pay more, particularly since they are likely to rise by over 5% or, in real-terms, £60 on average this year. The big question for consumers is: ‘What can I do?’.

There’s plenty of information about the benefits of checking and changing tariffs and switching to a new supplier and these have both been proven to help. But before even thinking about taking that step, the biggest impact undoubtedly comes from cutting energy usage and it’s easier than people think.

Most houses are packed with electrical appliances and each one has different characteristics which dictate how much energy they use. Let’s think about these appliances as different animals to illustrate the point – tortoises, hares and chameleons.

Tortoises are slow and steady. In most homes they account for what we would call the ‘house background load’ and they might include fridges, freezers, electrically-wired doorbells or rechargeable tools.  Hares, on the other hand, use a lot of energy in short bursts. Think kettles, washing machines or tumble dryers. The third animal, the chameleon, represents hidden consumption such as spare fridges or freezers in the garage, hot water immersion heaters or electric underfloor heating. The energy that chameleons use is often un-noticed and extended over a long period of time which means that chameleons can be the most expensive energy guzzlers of all.

Tackling energy usage is easiest if householders can see it being consumed in front of their own eyes. To achieve this, they need an energy monitor. These are inexpensive, and models like our own Minim+ are easy to install and use.

Once up and running, the energy, or power monitor as they are sometimes called, will display a colour ‘speedometer’, which indicates whether the house is running low, medium or high energy usage in real-time. A householder can simply check the monitor on a daily basis to make sure the energy they are using is as expected, turning off appliances if they are not needed, and this will result not only in energy savings and being more energy efficient, but also in lower costs too. 

Managing energy efficiently is the only long-term way to lower costs. An energy monitor can put householders in complete control, allowing them to get on top of those tortoises, hares and chameleons.

Energy monitors are vital for anyone who wants to track their energy use against their available budget. All it takes is a small investment in time to work out exactly what impact each appliance is having on energy usage, so the monitor can calculate the annual costs that are incurred. Often, we have energy-hungry habits that we don’t even consider, such as switching a light on in the porch overnight or leaving the TV on stand-by instead of switching it off. Understanding our habits can be eye-opening, leading to small changes that result in hundreds of pounds of savings. 

Even if consumers decide to switch providers or change tariffs, they will still benefit from the easily available, at-a-glance information that an energy monitor provides. So, to keep those tortoises, hares and chameleons in check, and to mitigate against energy company price hikes install a Minim+ energy monitor and get your energy usage firmly under control.