How to Lower Your Bills and Improve Your Environment
There are many ways to find out about electricity usage – the Annual Energy Performance Report (EER), the British Gas Guide, and others. However, how does one go about getting the best electricity usage estimates? How do you choose the correct appliances for your home? How to measure the energy?
The first step to measuring electricity usage accurately
is to actually calculate the consumption. You must remove the items that you do not use regularly from your current electric bill. That will give you an idea of how much energy you actually use. It may be necessary to reduce the number of energy-conserving items you have or upgrade to more efficient appliances.
If you don’t want to reduce your appliances,
you can still measure your electricity usage and compare it with your annual usage. One way to do this is to take a friend’s measurements with you every month and use that as a baseline. Plug each appliance into a separate meter to get an accurate estimate. You can also use your annual draft or pink sheet energy usage report (the ones that you receive when you apply for your electricity tariffs) as a baseline. This way you can compare your actual results against the estimated results.
For those who want to reduce their electricity usage,
there are two options available: use a smart plug and smart meter. Smart plug devices can measure energy usage and automatically switch off lights and appliances that are not being used. With smart meters, some advanced features allow you to monitor appliances and only charge those that are being used. You can also use both for the same meter – monthly bills and yearly to see your effectiveness and reliability. There is a slightly more involved setup with smart meters than with smart plug devices. However, this doesn’t take much longer than connecting them and most devices work with them already.
Some newer smart appliances
come with a sensor that turns lights on when they are in use. This helps you make sure your appliances are only using a fraction of their energy. More expensive smart devices automatically turn the energy monitor on when they are switched on and off when they aren’t. However, if you want to go for the sensor option, check whether the energy monitor comes with an extension cable. These can run under the wall and extend all the way to your room; you’ll need an outlet nearby to plug it in.
Once you know your average electricity usage,
you can get appliance ratings and learn which appliances consume the most power about their rating. Then you can replace your appliances that consume too much power with ones that don’t. You might also be surprised at how energy efficient your current set of appliances is. It’s a good idea to keep a running tab of your electricity usage as well, so you don’t forget about it or get surprised by a higher bill at the end of the month. With these easy steps, you can start to lower your bills, save money, and improve your environment.