I've got a new toy. It's small, shiny and white, quite stylish really. It has wireless even. There's a display, which has me glued. Even 4 year old and baby are taken by it - must be because it gets so much attention so they wonder what it's all about.
We've been doing silly things like switching on the hoover or the kettle to see what it does to my new toy. And switched it off again. It's an energy monitor and apparently just having it in the house will make you reduce your electricity consumption significantly (I don't get how and why, because, if you're energy aware anyhow, and try not to have anything on that isn't needed, how can the mere presence of this slinky little thing change your habits?) I've been told.
Can we get it to zero? No, I think there are switches in this house that I don't know of and I'm not mad enough to switch off freezer and fridge, though who knows, it may still happen, just to see if, once all appliances I know of are switched off, there is still some sneaky something eating our money.
Of course it's summer and even a good one at that, so we're out a lot and not using much electricity at the moment. It's quite reassuring that even after a few days, our total consumption doesn't add up to any significant amount. I'm surprised how little the hoover uses when on economy setting, and how much the kettle does. I've definitely switched off lights a tad more frequently already, and ventured into cooking in the half light (we have a very dark kitchen and dining room and the lights are usually on there).
Oh it is fascinating, my geekdom is most definitely tickled. I even managed to install it myself (it was easy, so I don't think I can really pride myself with great DIY skills, but still). I've done tests of all kinds checking what makes the numbers change. For example: the chargers plugged into the socket which are warm, surely they'll be using energy? But no, no change detected. How about the microwave, there's a display, so some energy must be going in all the time? Yes, it does. Not a lot, but enough to make me switch it off at the socket in the future. The same must apply to my oven, just that I haven't got the foggiest where to switch it off (and I do use it as a clock, so I might stick with it).
I'll have my new toy for another 2 months, I wonder if it will change our habits and save us some money. tbc.