Whenever the subject of ‘energy saving tips’ is brought up, it’s not unreasonable to think why many people just tune out; it’s a subject that’s been discussed to death and often includes a lot of common sense advice like turning down your heating a couple of degrees, switching lights off when not in a room or shutting all doors and windows in the winter.
But it doesn’t have to be ridiculously boring or ludicrouslyobvious – saving your home money on energy bills can involve some really cool and interesting bits of technology, many of which are incredibly affordable. Go green, save yourself money and equip your home with some cutting edge technology.
Product: The Ecobutton
For tech lovers and PC enthusiasts, the Ecobutton is a fantastic bit of kit – it saves energy, costs less than £15 and helps you get regular breaks from that screen as well. Simply plugging into your PC’s USB port, the Ecobutton subtly flashes at you when it’s time to take a break and you give it a push. It then sets your PC into the most low-powered mode possible while you’re away from your desk, calculates savings as the time passes and gives you all the stats when you sit back down and press the Ecobutton again.
The savings are quite small, around £20-£30 a year, but this means the tech can easily pay for itself in six months – it’ll help your PC kit last a bit longer, and help out your health by scheduling regular breaks from behind your desk.
Product: Energy Usage Monitors
Cost: Around £30-£50
There are a plethora of different energy usage monitors available on the market now; you can get one through your energy supplier for simplicity, or do a bit of online research and track down the most high-tech model you can find. However you do it, you’ll generally find that you won’t spend more than £50 for a decent model, and some energy suppliers may provide you with a free one with your tariff.
The installation and use is simple – plug it into an outlet in your home and the unit does the rest. It gives detailed information on exactly how many watts/kilowatts are being used by all appliances, and roughly how much this works out to over a day/week/month. This allows you to identify any spikes in power consumption that may be from power-hungry appliances being left on (like electric radiators), as well as make you aware exactly how much your day-to-day energy usage is costing you and letting you adjust it accordingly.
Product: The energyEgg
The energyEgg is another delightfully simple bit of kit which helps you manage plugged in appliances. By using a multi-way extension lead alongside the energyEgg you can have a number of appliances controlled by motion sensitivity. For example, have a couple of lamps and your TV plugged in and the energy egg will turn them off when you’re not in the room – with the potential to save you plenty of money over the course of the year if you’re a forgetful type or have appliances that don’t fully power down (ie. ‘turn off’ to standby mode).
Product: Underfloor Heating
Cost: Around £40/M2
The cost of underfloor heating systems has dramatically dropped in the last few years, going from an exclusive luxury to something that’s almost a staple of most modern bathroom installations. For around £30 per square metre, you can install underfloor heating mats in your home – whether that’s in your bathroom or in other rooms. As well as saving on space, underfloor heating systems heat incredibly efficiently. By heating from the ground up the systems are able to use less energy to achieve the desired ambient room temperature, and no heat is wasted towards the ceiling as it might be with radiators.
Even if you factor in the cost of a thermostat and (potentially) insulation boards, it’s still an affordable addition and can save you plenty of money over time – and who doesn’t love a warm bathroom floor in the cold of the night?
This post was written by Tom McShane – professional blogger and lover of everything technical. Constantly scouring the web for new products that can bring down his ever-rising energy bills, Tom has tried out all of the above solutions and would recommend Crown Tiles for anyone considering underfloor heating.