An energy monitor is a simple handheld or table-top display which provides a near-accurate estimate of the electricity you are consuming in your home. It’s a handy device as it displays the daily running costs of electrical items in your home such as your kettle, washing machine and tumble dryer.
How does it work?
An energy monitor is made up of three parts – the sensor, the transmitter and the display.
The sensor clips around a cable feeding into your electricity meter. This sensor monitors the magnetic field surrounding the cable and can tell how much current is flowing through the cable at any time.
The transmitter is connected to the sensor and will usually need batteries. This will send the information wirelessly to the energy monitor display. The transmitter should be able to reach the energy monitor wherever it is throughout your home.
The display itself is the useful bit. It displays information relating to what the sensor is reading. The display can be set to show you the cost of your electricity. If you prefer it can show you units used in kWhs or tonnes of carbon produced.
The monitor also records this information so you can see daily averages and look at past usage.
Energy monitors, smart meters? What’s the difference?
A smart meter is the next generation of gas and electricity meters in the UK. It will allow you to monitor your energy usage and will transmit data to your supplier automatically.
An energy monitor is different. Instead of replacing your meter, it attaches to the meter cables to monitor the electricity running through them. They don’t monitor gas use and don’t transmit any information to your energy supplier.
You can read more about smart meters in our Introduction to smart meters blog.
How can energy monitors help me save energy?
You can use the monitor to see which of your appliances are using the most energy and when. This will allow you to adjust your behaviour to make changes to how you use your electricity. Read the story below to see how past participants have benefited from the loan of an energy monitor.
We loaned Mandy an energy monitor as she was using double the national average for electricity use in her home. By using the energy monitor, she found that one of the main reasons for her high electric use was that her electric shower was being used multiple times a day for lengthy amounts of time. She also saw spikes in her energy usage when she used her tumble dryer, which she was using for small loads throughout the day, and when she was watching television.
We fitted a shower aerator, adjusted the flow speed from high to medium and turned the temperature down. This reduced the electricity usage of her shower from 10kWh to 4.5kWh. We also advised her to use her tumble dryer less, and hang her clothes outside or on an airer to dry.
After changing her behaviour, Mandy continued to monitor her energy use for another month. After 1 month she found that her electricity consumption dropped from 6,400kWh to just 3,700kWh – this would save her over £350 a year.
Book a Visit
If you are interested in monitoring your energy use, we can lend you an energy monitor. Please get in touch through our booking form to book a home visit with one of our energy advisors.