What you can’t measure, you can’t save. That’s why we’re happy to bring you today two nifty measuring devices which could take your awareness and therefore lifestyle to another level of green.
If you have the right gadgets you can conduct your own energy audit. You might remember my story about the e2 wireless electricity monitor which I use. I now regard myself as much more informed, as I have my little monitor on my desk all day. Like right now our office is using 88c per hour of electricity. If I see it suddenly jump, I know someone has switched something on. Take for example the kettle. I asked Ayesha to switch it on, now the meter has jumped to R2.62 per hour! Yes that gadget is a massive guzzler and I am utterly guilty of over-using it during cold winter months. How about you?
The whole idea is to make our invisible energy consumption visible, so that we can understand what we’re doing and how we’re doing it. Now for the good news: Efergy Technologies has kindly sent us a gift to pass on to a lucky reader. They provide home owners with this innovative, affordable way to take control by saving money on monthly electricity bills and reducing their carbon footprint, while transforming their homes into eco-friendly havens.
Good time to get responsible
“With the ever-increasing electricity tariffs and the damaging effect of carbon emissions on the environment, it is important that consumers are responsible and continue to actively reduce their energy consumption and alleviate the pressure on the country’s power grid. Enabling consumers to measure and understand how they use electricity is the first step in the right direction,” explains Mark Corry of Efergy Technologies.
Energy monitoring is at the heart of energy management because you need quantifiable information about your energy usage to tell you where, and when, you’re saving money. “In other words, once you actively monitor how much electricity you use you can measure it, and if you can measure it, you can take the necessary steps to reduce it,” Mark explains.
Measure and reduce your energy consumption
- Install an electricity monitor, such as the innovative e2 wireless device from Efergy Technologies. Via the sleek digital display panel, the e2 communicates up-to-the-minute electricity consumption in kW/H, the Rand value of this usage, as well as the cost to the environment in carbon emissions.
- Use the device in your household for one month without attempting to save electricity to get an indication of the regular energy consumption in your home.
- Download your consumption data onto your PC via the e-link software and determine your average for the month, for example 8 kW per hour. The latest e-link software from Efergy Technologies is fully Windows 7 compatible and allows you to record and track electricity consumption over a daily, monthly or even yearly period through easy-to-read graphs, which can also be converted to PDF and e-mail friendly formats.
- Then decide on a reachable target, about 2 kW per hour less than your average, set the alarm on the wireless monitor to alert you when your targeted consumption level is reached, and take the necessary steps to keep your consumption below the set target.
- For example, change to energy saving light-bulbs, don’t leave lights and appliances switched on unnecessarily, unplug the TV and computer when they are not in use, install a geyser blanket, fill the washing machine before using it and wash clothes at a lower temperature, and use a low-flow showerhead. You can walk around your home with the wireless display device, switching appliances on and off, to see how much electricity each utilizes.
- It will take between 2-3 months to adapt to the energy saving measures and once your family is accustomed to monitoring their electricity consumption on a constant basis you can even try to reduce the target even further. With the help of your electricity monitor, you can monitor how your electricity usage drops over time.
- Lastly, compare your electricity bills over time to measure your energy savings in hard cash. “You can save between 15, 20% on your monthly electricity bill by simply being aware of your energy consumption and putting consistent measures in place to reduce it,” says Mark Corry.
Find your unique solutions
Each household is unique, and by monitoring your own energy usage you can identify the most effective ways to reduce it and understand how your household can use electricity more efficiently.
By encouraging consumers to be consistently aware of their energy consumption, an electricity monitor will transform energy savings into an interactive experience for the whole family, which fosters real and sustainable behavioural change over the long-term.
The main benefit is a smaller chunk of your hard-earned money spent on unnecessary electricity consumption every month, and your eco conscience can rest assured that you are doing your part to conserve the environment by also reducing your carbon footprint.
What else can we measure?
How much water is enough in the shower? We all know that showering is better than bathing, but with teenagers in the house I am well aware that there are different kinds of showering experiences. I’ve heard it’s a common trait that creatures of this age group spend well extended periods of time standing under running water. I am known to knock on the door after ten minutes, saying “Hey, surely you’re clean by now? What are you up to in there?”
When visiting Australia some years ago during a terrible drought, I learnt about the Aussie shower. Now nothing else makes sense to me. Do you know it? It works something like this: tap on, wet yourself, tap off, soap yourself, tap on, rinse, tap off. If I wash my hair the tap goes off between shampooing and conditioning. I just can’t stand there and hear the water flowing down the drain.
Water is a threatened resource
But if you don’t think your family will take to this system, it’s time to measure your shower water too. And Efergy also have a nifty gadget for that. It’s called the Showertime shower timer and alarm. I have one and this certainly helps to bring your family’s attention to their water usage. As you shower you see the numbers run up until an alarm rings when you’ve reached your set maximum.
So out of sight, out of mind is no longer an excuse. It is well worth the few Rands you will spend and this will be offset in no time against your water saved. If you’re into Christmas gifts, this will make a good eco gift too.
Measure for earth. It makes changing easier!