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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Save Energy - Get an OWL

Everyday we are bombarded by news of increasing greenhouse gases, climate change, ever increasing energy costs - it's all doom and gloom.
Not in our house.  Oh no...
Yesterday I purchased an energy monitor.  To be more accurate a wireless electricity monitor.
No more guessing - this is the real deal.

Let me explain how it works.

  1. The clip sensor, provided, is attached quite easily to the main supply cable (the red one) that goes into your electricity meter.
  2. This sensor is the attached to a wireless transmitter.(Batteries supplied)
  3. The transmitter sends data to the display unit (up to 30m away) every 2 minutes.
  4. The display unit receives and displays data on a large, easy to read LCD screen.

The information displayed includes:

  • The cost of electricity used
  • Electricity in Kwh
  • Greenhouse gas display
  • Temperature

You can set up to 4 electricity charges and set them across the day, so that it calculates, quite accurately, your actual spend.  For ease of use, I've calculated and average price, across peak and off-peak.

The monitor I bought is an OWL Wireless Electricity Monitor and to quote the blurb:
"This unit provides up to the second information on the amount of electricity you are using in terms of power, cost and your carbon footprint.  This means you can see in real time the benefits of turning off electrical devices at home.  Whether it's turning off at the plug rather than just using standby, or simply turning off a light, OWL shows you the cash impact of changing your habits and behaviours which could amount to savings of hundreds of pounds per year."

As I've already mentioned, it's very simple to install and get started.  What I do like is the ability to purchase a USB Connect device.  This is an add on tool, which, in conjunction with the transmitter, when the USB device is plugged into your PC, it will stream real time data to the supplied software, allowing you to track your electricity usage.  This seems a little bit extreme, and I think paranoia could soon set in!!

The monitor is a very neat device and at less than £40, I believe this could be recouped quite quickly.

Having looked at recent bills, I've worked out that we're spending approximately £3 per day in electricity.  That gives us a target to work towards - I think it's going to get quite tense!!

I'm not trying to sell it, just give my initial opinion.  However, I was pleased to note that this has achieved "Best Buy" status from the consumer organisation Which?

If you're looking for a good Christmas present, or are interested in reducing your own costs, this is a terrific unit, which will definitely help do the job.
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