Tuesday, 23 June 2009

How much can AlertMe save you?

When I joined AlertMe a few months ago, it didn't take long for me to realise that the company's plans with regard to energy were truly impressive. One thing I couldn't help wondering, though, was how much money could a system like this really save me? Of course many people are motivated by the environment or energy security, but for most people it's pleasing to see a real cash saving from energy monitoring and management.

Recently, I found the answer to this question, and it came as a big surprise.

I've been monitoring my house's electricity consumption using technology that AlertMe will be launching later this year. I was able to see most of the big loads such as washing machine, tumble drier and fridge, but there were two mysterious loads: one that came on every hour like clockwork and used 2kW for about a minute, and another that came on less frequently (a few times a day) but used a lot more energy. By a process of elimination and experimentation I eventually found the culprits: an immersion heater (which we really don't need since the gas heated water is more than enough for our needs) and a small electric water heater in the out-building in our garden.

So, on 26th May, I turned off the first of these, and on the 27th, I turned off the second. The effect has been dramatic. The average electricity consumption of our house before the 26th was around 28kWh, or over £4 per day. After the 27th, average consumption has dropped to around 17kWh, or just £2.50 per day. This equates to a saving of about 40% or an annual saving of over £500! All from just turning off two water heaters that we don't need.

This may well be a fairly unusual case, but it makes the point that most people have no idea how much energy they're using or where the energy is going. As you can see from the picture, the immersion heater is huge, and hard to miss, but frankly I'd never really considered what it was or what it did, and it certainly didn't occur to me that it was costing me hundreds of pounds a year to run!

Do you know how much it costs you to run your washing machine or dishwasher? Or your lighting? And how do you make a decision about whether it's more important to stop leaving your TV on standby or to just buy a new one?

AlertMe's Smart Energy and Monitoring solution provides you with information which you can use to make real savings, and the wealth of new features we have planned for the coming months will make it even easier to understand and control your energy consumption.