Monday, 21 December 2009

How are you doing?

Recently AlertMe launched the Swingometer - an online device which shows a live display of how well the UK is doing at reducing its energy consumption. Today, we're pleased to announce that all AlertMe Energy customers can now view their own personal swingometer in the AlertMe user interface.

Your individual swingometer will show you how well you’re doing at reducing your personal energy consumption in the past 24 hours compared with your past behaviour. So if you've used a lot less energy recently than past experience suggests, the swingometer will swing into the green, and if you've used a lot more, it'll be in the red. Your swingometer is just for you and we’ll keep all your information private, but if you’d like to share it with friends and show them how you’re doing at reducing your carbon footprint and your energy bills then that’s great too. You can publish your personal swingometer anywhere you want, share the link on Twitter, post it on Facebook, send it around in an email or even embed it on your personal blog or website.

If you're an AlertMe Energy customer simply login to view the swingometer on your AlertMe home page. If you're an AlertMe security customer and have bought a meter reader, you'll be able to see your swingometer by going into the energy records page.

We believe in providing you, our customers, with as many ways as possible to visualise (and thus, hopefully, understand and reduce) your usage of energy. The swingometer is just one more way to help you do this. We’ve kept it really simple so we hope that anyone, even your kids, can begin to understand how their TV watching or kettle boiling can affect your energy bills and our environment.

We’re sure you can think of many cool and innovative ways to use the Swingometer and we’re looking forward to hearing your ideas.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

DECC Smart Meter consultation - Part II

Back in August we blogged our response to DECC's White Paper on Smart Meters. Now DECC has collected all the responses and published an update here.

The good news is that DECC agrees that it's vital that Smart Meters have a connection to an in-home network - not just to an in-home display but to other devices too. What we need next is clarity on the physical communications standard that will be chosen for that connection, so that the market can gear-up to deliver devices and services which connect to it. There are many contenders, but it's important that the government choose one (any one!) so that everyone can design around it - otherwise the uncertainty and diversity will act against consumer choice.

Friday, 11 December 2009


Almost 18% of Britons work from home, which is presumably a good thing for the environment. That means 5 million less people travelling to workplaces. Surely that must be less carbon-intensive. But how do we know how much energy home workers are using? And who’s keeping track of their carbon footprint?

Recently we announced that we’re joining forces with AMEE to make it easier for companies to track the carbon footprint of their home workers. This will make life a lot easier for UK corporations that will need to track their entire carbon footprint in order to comply with the UK's CRC Energy Efficiency scheme which is due to begin in April 2010.

The Carbon Tracker service we’re introducing allows home-workers to use the AlertMe system to track their energy usage. AMEE convert the information about how much energy has been used into an equivalent amount of carbon dioxide. The CO2 information is provided to the home-workers’ company where it can be used to create reports on the company’s entire carbon footprint to comply with legislation such as the UK's Carbon Reduction Commitment.

We’re now looking for pilot customers for this innovative new service. If you’d like to be part of this pilot and find out how much carbon your home workers are using please contact us by email at

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Energy on Display

This morning the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) published its response to a consultation initiated earlier this year on smart metering. The response is based on comment from over 270 organisations (including AlertMe), and we’re delighted to see that the Government have firmed up their position on a number of key areas.
  • First, they have confirmed their view that the communication network (between smart meters and the rest of the world) should be centralised.

  • They stress the importance of data security, a subject we’re passionate about.

  • Also it’s great to see that DECC is recognising the importance of promoting local community engagement in the roll-out of smart meters.

The role of the consumer in combating climate change cannot be underestimated. If the UK is to achieve its targets for reducing CO2 emissions, we all have a part to play. We as individuals account for around 40% of the UK's greenhouse gas emissions, and a large chunk of that is due to our use of energy in the home. With the old-fashioned meters that almost all UK houses currently have, it's very difficult for people to understand where they're using energy, making it hard to take confident steps towards reducing their energy usage and their carbon footprint. Giving consumers that information in a form that they can be easily understood and acted upon empowers them to do their part to help reduce the UK's carbon footprint. Without systems such as AlertMe Energy, or in the future smart meters connected to in-home displays, we're all just feeling our way in the dark.

Thankfully AlertMe Energy can allow even those with old-fashioned meters to view and reduce their energy usage (and the accompanying electricity bills of course) and their carbon footprint today. And of course in future we’ll be able to work directly with smart meters as they’re rolled out.

Of particular interest was the confirmation of the Government's position that smart meters should include a stand alone in-home display. At AlertMe, we take the view that the more ways consumers are given to visualise their energy usage, the better, and the in-home display is one of the most visible ways of achieving this. We’re always working on new ways for consumers to track their energy usage and monitor their progress in reducing their carbon footprint. And in keeping with this we’re already talking to existing providers of in-home displays about integration with AlertMe as well as crafting plans for the creation of an AlertMe display as part of our whole-home energy management system. Watch this space for more details.