"I love my Energy Monitor – do you have one?" blog discussion

edited 23 August 2010 at 1:56PM in Martin's Blogs & Appearances & MoneySavingExpert in the News
83 replies 19K views
This is the discussion to link on the back of Martin's blog. Please read the blog first, as this discussion follows it.
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  • RadionotmeRadionotme Forumite
    124 Posts
    Any advice on which meters to go for and where to buy from?
  • persian_starpersian_star Forumite
    84 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    Hi, I don't have one and our energy tariff is rather complicated (economy 7 with anomolies) so I'm not sure if it would work for me, but I'd love to know how much energy various appliances use per hour during a normal day! If anyone knows and is willing to share a figure for things like an electric shower, an immersion heater, your average cooker/fridge/washing machine, and things like a TV/PS3/XBOX while both on and on standby, I'd be really interested to know. Thanks!
  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    Several points.

    Firstly these monitors are usually very inaccurate at low electricity consumption.

    Secondly if you need one to know you have left the bathroom lights on - fair enough.

    The main misconception is that an appliance with high consumption is more costly than a similar appliance with lower consumption. Some examples:

    Martin refers to his kettle's very high consumption - which is 3kW. However he could have a 1kW kettle or a 2 kW kettle and it would be no more efficient(in fact slightly less) 3kW for 2 minutes uses the same as 1kW for 6 minutes.

    Someone complained about their 'whirring old fridge that eats electricity'. The same principle applies. It is the standard of construction and insulation of the fridge(and where it is located) that determines its economy. A big compressor(using a lot of 'juice') might be more economical than a small compressor. It is how long the compressor runs that determines the economy.

    A cold fill washing machine usually has a 3kW heater and most cycles last 90 mins or so. Far from using 4.5kWh on a cycle, most modern machines use between 0.3kWh and 0.6kWh - so what does the monitor prove?

    P.S
    If Martin's monitor reads 45p for a kettle and watching TV - he is paying around 14p/kWh:eek: and he needs to follow the excellent advice at the top of this page on how to get a cheaper tariff!;)
  • pennymakespoundspennymakespounds Forumite
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    under the guise of "every little helps " ... I do recommend the very cheap...very easy to use ... "remote controlled sockets" product . I paid about £14 a couple of years for a 4 pack in currys ... but see lots of mentions currently for a 3 pack status brand in asda for ridiculously cheap £5.

    "allows you to switch off your tv / vcr / dvd /sat box / lamps / any other appliances at touch of a button"

    I keep the remote at my bedside so use it to turn everything off overnight.

    Then in say the lounge .. i've got tv...vcr..dvd..sat box .. lamp are all plugged into an extension lead adaptor . then into one of the clever sockets then plugged into the wall.

    In my office . again computer..hifi..phone.. internet etc into an extension lead/adapter . then through clever socket into wall.

    Etc .. think in total about 14 items controlled by my "zapper" . so nothing left live/standy during sleep time.

    Must save me a few bob .. and gives peace of mind that i'm doing my green bit .. and safety of having everything turned off.
  • jobbingmusicianjobbingmusician Forumite, Board Guide
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    MSE_Martin wrote:
    ...the bathroom lights have been left on (as they’re not energy saving bulbs due to the sockets in there)

    Bathroom lights should never be energy saving lights, unless they are in a bathroom where your only activity is to take long luxurious baths. ESL's take ages to warm up, and due to the power required to start and heat them, are not energy saving unless you leave them on for 30-40 mins each time you use them. Constant switching on and off also reduces their life significantly.

    So the government's response is to stop making 'ordinary' lightbulbs - one of the many ways in which they are actively misleading us about ecological issues. :mad:
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  • Hi Martin Lewis,

    From what you've said it sounds like you've got an electricity monitor, not a smart meter.

    Smart meters are highly sophisticated meters that accurately MEASURE your gas and electricity usage and communicate with your energy supplier - these will replace your existing meters, so will likely be stuck on a wall in a cupborad somewhere.

    Electricity monitors are the simple handheld units that can sit on the table in your living room, with another bit clipping on to your existing meter. These just give you a good estimate of how much electricity you are using - they monitor rather than meter your energy use. (Handheld units like these may come WITH smart meters, but they are not smart meters themselves).

    Are you sure the object of your love is a smart meter?

    Best wishes,

    Hazywarrior

  • Hi, I don't have one and our energy tariff is rather complicated (economy 7 with anomolies) so I'm not sure if it would work for me

    If you pick a monitor that supports economy 7 then you shouldn't have any issues. I've just ordered an OWL CM119 for £29.99 which supports Economy 7 apparently, courtesy of Mr Amazon.
    Cider Country Solar PV generator: 3.7kWp Enfinity system on unshaded SE (-36deg azimuth) & 45deg roof
  • IdiophreakIdiophreak Forumite
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    Must save me a few bob .. and gives peace of mind that i'm doing my green bit .. and safety of having everything turned off.

    Can be false economy, I think...

    My parents did this with their DVD players, telly etc...Which was great, saved a couple of quid a month...until both of their DVD players (£100+ each) died incredibly quickly. A lot of modern equipment just isn't designed to be hard powered off over and over again.
  • MSE_MartinMSE_Martin MoneySaving Expert
    8.3K Posts
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    Hi Martin Lewis,

    From what you've said it sounds like you've got an electricity monitor, not a smart meter.

    Smart meters are highly sophisticated meters that accurately MEASURE your gas and electricity usage and communicate with your energy supplier - these will replace your existing meters, so will likely be stuck on a wall in a cupborad somewhere.

    Electricity monitors are the simple handheld units that can sit on the table in your living room, with another bit clipping on to your existing meter. These just give you a good estimate of how much electricity you are using - they monitor rather than meter your energy use. (Handheld units like these may come WITH smart meters, but they are not smart meters themselves).

    Are you sure the object of your love is a smart meter?

    Best wishes,

    Hazywarrior


    You are quite right, and I had changed this in an earlier incarnation before the blog was published but frustatingly it seems to have gone back to the original version - will try and change it again
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
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  • MSE_MartinMSE_Martin MoneySaving Expert
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    Cardew wrote: »
    P.S
    If Martin's monitor reads 45p for a kettle and watching TV - he is paying around 14p/kWh:eek: and he needs to follow the excellent advice at the top of this page on how to get a cheaper tariff!;)

    As noted in my blog - mine is a trial meter so its not on my tariff - which is why i use it as an indicator not an actual measure :)
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.
    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
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