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ENERGY MONITORING GADGETS: The Efergy

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efergy.jpgYou may dimly recall that I recently conducted a trial with members of the office to see how much energy our respective abodes were consuming. Out of the three people taking part, only Katie and myself were successful in getting our gadgets up and running at all, but as per Duncan's tale of woe, this has more to do with our domestic setups than the gadgets themselves, all of which had much to recommend them.

I've already waxed lyrical about the Wattson, but Katie also has quite a lot to say about the Efergy monitor (£39.95) she was using.

Follow the jump to find out how she got on with it...


1. Which monitoring device were you using?
The Efergy
1. Which monitoring device were you using?
The Efergy

2. How did the installation process go?
It was really easy to set up - you just clip one part to the cable coming out of your meter, and then make sure the date and cost of electricity settings are right. Very straightforward. I was surprised that it needed so many batteries, but I guess that's inevitable if you're using a wireless product.

3. How easy did you find it to read the monitor and take useful results from it?

The monitor works really well, with a backlight coming on only in low light conditions. It also stores up your data every day so you can browse back through the weeks very easily. You can also check what you've spent and how much CO2 you've produced. My only slight complaint would be that the icons on the buttons could probably have been slightly better thought out, but on the whole it was very easy to use.

4. Did having the monitor around the house change the way you thought about using certain appliances?
It was certainly an eye opener - seeing how much energy it takes to make a slice of toast or dry my hair. We've got a pump that comes on whenever we flush the toilet or have a shower (thanks to low water pressure in our flat) and we're already pretty good about only flushing the loo a few times a day, but I do tend to linger in the shower longer than I should (the water-saving shower head we have means that I still don't use that much water compared to a normal shower). I've got one of those 4-minute shower timers and I've started using it again to remind me not to spend ages daydreaming.

A few weeks before I got the meter I finally sorted out the Bye Bye Standby I'd been meaning to put in for ages. It was good to know that it has made a big difference to how much electricity we use. Thankfully, it hasn't got cold enough yet to put on the heating, but I suspect I probably would have popped them on for a few evenings when it's been cold had it not been for the energy meter reminding me to get a blanket out instead. That said, they're supposed to be super efficient electric radiators, and so they shouldn't use too much power (I hope!)

5. Were you particularly surprised by how much electricty was used by any appliances in particular?

The big surprise for me was the oven - it just didn't occur to me that the oven would use so much power. It's by far the greediest thing in our house and because we only have electricity in our house, we have to use it a lot for cooking. And on the days when the cleaner comes we use about three or four times more electricity than a normal day. You always assume you'll be using more, but it's amazing seeing it there in front of your face - and you realise that the cleaner costs quite a bit more than you thought!

The Efergy is available to buy with at the reduced price of £39.95 at Ethical Superstore


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