Page last updated at 19 July 2017 at 12:37
Do you know how much energy your house used last year, and do you know if is a high or low amount?
Many households don't know the answer to these questions and as a result don't realise cutting energy usage is possible. The average home spends around £1,300 a year on their energy bills. If you pay more, you should be tempted to find out how to pay less.
Tracking the energy your home uses is useful for spotting high levels of usage and unexpected increases, then stopping them before they become a problem. Recording your meter readings is one thing but analysing the data is difficult.
Take regular meter readings and record them against the date. You may decide to record readings every week or month (regular readings are best) but it is easy to forget or not be at home on the right day so always record the date.
What do you monitor?
You can monitor anything that has a meter. Electricity, Gas and Water are the obvious things but you can add other things like solar generation or even the car mileage you do.
The question is what do you do with the data. It may be as simple as looking at usage year on year but can be used to see more detailed peaks and troughs.
Analysing the information
If you are confident, you can analyse the information yourself in a spreadsheet but there are websites that will do the number crunching for you. Often your energy supplier will have this option. However you do it compare by calculating an average usage per day as a minimum. That way it doesn't matter how long it is between the readings.
It is possible to automatically monitor the electricity, gas and water that your home uses with expensive kit. You can set it to automatically send emails or tweet you to tell you when you are using energy unexpectedly. This is a great system and it is bound to save you a lot of money.
A cheaper alternative, if you are confident, is to build your own with OpenEnergyMonitor
By 2020 most homes in the UK will have smart meters installed free of charge by our energy suppliers. Not only do they monitor your electricty usage but they will show your gas usage too. Click here for more details on Smart Meters
Borrow an electricity monitor from your local library
Eastleigh Borough Council have made electricity monitors available to residents at all the libraries in Eastleigh Borough. You will be able to borrow one for free for two weeks at a time from any of these libraries:
- Chandler's Ford
- Fair Oak
- Hedge End
- West End
Get the most from your electricity monitor
With every library loan there will be an information sheet on how to get the best out of your monitor. If it isn't there or you want to use it for your own monitor (it is applicable to any type) you can get one here.
Download the Current Cost Electricity Monitor information sheet.
Download the Excel version of Getting the most from your electricity monitor
Download our top tips for saving Electricity
To find out more, contact Giles Gooding on 023 8068 8274, email email@example.com