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Energy – Use a Little to Save a Lot

Ruth Brown
Ruth Brown
Pic: Chuck Coker
Pic: Chuck Coker

Do you really know how much electricity your household consumes on any given day?  At any given moment?  Instead of crossing your fingers and waiting for the bill to arrive, why not get technology on your side and put the power to save back in your hands.

Wireless energy monitors are now available to show you just how much power you’re using at any given time.   You might think you’re being a super Frugal McDougall, only to find out that somewhere in your house, there is an appliance silently sucking large amounts of juice out of the grid and the hard-earned money from you pocket along with it!

Some monitors require installation by an electrician – while others plug directly into a powerpoint which you then plug your appliance into, it then gives you a reading of just how much electricity your appliance is using.  (My sister’s family was astounded at just how much energy their electric kettle used to boil water – now, instead of filling it to the brim when they only wanted one cup of coffee, they put in just enough water for what they need.)

Wireless energy monitors are a great way to test the ‘stand-by’ factor i.e. having appliances plugged in and switched on at the wall while you’re not using them – this gizmo will show you just how much energy is being wasted in this way.

Depending on where you live, you may be able to tap into a programme like NZ’s EECA Energywise Home Energy Rating Programme which assesses the efficiency of your home’s heating and cooling as well as your home’s construction and insulation and gives you a report on just how you can improve your energy rating AND save money at the same time!

Check for other local council programmes, government rebates and incentives which may be available to you.

Outlaying a small amount of money now for a wireless energy monitor or energy assessment, could save you hundreds of dollars in energy bills over a year (not to mention the eco-benefits that go along with it).  

How to save money and live more frugally

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