This post is by Andrew from the Savvy Citizens Team.
Having information about how we use energy can help us make smarter choices that save energy and money. If everyone had a detailed understanding of their own home energy use, we could find all sorts of ways to save energy and lower electricity bills. AlertMe Energy is a smart meter that allows you to see how much electricity you’re using in your home at any given moment. I’ve been using it for the past few weeks and have found it to be a brilliant way to monitor my energy usage. Here’s my take on the device:
It’s quite simple to set up. Following the instructions in the box (the company had set up an account for me/my address before I got it), you place a meter reading clamp around one of the cords coming out of your electricity meter and attach it to a meter transmitter, and you also plug an AlertMe ‘hub’ into your broadband router. Then you follow steps on a web page to activate the service.
Once you’re set up, you can use AlertMe’s web interface to see how much energy you’re currently using, including how much specific devices are using when you plug them into SmartPlugs that work with the system. You can see an approximation of how much your energy has cost you that day, and compare your usage over time. You can also set up email alerts to alert you to high energy usage levels, and remotely turn off devices (from the web or your mobile phone) if they’re plugged into a SmartPlug.
AlertMe also works with Google’s PowerMeter service, which makes it really easy to break down your energy usage data into daily, weekly, and monthly bar graphs. You can also see when you use the least and most electricity during the day, and compare your average usage to people in different types of dwellings.
I really liked being able to see how much electricity I’m using. As others have found,my kettle used an unexpectedly high amount of energy — I think it’s time to get a newer, greener one!
The kind folks at AlertMe have given us an AlertMe Energy unit to give away as a prize so that you can see how much energy your home is using. We’ll give it to one lucky respondent who answers the following question correctly:
Entries close 18 August. Only one entry per person, and we’ll only use your email address to contact you if you win. Good luck!