Two new gadgets are proving very useful.
The Cent-a-meter which we bought from Electrisave is a way to monitor our total electricity use in real time. The sensor clips onto a cable in the meter box and a read-out in a nearby room shows how much current is being used at any moment.
The display will show kW being used, cost or the amount of carbon being produced. It provides a really vivid way of seeing the effect of turning on an extra electric fire or leaving too many lights on. Of course the heat pump is now the main user, using 2.8 kW for more than half the day during these winter months. It’s well worth the £80 purchase price, and has probably already saved us that much in bills.
I also got this simpler gadget which shows the current used by whatever is plugged into it. It was quite hard to find something to do this, but I eventually found this one costing £40 from Pat Training.
Of course many appliances have their consumption marked, but this is good for combinations. For example, the TV and hi-fi stack turns out to use 511 watts, which would have been hard to calculate any other way. Now I can make an inventory of all the appliances, including their standby modes.