Here at Easy Green Towers we frequently get asked to try new gadgets that claim to save money and the environment. Quite often we aren’t convinced and politely decline. However, when the AlertMe Smart Energy Monitor landed on our desk we were intrigued and wanted to give it a go.
The AlertMe is an energy monitor with a difference. Instead of just connecting to your electricity supply, it also connects to your computer so it can record all sorts of facts and figures about your electricity usage and you can access this from any computer or smart phone.
Setting up the AlertMe was really easy. There are three main pieces of kit, a meter transmitter, a hub that plugs into your computer modem and an In Home Display which shows you how much electricity you are using, how much you have used and the temperature. No electricians are needed and it took me 5 minutes to set up. The computer then cleverly finds all the bits you have connected and you are good to go. The only tricky part was working out the cost of electricity per kilowatt hour (kWh). I pay one rate for the first 250 kW hours and another for any others used after that. I ended up looking at a years worth of bills and working out the average cost per kW hour over the last year.
Once the system was set up the kids and I raced around the house turning everything on and off to see the effect that it had on the In Home Display. The display shows energy use as bars that increase in number and change colour as usage goes up. It also shows how much you are currently using as pence or kW and how much you have used that day. I thought I was already quite conservative in my electricity use, but having the numbers clearly displayed really makes you think about switching the lights on, or boiling a full kettle. The kids, who are only young, got the concept immediately and have been much better at turning off lights since we have been using the AlertMe system. The on-line historical data is fascinating and is going to be the subject of another blog post to do it justice. If you want to see what it looks like click here to see a demo.
The big question is have I reduced my electricity costs? At the moment I can’t say yes or no because I have only been using the meter for a month and I haven’t had an electricity bill yet. However, I can categorically say it really does make the whole family think about the electricity we use and that has got to be a good thing.