AlertMe Smart Energy kit – Review part 2

Back in September 2011 you may recall that I started using a smart energy meter from Alert Me, you can read my first review of it here. To recap The Alert Me 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.

Since I first started using the meter I have added in a couple of smart plugs to the set-up. A smart plug is just that – it plugs into a socket and you plug an appliance into that, then the smart plug can then tell you exactly how much electricity that appliance has been using. I have used mine to test a new eco-kettle, as well as seeing how much electricity the television and washing machine uses. While appliances that have ‘standby’ settings may not use a lot of electricity on their own, a house full of them could use plenty.

The smart plug also has a clever additional feature in that you can control it remotely from a computer or smart phone! By fitting your appliances with Smart Plugs and turning these appliances on or off at the socket, either online or using your smart phone, you can control your energy use even if you’re out. How smart is that!

When I installed the Alert Me in September it was British Summer Time and my electricity consumption was relatively low. However, as soon as the clocks went back in October and the days got shorter, I watched my daily electricity consumption rocket. The main source of this massive increase has been the lights in my kitchen which take halogen light bulbs. I knew halogen bulbs were energy hungry but seeing it displayed on a meter has really driven that home. I would say that my electricity consumption in the winter has been double that in late summer. However, because of the complicated way electricity bills are put together coupled with an increase in electricity prices, I am unable to give you a specific figure for the cost of my electricity usage since I have been using the meter compared with not using it.

I still think it is a great idea, particularly when used in conjunction with the smart plugs because it gives me a handy visual aid to wave at the rest of the family when I am shouting at them to turn the lights off!

What do you think of the AlertMe kit, do you think it could help you reduce your energy consumption? Would you find the ‘smart plug’ a handy device to lower your energy bills? Do you have a kit, we’d love to hear what difference it has made to you?

Thanks our very generous friends at AlertMe, we have two AlertMe Smart Energy kits worth £49.99 each to giveaway. For your chance of winning, simply complete the box below when the competition commences on 1st March 2012.


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97 Comments
emma cella

Close your curtains at dusk to stop heat escaping through the windows and check for draughts around windows and doors.

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Beth

Only fill your kettle with the amount of water for your specific task. It’s such a waste to boil a full kettle of water every time

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Tracy

Household appliances that give off heat such as tumble dryers, use lots of electricity so whenever you can – HANG your clothes outside to dry!!!

Turning off the tumble-dryer is a 100% energy saving solution, however, If you have to use your tumble dryer and you’re looking to save money and energy, and for an eco friendly alternative to fabric conditioners you might want to try DryerBalls®. DryerBalls® are safe, non-toxic and environmentally friendly and they’ll save you money, reducing your drying time by 25% and saving on electricity.

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Susan

Don’t leave electrical items on standby – turn them off at the wall when not in use.

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Andrea

Invest in a slanket (blanket with sleeves). They are very warm and saves you turning the heating up if you’re cold

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Louise

We have marked a line on the outside measuring scale of our kettle with tells us where to fill to for 2 cups of coffee, it’s really helped as everyone in the house was in the habit of filling the kettle each time, such a waste!

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ceril

Turn the thermostat down a couple of notches and switch off the radiators in the rooms that you don’t use.

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Phil Darling

Only fill the kettle with the amaount of water you need and walk away from tit when you’re boiling it- you’ll end up having to reboil when return after having thought of 3 other things you need to do.

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JO

Use the electrical products on bright days when the solar is working to full capacity.

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conrad edwards

if you have Sky or other digital service that needs to be left on, then buy an ecoplug that will leave power to that box, but turn off the tv, dvd, etc

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Nadia

my tip is to ALWAYS turn off electrical items from the switch, this way you don’t waste energy :)

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Melanie Hunt

turn everything off if your not using it. its surprising how much energy you save

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Ruth

when you feel cold do some cleaning rather than turn the heating up and you will be warm and get a clean house

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Jake

I never leave anything on standby, not only does it save energy but reduces the risk of a fire. Only use the tumble dryer if absolutely necessary so do my washing in advance if I know I need something.

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SARAH LAMBERT

I never leave electrical items on standby and i also have energy saving bulbs in all my light fittings :) xx

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Jimmy

Get the kids inolved by getting them to do a checklist of items to switch off before going out.

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Stephen Hallett

never have the heating on with a window open… you’d be suprised how many people forget.

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Jay

Keep a full freezer – makes it run more cheaply, and if you batch cook in bulk with seasonal ingredients, it’ll help reduce your food bills & food wastage too!

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jennifer thorpe

make sure no electrical items are left on standby – turn them off completely when not in use

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Fran Light

My tope energy saving trip is to use draught excluders to keep the warm air in and the cold air out. Used consistently, doing so with really help reduce your heating bill.

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Lucy

If you are wearing a tshirt indoors your heating is on too high. Turn down the thermostat and put a jumper on.

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Sally

My electricity usage has gone down 10% year on year (even though my bills have gone up). I turn everything off and don’t leave anything on standby. I turned the fridge down slightly and of course the heating.

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Maya Russell

Be more aware of electricity you are using – turn off lights when leaving a room. Make sure the kids have turned off the lights in their bedroom(s) before school. Make sure you instill in them the importance of saving electricity.

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nikki lane

Check your boiler and see if it has an eco button hidden away. We found ours did, even though B.G didn’t set it on it and turn it back after a service ( B.G engineer said it was the most economic setting but didn’t set it back hmmm?) anyway it heats the water in the rads to temp, then whooshes it around with the gas burner off! It has made a big differance in our house, (well thats the basics)and i don’t like being cold!

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Jean Bolsover

Use energy saving light bulbs. Even better is to switch them off when not needed!

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Paula Smith

Closing doors. I’m slightly obsessive about it. Also purchasing draft excluders, especially if you have old drafty doors.

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Kate Huxstep

Make sure the heating is on in only rooms that you use. Turn it off in the spare room or in the bathroom where its not needed.

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Jaseos Harpos

Turn off lights, shut doors and don’t have the house too warm. Sounds dead simple, but so many people I know still don’t do this!

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Susan

turn tv. dvds etc off not just on standby as they use the same amount of power on standby as they do in use

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Arabella B

Having thick curtains and getting a blanket or duvet on the sofa with a nice hot water bottle under it has meant it’s the first year we haven’t wheeled out the electric heaters no matter how cold it got.

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Bruce

keep adjusting automatic timer on immersion heater so it comes on for less time each day until someone in the family mentions lack of hot water

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Joanna

These days I barely use my radiators. I put the kids in extra layers instead. My son’s asthma has shown a rapid improvement since I have stopped using this artificial heat in the house.

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Jennifer Schofield

Put a long cutrain over your front door – works as a draft excluder and looks nice too!

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Lindsey Jones

don’t leave things on stanby they use the same amount of electric as if you had left them on

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Jane Paddey

My top tip is to make sure you turn the lights and switches off when not using them and not leaving electrical equipment on standby, we also love watching films on the TV in the dark – its like being at the pictures – also try turning off the main light and using a lamp

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Nyen

The most basic top tip is switch off the lights when not in use, but many people still forget to do so.

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Daniel Coles

Always turn off stuff at the wall and not leave on stnady, and educate the children to turn things off when finished

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Beverley

When you sort out your wardrobe and find a lot of old clothes that are too raggy for the charity shop, save them up till you have a bin liner full. Unscrew the side of your bath and pack them round the tub, before screwing the side back on. Next time you have a bath, you’ll find your water stays lovely and hot, saving on gas bills! Just check that your bath has no leaks.

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olivia kirby

we have the heating on at a moderate level all through the winter, uses more energy keeping it off then whacking it up to 30!

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dorothy cavender

Try to dry your cloths outside as much as possible-especially in Spring, Summer & early Autumn. This will save on using the washer dryer.

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Christina

Squeezing out the last of the toothpaste and turning off the lights are my favourite

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ali mckenzie

instead of reaching for the heating i put on an extra layer of clothing first

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sian hallewell

wear an extra layer and turn the heating down. Leave the oven door open to let out the heat after you turn if off (as long as its safe to do so)

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Dessiree Brown Llaneza

extra layers of clothes rather than heating, and if its REALLY cold lots of dancing with the kiddies, that always works up a sweat!

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Sheila Reeves

Use draught excluders on all external doors – have been amazed at how much it has kept the heat in this winter They seem to have been a lot easier to get hold of this year too

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Fiona

bulk cook things like casseroles and keep small portions in the freezer…keeping the freezer full helps it run more effeciently as does the cooking in bulk!

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Vicky Robinson

We kept our heating off almost the entire winter & wore thick clothes & wrapped up in blankets at night in the living room. I also bought thick velvet curtains to block out the draughts & got a thick door curtain for the front door.

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