“ Maufacturer: British Gas / Type: A monitor to show electricity usage „
==British Gas Energy Smart Electricity Monitor==
A couple of years ago when I was a British Gas customer (I have since switched over to duel fuel from Southern Electric) I was paying monthly and had signed up to their new (at the time) Energy Smart tariff. I was keen to be on this tariff because of getting this electricity monitor sent to me for free.
==What is the Monitor==
The monitor as its name would suggest is a little device which enables the user to see how much electricity that they are using at any one time and over a period in their property. It is a power operated device which came with all the power leads and information needed to plug it in and get yourself up and running to check on your energy consumption.
As well as the display unit which gets plugged in (and thus uses electricity itself so will up your usage slightly) there is a wireless transmitter that needs to be sat next to your electricity meter.
This transmitter does require 3 batteries which British Gas were kind enough to include with the package.
The transmitter has a clip attached to it which will need attaching around one of the cables that comes from your electricity mains. This is how the usage is worked out and sent from the transmitter to the display unit.
==Setting up the Monitor==
At first I thought it was going to be a little tricky to set up all the necessary details but there was a little instruction booklet included with the set which gave step by step clear details on how to get the whole system up and running and I found this simple to follow and really well set out.
As well as setting up all the hardware such as the wireless unit and the display unit by plugging the necessary things in you will also need to input a few digital pieces of information into the display monitor. This again was easy to do as the booklet guided me through every step.
The date and time needed inputting as well as my current electricity tariff and you can also programme the unit to have a daily usage target. Although I in putted a daily target this is not really something I was too interested in as surely using the least possible electricity is my main target.
As soon as I had my tariff put into the monitor it was able to display the current rate of electricity I was using. There is an option to have this displayed as either kW per hour, CO2 made per hour or of course pounds per hour.
I can't see anyone wanting the unit to show anything other than the actual cost to them per hour and so this is what I kept it set at so I could see how much money was being burnt up in power at any one time. It would really mean nothing to me to see the kW per hour or the CO2 I am using but I do speak the language of money!
Not only can the display screen show the cost at the current time but in smaller digital numbers along the bottom of the screen it will show the cost of your daily consumption too which is also handy to know although the main digits are the current usage ones and to be fair these are the ones I look at most often.
The device has a clear and large enough display screen that enables you to look at the product quickly and get the information you need without having to squint or concentrate too much. The look of the product is not too offensive and sits nicely in the front room and doesn't look overly out of place.
This little unit is fantastic and really does go to help you cut back on your electricity usage. I must admit to not having it up and running at the moment due to the fact that I think that once you have been using it for a year or so you really do get used to knowing what is costing you the money and thus turning things off and generally getting into the habit of using less power.
I think in the first few months of using the Energy Saving Unit I really did go overboard as it was a little heart breaking to see how much having a certain light on is costing you. I hate paying out large household bills and I was pleased to see that my bills are now really very low and I would put this fact down to using this little unit.
Of course there is always going to be electrical items that you need to have on and things can't be cut back to drastically but by just seeing how much things cost it really is a wake up call and I would challenge any one to have a unit such as this and not want to turn things off and cut back on general power usage.
This little box really has saved me a ton of money and woken me up to how to cut back on power which is not just good for my pocket but also good for the environment too! For this reason I feel that this product has got to be a top scoring item and I am more than happy to give it a 5 out of 5 star rating and an exceptionally high recommendation!
I do hope that this has been of some help/interest to you
Many thanks for taking the time to read.
I can't remember whether I saw this advertised on the television or whether I received an email directly from British Gas but it came to my attention that they were offering a new service called Energy Smart.
I have been a British Gas customer as long as I can remember and have always been happy with their prices and their customer service so I wasn't surprised that they were offering me something else to help me to control my energy costs.
I logged onto www.britishgas.co.uk to see what this was all about. Basically the Energy Smart system means that I will now pay my bills monthly as opposed to quarterly and I will always be asked to provide a correct reading rather than paying an estimated bill. The monthly bills won't actually make any difference to me as I pay by direct debit anyway but the biggest advantage for me in signing up to energy Smart was that I would get an electricity monitor free of charge from British Gas.
So I signed up online and the box containing my electricity monitor arrived in the post a few days later.
So what was in the box?
The well packed box contained the following pieces of equipment:
A display unit which is mains powered and will receive the information via a wireless signal from the transmitter. The display unit has a screen with three buttons down the side of it - the top one has an upward arrow on it, the middle one has a circle and the bottom one has a downward arrow.
A transmitter which is battery powered and will sit next to the electricity meter and send the signal to the display unit.
3 batteries for the transmitter
A sensor which clips around one of the main cables that enter the electricity meter to measure the amount of electricity that you are using - this plugs into the bottom of the transmitter
A plug unit for the power supply to power the display unit
An excellent set of instructions explaining what to do in order to set the monitor up and use it
How did I set this all up?
The first thing that I had to do was plug the power supply into a socket and insert the other end of the cable into the display unit.
Next I had to insert the batteries provided into the transmitter and to do this I just had to remove the outer casing and pop the batteries in making sure they were the right way up of course.
I did not replace the casing as my next job was to 'pair' the transmitter and the display unit so that the information could be relayed wirelessly between the two.
To do this I had to press and hold the up and down buttons until the word PAIR appeared on the screen and then press the button on the transmitter marked 'pair' until the LED light next to button flashed.
Once the display screen showed the consumption bar I just had to press the set button (the one with the circle) to acknowledge the pairing and replace the outer casing on the transmitter and I was all set.
Now all I had to do was to connect the transmitter to the supply. To do this I opened the sensor and clipped it carefully around one of the four main cables which enter the electricity meter. The sensor is then closed making sure that it meets cleanly and clips shut around the cable and the wire from the sensor is then plugged into the base of the transmitter.
The transmitter just has to be placed, upright near to the electricity meter. I placed mine on the floor of the cupboard which contains the electricity meter.
The Display Unit
The first thing I had to do was to set the clock on the display unit. This was easy enough to do just by using the up and down buttons and pressing the set button once the correct time was showing.
I will now tell you the information that can be gleaned from the display unit but I am not going to go into great detail as to how this is achieved and which buttons need to be pressed as this review will become extremely boring. The instruction book is very clear and easy to follow.
I began by setting my electricity tariff, which I found this on the British Gas site, into the display unit.
I also set a daily target based on the advice in the instruction book but I can obviously change that if needs be.
I can now access information about my electricity consumption in real time, as a daily total, a weekly total and a monthly total at the press of a button.
My experience of using the unit
The real time consumption is shown as either as cost of £ per hour, kg of CO2 produced per hour or KWs per hour and can be changed easily between the three by pressing the down button. I tend to leave my on the cost display as this is the one that makes the most sense to me.
There are two figures shown on the screen - the top one is the real time consumption which is the amount of electricity currently being consumed at the time I am looking at the screen. This is useful so that I can see how much my consumption increases as I use various appliances.
The bottom figure is the cumulative daily consumption so I can see how much it has cost to do various things for example I did just over an hour's ironing the other day and the cumulative figure went up by 20p.
These two figures are also represented by bars of black lines - one is a semi circle over the top of the whole display which is the real time consumption and the other is a straight line across the bottom of the display which is the daily cumulative consumption and this will flash once the target that you have pre set has been equalled or exceeded.
My feelings about the device
Well obviously at the moment it is a new toy for me and I am using it a lot just to see the effect of switching on my various appliances. I did already know that anything with a heating element such as a kettle, cooker, iron, toaster etc would be the ones that used the most power but it was interesting to see that when I switched all the lights on the two Christmas trees the additional consumption was so low that the real time reading didn't change.
Once I have finished finding out exactly how much running my various appliances costs me I will probably look at the display less but will keep my eye on the daily consumption just to see how I am doing.
I have to admit it has also made me even more conscious about turning off lights and making my tea as soon as the kettle boils rather than leaving it because I am busy and then reboiling the same water thus wasting electricity!
I had seen these devices on television in programmes giving advice about saving electricity and would have happily purchased one at the right price but getting one for free from British Gas is even better!
Maufacturer: British Gas / Type: A monitor to show electricity usage