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We bought our Owl about three years ago when electricity prices first started to worry us. Friends recommended this model as it is fairly easy to clamp the receiver on to the electricity metre. We keep the monitor itself on the kitchen worktop. The display shows you what you're spending per hour, plus the temperature and humidity, and the price per kWh.
Unlike others we haven't found that leaving the TV on stand-by registers a big difference on the monitor. Big expenditure comes from switching on a kettle or the microwave, BUT you are only using these for short periods of time. We were able to calculate that boiling the kettle and using the resultant water for cooking pasta in the saucepan is cheaper than boiling the water from scratch on the hob.
Sadly, as we anticipated, the dishwasher and washing machine can be heavy users. The economy programme on our dishwasher now features in our household, and it's notable that the 30 degree wash cycle is less energy-intensive than the 40 degree cycle we used to use.
As I write this, the only gadgets on in our house are the fridge, the radio and this laptop. We are using 3.5p an hour. I suppose that is reasonable, really. The most I have noticed we burn up is about 70p an hour when we have the dishwasher on and perhaps a microwave and kettle. We are not big electricity burners and if you have a more energy-heavy house you may have some interesting decisions to make about how you go about saving money.
It's worth adding a note about the humidity function on the Owl. Our house is prone to bad condensation and I use the monitor to check that I'm keeping control of this problem, particularly in winter months when there aren't as many windows open. If I can keep the smiley face in our range I know that all is well. If humidity rises the smiley turns to a sad face and I know I have to ventilate. My children have asthma and during the winter I'm keen to make sure that the house mite population isn't getting a hold of our house. Humidity control is part of that fight.
The Owl Wireless Electricity meter is a small device which you attach to your electricity meter to allow you to observe how much electricity you are using at any one time. It is part of a range of gadgets available which allow you to not only save money, but also in turn protect the environment by using less power.
The monitor itself is a small white box which receives a wireless signal sent from an attachment which you place on your electricity meter. You are then able to programme the monitor with the cost of your electricity in p per KwH. The monitor then recognises exactly how much power you are using and shows you the cost of this on the display. You are able to set the display to show you in £ how much you are using this hour, and then in a week or month or year. The display also shows the temperature in the room and handily the date (just incase you ever forget).
It is relatively easy to programme and you are even able to programme different rates if you are lucky enough to benefit from economy 7. This is however, where it gets a little complicated. Many areas don't like to advertise when your economy 7 runs from and to. It is sometimes displayed on your meter however otherwise I believe you need to contact your energy provider.
The monitor itself adds up how much you have used over a period of time however, you can't seem to reset these counters easily as I recently unplugged it for a while and then plugged it back in and I am still accumilating the cost from before rather than being able to start afresh. This is one of the only problems I have found with it as other than this it is a simple product to use and install.
It certainly gives you a shock when you find out how much energy some appliances use, although you have to remember that although items such as the microwave use a huge amount of energy it is only for a short period although if you are like me you will start to wonder around the house turning things off!
The product retails at around £30 so if you think that it will save you this amount of energy it is certainly worthwhile. I was lucky enough to get one for free from work so it has certainly been good value otherwise I believe that alternatives are available from your electricity company.
I bought this yesterday after changing electric supplier and realising how much more we will have to pay for our electric now the prices have gone up. You get 2 bits - the monitor with display screen, and the bit that clips onto one of the wires coming out of your electricity meter, it transmits wirelessly between the two to tell you how much electricity you are using, either in kwh or in pence per kwh. It was simple to set up, took me less than 5 minutes. Both units need AAA batteries (supplied) and it is very easy programme in the details it needs, the instruction manual is clear and also tells you how to work out your own pence per kwh as you need to input this so the monitor can work out what you're using costs. And the results are quite astounding, switch off the lights, or put on the kettle - the price shoots up and down, my kids are hooked, and so am I, because you can see what it's costing you there is a real incentive to make sure the lights are switched off if you don't need them, or units aren't left on standby. Definitely worth the £25 I paid, just hope I save enough to cover that cost soon enough!
If you are someone who wants to watch what they spend on energy, then this is for you. It basically comes it 2 parts. First you get the sender unit with is basically a black box of electronics connected by a wire to a large clamp. Take this to where you electricity meter is located and clamp the clamp around the main wire. It doesn't break the cable or anything because it is just a snug fit. The other part of the Owl is the receiver unit which will sit somewhere in your house where you can view it. Read the instructions to pair it up with each other and away you go.
The receiver unit display basically has 3 elements. A small display window for temperature and humidity, another window where you can set your pence per kWh rate for your electricity and a larger window where you get the reading for how much your electricity is costing you at that moment in pence per hour - and it is this bit that gets additive.
Watch it idling at about 3p per hour during the day. Then switch something like the kettle on and within seconds, the rate has jumped up to 52p per hour, and this is the addictive part. Switch on the electric cooker and see what happens. How much electricity does the TV use? What about the computer? The lights? The games console? The washing machine? You start tracking how much things cost to run because it gives an instant reading of how much they cost to run in pence per hour.
I've set mine up in the lounge where everyone can see it, and I can tell when my kids have left their lights or TV or whatever on upstairs because I can see from the reading on the Owl. You really start to become aware of how much energy each appliance uses and you start to conserve energy - switching off the lights when you leave a room, not leaving the TV on standby, running appliances like your dishwasher or washing machine at night to use the cheaper electricity.
Learn to understand it and it will save you money.
We kept seeing these advertised on tv and after talking to a few friends who been given them I'm impressed on its usefulness.
We brought one for two reasons really one was we have just moved house and wanted an idea of the costs of the bills before they came and two to save the planet!
The installation guide was a bit complicated but after doing the first few steps it all made sense and it was a really easy process. We had some probelms getting the clip around the cable but that was more due to the lack of room around the meter.
Setting up the costs for units etc. took a bit longer but wasn't too hard. We have had to replace the batteries once in the main unit in the last 8 months but they were the ones that came with it so decent ones will probably last longer.
We have it setup near the tv so we can see if we have left any lights on or if anything is running that shouldn't, the jumbo display means you can read it from the other side of the room.
It seems to read quite well not being too far of the bills that come but it helps just giving a rough idea and well worth the money.
The OWL electricity monitor allows you to see how much energy you are currently using, how much this is costing you, how much you have spent to date and lots more. The unit comes with a wireless monitor which runs on batteries or can be plugged in, and a wireless sender unit that measures your electricity usage. The sender is easily installed around your incoming power supply with one clip.
You have to perform a simple pairing procedure to pair the sender with the monitor that will allow you to read the energy usage of your house. The display screen is large and easy to read and very clear. You can place the monitor anywhere in your house and it will pick up the readings from the sensor easily. In its most basic operation you can monitor how much wattage you are using at any one time. It then allows you to input your meter rates, and will calculate exactly how much you are spending although this is a feature that some people may not use. It depends how detailed you want the feedback from the device to be. The best thing about this unit is that it allows you to see which of your household items use the most power and also waste the most power when left on.
Having this in our house has made us far more aware of our energy consumption and has saved us money on our bills as we are more conscious of what we are using. A must have for those of us who are trying to save money and be aware of our ever increasing carbon footprints on the world!
Like many people, we have become much more aware of the need to save energy - not just in order to save money but also because of the effect energy use has on the environment. With these thoughts in mind, my husband was browsing on Amazon and came across the OWL wireless electricity monitor. This neat little device helps you look at your energy consumption in three different ways - how much energy you are using, how much this is costing you and how much carbon is being generated.
There are three different items that come with a kit. The first is a sensor which you have to clip on to your main supply cable. Ideally this would be with your fuse box but the position of ours was quite tricky so our sensor is actually attached in the metre box which is just outside our front door. The sensor is attached to the transmitter. This for us also has to be in the metre box because otherwise we would have to find a way of drilling through a wall which we did not want to do! The third item in the kit is the display unit and this is wireless. This means that it can work up to thirty metres or 100 foot away from the transmitter. However, probably for most people, walls and doors may well get in the way, and in our case we have had to have it much closer. This is a shame as ideally I wanted it strategically placed on my kitchen window sill where it would be instantly visible for much of the day.
The display monitor is quite neat and smart. It is not that big being about 8cm square and it has a little easel type stand so that you can place it on any surface. It is a cream colour and the display is digital. The display gives you quite a lot of different information:
* Current and historical cost of electricity
* Current and historical greenhouse gas emission
* Current and historical energy usage display
* Time, date and temperature display.
The larger display concentrates on cost, energy or greenhouse gas and you can select which one that you want on display. At present we have ours showing usage and we find this fascinating to follow. It's amazing how much the figure (which is showing how many kilowatts you are using goes up or down just by turning a light on or off! It is also very shocking to see that when you turn your kettle on your usage will go up by about a whopping 2 kilowatts! Having this information visible really makes you conscious of the appliances you have on at any given time and it really makes me going round turning things off and not leaving them on standby. It also makes me conscious when making a coffee not to overfill the kettle or to boil it before I need it and then re-boil.
Ideally I would like the display to be on cost but this is slightly more complicated as you need to have all the information about your electricity company's charges and tariffs. My husband has promised me that he will set it to this when he has found out all the relevant information.
The time and date displays rotate every ten seconds and the temperature is visible at all times. The most important information is the cost/usage/emissions and therefore the display showing this information is twice as big as the others. This means that the information is very visible from a fair distance and you do not need to go up to it and peer. We have had this about two months now and I am really training myself to check it quite regularly. This means that I am starting to know what our regular usage should look like and if it is higher than expected I can check what has been left on! Unfortunately, as we pay our bill by monthly direct debit I have not been able to claim any significant savings. However, when the bill is reviewed at its annual point, I hope we may discover that we are actually owed some money!
My husband was the one who set the OWL up in our home and he reckons that it was pretty straightforward and not too time consuming. Also, it comes with some good instructions that are easy to follow. Having said that though, we are probably still learning how to make the monitor really helpful and I suspect that there are some functions that we are still not making best use of. Having said that though, we are definitely making the monitor work for us and becoming a lot more energy conscious. I also try to involve my daughters and show them the difference in usage say for turning off their bedroom light or leaving the television on when they are not watching it! They are still quite forgetful though.
We bought our monitor new from Amazon where it is currently being sold for £33.71. Since buying it though, I have been aware that some energy companies are providing similar devices for their customers so it would be best to check this before paying out. It does not seem a huge amount to pay though, and hopefully we will be able to recoup the cost through savings on our bills. If not though, I do feel that it is helping us to do our little bit to help the environment!
You can find out a lot more about this and other energy saving devices by visiting:
So, having just written this and taken a quick look at my wise old OWL, I'm now off to turn off a few lights!