Here at Ecofreak (despite the name!) we try to take a pragmatic approach to saving energy and being eco conscious. We realise that most people will not make major changes to their behaviour unless there is some kind of financial or personal "reward" for doing so. That's human nature and we're cool with that.
What we try and do is source energy saving devices that are easy to use, value for money and appealing to the consumer. That way perhaps more of us will be tempted to do something to reduce our energy consumption whether the justification is to reduce our bill, our carbon footprint or may be just to be a liitle bit eco-cool! And actually it's amazing, very often once you start saving a bit of energy it starts to become a bit of a habit. It's not always easy to be "good" (turning TV of standby) but it helps if we recognise and think about when we are being "bad" (leaving light on when we leave the room)!
What we have here then is just a bit of a run down of our most popular, and to some extent my favourite, energy saving products.
1. Wireless Electricity Monitors
I think these are where we should all start. They provide you with the information that encourages you to reduce electricity consumption.
We supply the Efergy Smart Meter and the more expensive but more functional and very cool Wattson Energy Meter. These are both wireless electricity smart meters and they monitor your electricity usage and display it for you clearly so that you understand your energy use and are aware when it is high, when it is low and what it is costing at any point in time. You can look at historical information to identify trends in use and the Wattson offers impressive functionality via a link to your PC and it's dedicated software called Holmes.
2. Plug-In Electricity Monitors
Plug-in energy monitors are the simplest way of monitoring electricity used by specific appliances. They do exactly what their name suggests. Plug the monitor into your socket and then plug your device into the monitor and it will tell you how much energy is being consumed. You can monitor several appliances as a group by plugging a multi plug panel into the monitor (good for PC, printer, monitor etc). The plug-in energy and cost meter also allows you to input the tarrif and it tells you how much the electricity being used is costing you.
These are very handy energy saving devices even if you already have a wireless energy monitor. They make it very easy to see how much individual appliances (e.g. an electric heater) or groups of appliances (e.g. TV, video, DVD etc) are using. I have found these very useful for seeing how much various appliances use when in stand-by mode - and believe me it can be quite a surprise!
3. Standby Savers
These make it easy to turn devices off stand-by. Amazingly some electrical devices use as much as 80% of the power in stand-by mode as they do when they are switched on. It is well worth using a plug-in energy meter (see above) to find out!
Some like the Powersafer PSX and Oneclick Intellipanel work automatically. Others, like the Bye Bye Standby have a dedicated remote control to turn appliances on and off at the socket. The latter can also be very handy for controlling table lamps etc with awkward to reach sockets/switches and for those with limited mobility.
Obviously, the best and cheapest option is to turn devices off standby at the wall yourself. Unfortunately in houses with mutliple occupants it very often is left to somebody else and more often than not devices will be on standby for the majority of time they are not in use. And, as I mentioned before we want to make it easy to save energy!
4. Power Savers
We have recently started selling the Eco-button, and it has proved very popular. The Eco Button allows you to minimise your PCs energy consumption when you leave it idle but switched on. Press the Eco Button when you leave your PC to go into a meeting or make a cuppa and it will initiate an energy saving mode that will minimise electricity consumed whilst you are away. On your return click the button again and pick up exactly where you left off. It's simple and very satisfying!
So there we have it. Four groups of energy saving products that can help you save energy in the home. In addition to these we have other energy saving products that use innovative technology like solar power, H2O Power, hand winding and rechargeable batteries. Just have a browse around the site and hopefully you will find them!
You may be surprised at how much fun you can have saving energy! So go on, why not give it a whirl and see for yourself?