I recently teamed up with Zenith to answer the above question, could I reduce our family energy bills. Now we are a family of 4: there are more mouths to feed, bodies to clean and brains to entertain and that isn’t a cheap task.
Zenith Home sent me one of their energy saving kits to try out in the Constant household and see just how much energy we are using and also some products to help reduce the amount of energy we use. The team at Zenith Home have just launched a new online educational hub with friendly and easy-to-follow advice on the latest energy saving techniques, successes, tips and products to help consumers to really understand what energy efficiency is and how they can take control of their energy bills and counteract the ongoing prices rises from energy firms. One of my favourite recent posts was tips on redecorating the home: Simple tips for inexpensive decorations – Don’t move, improve!
The energy kit contained: Energy Saving Monitor, Radiator Booster, Automatic Standby Shutdown, Shower Timer and some Top Tips from Zenith Home. This could not have come at a better time, we recently moved to a new home where the children have a play room which is the coldest room in the house in winter, and hottest in the summer. So the radiator booster was going to come in very handy in that room. I take ridiculously long showers, well not as long as some people I know, but still long and I was intrigued to see how long I actually take. The automatic standby shutdown sounded like the perfect tool for the lounge, to enable the TV, which is on standby for around 20 hours a day during the weekdays, to switch off automatically – great idea and great savings. Leaving the energy saving monitor, I will be able to keep tabs on what levels of energy we are using and when. What a fabulous little gadget? Although I fear I will have my eye on the levels all the time now.
The first thing I did was to set up the radiator booster in the play room so that chilly days and evenings, it is not so cold in there and there is no need to put electric heaters on – which do add to the energy bill. It was really easy to set up, the instructions were really clear and all I had to do after plugging it in and pushing it to the far wall was wait for the temperature to get to 30c, then the light turned green and the fans started whirring. It kicked out a lot more heat than I expected and the entire room soon built up some heat and it was really warm. The red light indicates the radiator is not hot enough yet and the radiator booster is not on at that time. Please note you must have a water filled radiator for this useful gadget to work.
Then I got to work on setting up the OWL micro+ energy saving monitor, which was a little more involved than the radiator booster. Before you get started on setting this up, making sure you have a paper clip handy and you know where your electricity mains unit is in the house – you will need access to this. There are some extremely clear instructions in the box on how to set up the monitor, twinning the transmitter and the monitor together and how to set the transmitter up to the live cable from the electricity mains. Then it was a case of setting the monitor up with the right date and energy tariff and we were away: at the time of installation I was using over 0.4 KW of energy and I only had the laptop plugged in and being used. Just goes to show how much energy is taken up by having electric items left on standby. Which leads me on to the next little product…
The automatic standby shutdown product is really easy to set up and start using, the idea is to plug it in to the item you want to turn off when on standby so that it powers down when you are not using it. Then when you want to use it again you press the big green button on the automatic standby shutdown and power will be restored. I had never thought about it before, but we do leave all the TV’s on standby and sometimes PC monitors and radios too – I think the idea of shutting them down is fab and will most definitely cut down the energy bills. I am going to monitor the difference between leaving them on and off over the months.
Then finally I put the shower timer in the bathroom and I was actually quite shocked to realise that my shower was over 10 minutes long, although I was conscious I was timing it, I made sure that I did what I normally do. Wash my hair, shave, condition my hair, clean and treat my hair. 10 minutes and 45 seconds later I was ready to get out – WOW! That sounds like an awfully long time and a lot of water which is being used. My aim now is to reduce that time every single shower I have so eventually I am cutting that by half – its almost like a little game I have. Sad I know, but it will save some money.
Thank you Zenith Home and The Talking Home for all the tips and products in the energy kit – it is such a fabulous idea and I am really aware of the energy I am using now and how I can improve family life to make our bills a little less. If you would like to find out more please do follow Zenith Home and The Talking Home on Twitter and check out the Zenith Home website for the hub updates and tips.