Home energy monitors to help cut power useUnits will show real-time cost of electricity

11 April 2007

Monitors showing the real-time cost of electricity use are to be provided free to homes across the UK in a bid to tackle climate change, ministers announced today.

Suppliers will be obliged to provide the devices - which have cut power use by up to 6.5 per cent in Canada - to all customers who want them and with all new meters from next year.

Appliances left on unnecessarily are estimated to waste £900 million of electricity a year, with the typical household wasting £25 simply by leaving them on stand-by.

While traditional meters are usually hidden out of sight in cupboards, the monitors can be placed in full view to give a constant reminder of the power being used.

It is hoped they will help reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 400,000 tonnes a year by 2010, equivalent to taking about 100,000 cars off the road.

Protect the environment

Environment Secretary David Miliband said: 'People want to do their bit to help protect the environment. If they can save money at the same time, all the better.

'Visual display units provided free of charge will help people do both.'

Trade and Industry Secretary Alistair Darling: 'It all adds up: the less we waste, the fewer new power stations we need to build or fuel we need to import.

'And that means less carbon and less cost.'

Households in Ontario, Canada, showed savings of 6.5 per cent, which were maintained over two years, after being supplied with the monitors - presently being trialled in the UK.

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