I applied for a free Energy Saving Plug and Water Widget through a government sponsored scheme and here are my thoughts.
Energy Saving Plug
Households in the UK now spend around 10% of their electricity bill on standby power annually, with the average household having up to 12 gadgets left on standby at any one time (source: Energy Saving Trust). Leaving items on standby wastes energy and money…
I was very satisfied with the plug although there are some caveats:
- It's not suitable for use with broadband modems;
- Should not be used with a PVR/Sky+/HD box etc.;
- The appliances need to be close together; and
- You can't switch it more than once a minute (to protect the items).
The plug was not very complicated to install and after a while you don't notice it any more. It just works. I've fitted it to our lounge entertainment system so it can be remotely switched off. This also makes for an excellent prank if you don't like what's on!
I have a meter fitted to the socket and to the main feed so I'll monitor if the draw of the plug is outweighed by the power saving from the off appliances.
One fifth of a household's carbon footprint already comes just from heating water (source: Act On CO2). This clever gadget takes less than 5 minutes to fit and reduces the amount of water used by up to 70% whilst still maintaining the performance of your shower…
I've fitted the Water Widget to my shower which was very easy. It works by sucking air into the water feed which aerates the water and reduces the amount of water used whilst maintaining the same volume of fluid. Water didn't flow out of the hole indicating that it is appropriate for use with my shower as the flow rate is high enough. The flow rate of my shower has not been reduced, but it does make a different sound now (which spooked my house-mates).
We don't have a water meter so it will be hard to measure the flow. I can monitor the gas meter to see if heating less water reduces the amount of gas we use, but it will be difficult to isolate the data from the increase due to the bloody freezing weather lately!
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