No one wants to pay more than what’s necessary on their bills. That’s why it’s important to know just how much energy you are using and therefore paying for while at home. You may find that your energy usage is far beyond what you had anticipated and could be inspired to begin implementing clever energy saving tactics, such as purchasing a boiler cover, stuffing your chimney, or setting your thermostat at just a degree or two lower.
Before you start cutting down on energy, though, you first need an understanding of just how much energy you are using in the first place.
There are a few of ways of doing this:
From your energy bill
The easiest way to work out how much energy you are using is by looking at your energy bill.
Your energy bill contains a lot more information than simply how much you have to pay. It includes your customer reference number, meter point number and detail your tariff and charges.
Bills also set out how much energy (units) you have used over the billing period and will often compare this to the same billing period in the previous year. In this way, at a glance, you can see if your energy usage has changed from the previous year.
Take meter readings
It may seem a little old fashioned but simply noting down your energy usage is a great way to track how much energy you are using.
Simply make a note of your meter reading and take another one a week or month later. This will give you precise information on how much energy you use.
When using this method, you should be aware of the impact of seasonality and how it may affect your estimations when tracking energy month to month. It goes without saying that we use more energy to light and heat our homes during the winter, as opposed to this brighter, warmer summer days.
You may also wish to take meter readings if you think that your meter may be faulty or not recording usage accurately. Keep a log of daily meter readings for about a week to confirm whether you believe there is a problem or not. If you still have concerns after this, contact your supplier with this information and they will out tests on your meter to find out whether is faulty.
In Ireland ESB Networks are leading on a Smart Meter roll out programme which will replace existing electricity meters to smart meters. The programme has planned to replace 250,000 meters by the end of 2020 and a further 500,000 meters to be upgraded every year from 2021 to 2024.
Smart meters are the next generation of electricity meters. Using digital technology, the meters give you and your supplier accurate information on energy usage throughout the day. From 2021 onwards smart meters will provide greater access to information on your energy usage giving you greater control over your energy consumption and allowing you to better manage your bills.
Of all the ways to work out how much energy you use, energy monitors are probably the most accurate. These energy monitors will keep track of exactly how much energy you are using and display that information to you in a clear and simple manner.
Some energy suppliers will provide you with an energy monitor for free, although many will charge you for one. If you do have to pay for an energy monitor, then you will probably be looking at a cost of around €30-€100.
Whilst this is a bit of a large initial spend, energy monitors could save you a lot of money as you will always be able to see how much energy you use. This means you can see where you might want to cut down so you can save money on your gas and electricity.
Switch and Save
Knowing your energy usage can help you when it comes to comparing energy supplier tariffs. If you run a comparison based on your actual energy consumption any estimated savings will be more accurate as it is based on your usage.
Compare energy deals with Power to Switch to see how much you could save.