The relentless march of technology seems to have picked up in the last decade and a half or so, changing the world in ways we scarcely could have imagined only a few years previously.
Yet surprisingly, the hunger for the latest gadgets has also instilled in us an awareness of the more problematic aspects of our reliance on energy to power progress while also providing use with the solutions to tackle them. From energy efficient electronics to home energy monitors, it has never been easier to keep your domestic gas and electricity usage – and bills – under control
Advances in technology have enabled electronics manufacturers to produce devices with much lower power consumption than those of only a generation ago. Modern LCD and LED televisions consume only a fraction of the energy required their cathode ray tube predecessors while everyday appliances from washing machines to vacuum cleaners are much greener and more energy efficient as a rule. Even the notoriously power-hungry incandescent light bulb is set to be replaced by more energy-efficient halogen and fluorescent alternatives.
If you are willing to make a bit of an investment in bringing your long term energy costs down and are keen to go green, you can investigate the option of replacing your regular gas or electricity powered hot water heater with a solar water heater. This hybrid technology uses the heat from the sun’s rays to pre-heat the water to a higher temperature than it normally is when it arrives from the mains. This means that less gas and electricity is required to raise the water to your preferred temperature, resulting in savings of anywhere from fifty to eighty per cent on your energy bill.
Price comparison websites were initially set up to allow people to compare the cost of different insurance products and financial services but many have since moved into the energy market. Simply by typing a few details about your current energy usage into the correct area of the site, it’s possible to get quotes from any of dozens of different providers operating in your area. You may be surprised to find that your current provider isn’t offering you as good a deal as you first thought, at which point it may be time to consider switching to a rival company. By keeping a careful eye on the latest gas and electricity tariffs, you may well be able to make really significant savings.
If you really want to tackle your energy costs at the very highest level, some electricity and gas providers are now offering their customers home energy monitors. These special electronic devices allow you to keep an eye on how much energy you are using at any given moment, with real-time, up to the minute data. You will be able to isolate devices that are using too much power easily and turn them off, leading to significant savings on your annual bill. More advanced home energy monitors even allow you to enter your per-unit electricity cost so that you can calculate exactly how much you spend on electricity every day and think of ways to lower your energy consumption.
Thanks to modern technology, it takes surprisingly little effort to make a real impact on your energy bills, saving you money and helping to preserve the planet for future generations.