Trial backs use of energy monitors

Trial backs use of energy monitors

Fitting energy monitors to homes could cut gas bills by 20 per cent, a study has found.

The six month trial, carried out by the Scottish Energy Centre at Edinburgh Napier University, found gas use dropped when energy monitors were clearly visible.

Sixty-five housing association properties were fitted with energy monitors from Ewgeco. These show a red, amber or green light to indicate the level of energy use.

In thirty of the homes the monitors were clearly on display, but it was hidden in the remainder.

In the homes where the monitor was visible, gas use dropped by 20 per cent and electricity use by 7 per cent.

Dr John Currie, director of the university’s energy centre, said: ‘Our findings demonstrate that in-house utility displays can offer a tangible means of energy reduction by enabling behavioural change.’

The UK government wants all homes to be fitted with smart meters that allow better monitoring of energy use by 2020.

The UK Technology Strategy Board funded the trial, which included new homes from Dunedin Canmore Housing Association, Perthshire Housing Association and Glen Housing.