Energy savings: track your electricity in real time
Sandra Hermiston and Lynda Steele, CTV Vancouver
Published Monday, October 20, 2014 6:00AM PDT
Last Updated Monday, October 20, 2014 7:52PM PDT
B.C. Hydro is offering customers a new device to help track energy consumption and save on electricity bills.
The device, by Rainforest Automation, connects wirelessly to your smart meter and lets you see the amount of electricity you're using in real time.
When you turn appliances or lights on, you instantly see the kilowatts start to add up.
"By giving customers access to the right information at the right time, they can make better decisions around electricity use," said spokesperson Simi Heer.
Carly McFetridge used to do a small load of laundry every day, but that changed after she started using the home energy monitor.
“It makes you more aware. Do I need to do that extra load today or can I save it up for a bigger load?” she said.
For the first time in this province, B.C. Hydro is offering this up-the-second monitoring to its customers with two different devices.
One plugs into your wall. The other connects to the Internet, giving you access to the information on your computer, tablet or smartphone.
“We're offering a $35 incentive for the purchase of both devices. It brings the cost down to $35 for the simpler device and $65 for the internet gateway device,” said Heer.
With electricity rates rising 28 per cent over the next five years, more people will likely be looking for ways to cut energy costs.
B.C. Hydro says users typically find they save up to six per cent of their overall bill after using the monitor.
McFetridge says she has noticed a difference in her habits. She's now hanging laundry to dry, avoiding the oven and BBQ'ing more and turning out the lights.
"For me having the monitor in the house made me aware of how much power I was using usefully and how much power I was wasting in my day to day activities,” she said.