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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Top energy-saving gadgets

Home energy efficiency
Small household energy savings add up over time
By Sam Travers

You’ll find hundreds of energy-saving gadgets and gizmos on the market, all promising to save you a packet on your energy bills. But are they really worth your time and money in the first place? We give a run-down of our favourites.

Owl Micro+ Energy Monitor

This small battery-operated device pinpoints your power use around the house and shows which appliances are costing you the most. Rather than saving you energy directly, it can give you the incentive to curb your current energy habits.

The Radiator Booster

This white tube sits on top of your water-filled radiator and uses a small fan to suck up and redistribute lost heat. It works by plugging into a nearby electrical socket.

Eco Showerdrop

A digital calculator which hangs by the shower control and shows the flow of water while you wash. It can be used in combination with a special showerhead designed to provide barely noticeable interruptions to the water flow.

Water tank jackets

By wrapping your water tank in a jacket, you will cut the amount of energy it takes to keep your hot water hot. You can get your hands on a jacket for around £10 and make your money back within 6 months.

Heatkeeper radiator insulation panels

Easy to install, these panels slot behind your radiators and reflect the heat back into the room to save you up to 30% on your heating costs. You can get a pack of 5 panels (enough for 2 - 3 standard sized radiators) for approx. £20.

ECO kettle

This nifty kettle is supported by the Energy Saving Trust and uses 31% less electricity to boil water compared to a standard kettle. It works by boiling exactly the right amount of water and no more. Prices start from £20.

Eco button

A power-saving device for your computer, the Eco Button will switch your computer to ‘energy saving’ mode at the touch of a button. Your computer will switch back on with mouse movement or the press of a keyboard button. The Eco Button costs around £5 - £10 and could save you up to £40 a year.

Eco Flap

Experience unpleasant draughts and rattles in cold or windy weather? You can most likely point the finger at your letter box. The brushes designed to block draughts become worn out over time, so the EcoFlap functions as a draught exclusion method by slotting neatly over your letterbox. Prices start at around £27.


Far more promising than dim energy-saving bulbs we’re used to, the BioBulb saves you money and brings sunshine indoors. This bulb uses 75% less energy than a standard bulb and emits three-times more lumens (a measurement of natural light) to replicate sunlight. A Bio Bulb costs around £10 and can last for up to 10,000 hours.

Once you’ve run an energy price comparison and weighed up switching to a cheaper tariff or supplier, you may want to invest in some of these nifty devices. Chances are you’ll save ever more energy and reduce your carbon footprint at the same time.

About the author: Sam Travers is an eco-warrior of sorts. He works for a green charity and blogs regularly with help and advice for those looking to make the planet a better place.

Image license: Dominque Chappard; Public Domain