08 January 2010

Householders in the county will be able to use energy monitors to keep track of the amount of electricity they use at home, enabling them to save money and help them reduce their carbon footprint.

Northamptonshire County Council will soon be making the devices available at libraries across the county. They can be borrowed for free for up to three weeks – exactly like borrowing a book.

The scheme is being launched at Kettering Library on Friday, January 15, with 50 monitors being made available. The initiative, which has been organised by the council’s Environment Policy Unit, will then be rolled out across the county over the next few months.

Energy monitors can help cut electricity bills by measuring how much energy is required to power appliances in the home.

A display unit shows how much electricity is being used at any one time and will show energy use as lights are switched off or a hair dryer starts up.

By turning off individual devices and leaving one running the monitor can show how much energy that device uses whether left on or on standby and more importantly how much it costs to power that device.

Cllr Heather Smith, county council cabinet member for environment, growth and transport, said: “This is a simple way of monitoring the amount of electricity we all use and keeping an eye on our energy consumption will help us all identify the small changes which can be made to cut the amount we use.

“Not only will this be of benefit to the environment by reducing our carbon footprints but also it makes sense economically too by helping us see how we can reduce our bills.

“Often it is introducing small changes that can bring the biggest benefits such as not leaving appliances on standby and by only boiling the required amount of water in the kettle.”

Anyone borrowing an energy monitor will also be given a data sheet so they can, if they choose, fill in their daily energy usage so they can assess how much they are saving. The biggest energy savers will then have the chance of winning book tokens for their efforts.

The Energy Savings Trust will have a stand at the launch, providing advice on how to use the monitors and ways on saving energy. A freepost envelope, available with the monitors, can be sent to the trust and tailored information will then be sent back from the trust on how energy can be saved.

For more information on the scheme contact Anne Lovely or Steph Probert at Kettering Library on 01536 512315 or sprobert@northamptonshire.gov.uk