Green may not be the colour in the House of Commons after the general election, but that doesn’t mean that you should ignore the eco-friendly gadgets that are out there to buy. You may want to save the planet or simply avoid spending more money than you have to, and here are five ideas to help you do just that.
An energy monitor – If you only want to invest in one green gadget, this is probably the one to go for. The specs vary depending on the version you choose, but all will show you where you can make cuts on the energy that you use. Which? is a good place to start if you want in-depth advice about which monitor to choose. Two of the most recommended, however, are the Loop Gas Energy Monitor, £29.99, and the Loop Electricity Energy Monitor, £39.99. Both are available from Amazon. They are easy to set up to transmit real-time accurate data straight to your smartphone, tablet or computer, letting you know if you are using up too much energy and how close you are to the monthly budget you have set. They can even compare the prices you are paying for your energy to make sure you get the best possible deal. You can use the information to alter your energy use, making you more aware of the need to turn off lights or only the boil the water you need in your kettle. If you don’t want to link a monitor to your PC or mobile device, consider the Efergy Elite model from Amazon, priced at £35.95. This displays a range of data on its own screen, making it easy to use and to understand. It updates frequently to show you how even the smallest items in your home can have a big impact on your energy bills.
A Radiator Booster – Of course, you should seriously consider looking at how you’re your home is insulated and how well your double glazing is performing, but a radiator booster can help to keep your rooms warmer and save you cash. The Radiator Booster MK3, £19 from Amazon, will ensure that your home heats up as fast as possible and could help to reduce your bills. It works by sitting above the radiator and using a fan to suck up heat and disperse it around the room, limiting how many times your thermostat has to start up. Just beware of where you use it, as the fan noise can be irritating in a smaller space. The Mark3 Radiator Booster, also available for £24.99 from Maplin, only costs around 30p a year to run and is quiet enough to be unobtrusive in a typical family room.
Smart Heating – Hive Active Heating might have one of the most annoying adverts around, but the British Gas system does claim to be able to save you around £150 each year. Don’t forget that you will have to pay £199 at the start, which means it will take a while for you to see the return on your investment. If you are interested, however, it may be handy to know that you don’t need to be signed up as a customer of British Gas to get the rewards. The system allows you to control your hot water and heating using an app as your remote control. This allows you to switch your heating on just before you get home from work or turn it off once you arrive at the office on the days when you forget before you leave the house.
Efficient shower heads – A high-pressure shower head such as the Bestope 200% Pressure Shower Head, £12.99 from Amazon, can really reduce the amount of water you use to shower each day. Laser-perforated technology enables the Bestope head to help you use up to 30 per cent less water, and it also has a chlorine filter to purify your water and bioactive stones that are supposed to restore the balance in your oil glands, leading to smoother, less oily skin. The Energy Saving Trust claims that a good shower head could save you more than £100 in water each year, plus another £67 on the amount of gas needed to heat up your shower water.
Energy-saving appliances – All major appliances now come with an energy rating, and choosing well really can save you money, especially when it comes to your washing machine. Get the balance between saving energy and boosting performance with a family-friendly Samsung WW12H8420EW Freestanding Washing Machine, £949 from John Lewis, which has a huge 12kg capacity and a supreme A+++ energy rating.