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Research to expose power-hungry appliances that impact home energy bills

February 25, 2013 - In the United Kingdom, new research by the University of Nottingham and energy company E.ON could help people save money on their energy bills by identifying which of their household electrical appliances are using the most power.


February 25, 2013
By Anthony Capkun

Smart meters are to be installed in every UK home by 2019. To prepare, the Nottingham academics are developing a range of mobile apps for monitoring energy use and making small changes to cut electricity bills. The work is being carried out as part of E.ON’s Thinking Energy project.

“Previous research has shown that it is often difficult to change our day-to-day habits to save energy, and that the resulting savings may seem tiny,” said Dr. Benjamin Bedwell. “In contrast, significant savings—both in finance, convenience and carbon emissions—might be made by identifying and addressing troublesome appliances.”

The way people use power-hungry appliances in the home has a major impact on energy bills and carbon footprints. Data collected by in-home sensors can help to better understand the energy use of these appliances, and whether small changes to the way they are used might allow people to save energy and money.

“Signs in the data gathered on the energy consumption of the appliances can provide advance warning of depreciation or failure of an appliance, allowing us to proactively maintain, and help avoid a costly breakdown later on,” said Bedwell. “A detailed record might also allow us to spot any changes to our home that have an impact on the performance of our appliances.”

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“Through the real-time data provided in the Thinking Energy project and the analysis carried out by the university’s research team, we hope to make it easier to understand if and when that old freezer should be replaced, and prove that it makes a difference to your energy bill,” added Chris Rimmer, E.ON’s new technologies program manager.