Gadgets can help make everyday life easier. Some can even help you save money. You’d be surprised what you could actually buy, or even get for free, that would keep some of that hard earned cash in your pocket. Here’s a selection of 4 gadgets that are well-priced for everyday money-saving use around the house.
A simple timer, used with a lamp, can act as a deterrent for would-be intruders. While the cost of installing a burglar alarm can run in to the hundreds, a plug timer will set you back around £5. Although you may have insurance to cover the worst, it’s worth remembering that any claim you make can increase your premiums for the following year.
Smart meter upgrade
Most of the major gas and electricity utility suppliers are offering free smart meter upgrades until 2020. You can get a free smart meter upgrade that normally takes about two to three hours to complete. The benefit with a smart meter is that you can see exactly what you’re using and which appliances cost more to run. PLUS it will mean the end to estimated bills. There will be no more having to read the meter or try to work out your bill. Once you have a smart meter, you’ll only get accurate bills from your energy supplier, just as you do with your phone bill.
It should make you think twice about having the TV on whilst no one is watching and keeping the lights on when you don’t need them.
It’s as easy as 1,2,3!
- Fish out a recent energy bill and contact your supplier for more information.
- If you release you’d benefit; fix a time and day to have one installed. You/someone will need to be around whilst the meter is fitted.
- Start taking control of your energy use. That’s it.
LED spot lights
LED lights are widely available from high street retailers and discount stores in the UK. A typical halogen spotlight will use 30 watts of electricity. Whereas an LED will only use 5 watts. That’s an 80% power saving. If you have more than one halogen spotlight that could be changed to an LED you could save several pounds in a year.
Alternatively, if you have GU10 bulbs then you can switch to LEDs straight away. If your spotlights are dimmable or the smaller GU5.3 bulbs (also known as MR16) then you’ll need to consult an electrician about potentially changing your switches, transformers (used for low voltage bulbs) and existing light fittings.
Bulbs start from around £3. They are meant to last for at least 11 years but will save money on your electric bill compared to using halogen spotlights.
This article on the OVO website has a beginners guide for LED lights.
Save £240 + a year – How the sums stack up; According to CompareTheMarket.com
Assume for simplicity’s sake we use a medium-size home containing 10 light fittings to show the example below, each currently with an old-style 60W bulb. Also assumed that the owners are retired so the lights are on for an average of 10 hours a day.
- The total power consumption of the 10 lights with old-style bulbs comes to 600W or 0.6kW.
- Electricity is sold in units of kilowatt-hours (kWh) – the amount of energy that a 1kW device uses in an hour. So each hour the 10 lights consume 0.6kWh.
- Based on a typical unit price of 12.2p per kWh, the 10 lights will cost 7.3p per hour to run. The daily cost is therefore 73p if on for 10 hours. This is equivalent to £5.11 a week, £21.90 a month or £266.45 a year.
- If you replace all the bulbs with a 6W LED equivalent, the running costs will be just one tenth – or 7.3p per day, 51p a week, £2.19 a month and £26.65 a year.
- The savings are therefore 65.7p a day, £4.60 a week, £19.70 a month or £239.80 a year.
Shower head that changes colour
You may think that a showerhead that changes colour is something of a luxury. JML, who produce a number of products for household use, offer this product which changes colour depending on how hot the water is. This can be handy to know when the water is too hot, as it’ll also be costing you more, compared to being the right temperature. It costs £20, requires no tools to install, works on LED light technology and fits on to most detachable showerheads without needing batteries or mains power. It can also be handy if you want to protect little ones too.