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It goes without saying that different households have different power needs. Electricity customers with large families, for example, will likely devour their way through far more power than a single consumer living in a modest apartment. Regardless of your particular habits, it’s important to understand how you can keep track, manage and reduce the amount of energy you use.

What are the benefits of energy monitoring systems?

Perhaps most obvious is the cost advantage. By having a system in place to accurately monitor your energy usage, you’re better equipped to identify inefficient electricity use and change your behaviour accordingly.

However, it’s worth noting that the benefits aren’t solely finance-oriented. Reducing your household’s electricity usage is better for the planet, helping reduce harmful greenhouse emissions and minimising the overall impact your household has on greenhouse gas emissions.

Tracking your power usage

The benefits of monitoring energy usage are clear, but what’s the best way to track your power usage? We’ve put together a few tips, tricks and strategies to help you better manage your relationship with electricity.

1. Smart meters, web portals and in-home displays

The most precise way of monitoring your power usage is with a smart meter. These real-time energy monitoring systems, which are steadily being rolled out across many parts of Australia, provide both you and your electricity provider with greater insight into your power usage.

As the Victoria government’s Switch On initiative noted, most smart meters can be connected to in-home displays or web portals (i.e. a website you can log into). The latter can be accessed remotely via a computer, laptop or a smart device, providing you with the ultimate control over your electricity usage regardless of where you’re located.

Get in touch with your electricity distributor to find out how you can get a smart meter installed at your home.

2. Appliance energy calculators

An effective way of getting a more granular understanding of your electricity usage is to make use of appliance calculators, such as the one offered by the Victoria state government. Simply enter the energy-use specifications of your appliances to see an estimate of their daily and annual running costs.

Such tools can be instrumental in helping you improve your electricity management. For example, if the calculator identifies that you have a particularly inefficient appliance, you might consider replacing the offending product with a more modern, eco-friendly solution. The initial outlay may be costly, but there’s a high chance you’ll end up making this money back in savings over the course of its lifetime.

3. Smartphone and tablet apps

Round out your arsenal of electricity management tools by installing a power usage tracking app on your favourite smart device. Regardless of your operating system, you’ll find a range of apps that can help you monitor your electricity usage over extended periods and reveal any patterns, outliers or drastic changes in your energy use.

There are many choices on the market. Some of our favourites include Energy Usage Analyzer for Android and Meter Readings for iOS, but be sure to explore your options and have a play around until you find an app that best suits your needs.

There are many benefits to monitoring your household’s electricity usage and armed with these tools you’ll be in an excellent position to do just that. When coupled with the results of an energy retailer comparison, you may be surprised at how much you’re able to save on your power bill.

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