Energy monitors could help pull plug on rising bills

ENERGY monitor packs will be available to borrow from Sidmouth and Ottery libraries from Monday, April 27.

ENERGY monitor packs will be available to borrow from all Devon libraries from Monday 27 April.

The packs are part of Devon County Council's Carbon Management Programme as well as adding to the Library Service's range of ways of supporting people through the recession. The energy monitors are intended to help people control their use of electricity by showing how they can cut electricity bills and lower CO2 emissions.

The easy to use plug-in monitor show how much power an individual appliance uses and from that you can work out its running cost. This can help you manage your electricity by using more economical settings on equipment such as heaters and washing machines, and by using only as much as you need, for example, by not filling the kettle with more water than necessary. You can also work out what you would save by not using electricity - for instance, defrosting frozen food without a microwave.

Councillor Sheila Hobden, Devon County Council Executive Member for Culture, said: "These energy monitor packs are an excellent addition to the expanding range of services Devon's libraries are offering. People will find them to be a really useful tool and the fact that they can be borrowed for free, just like a book, makes it simple."

Councillor Margaret Rogers, Devon County Council Executive Member for Environment, said: "Now everyone in Devon can make use of this simple technology to help reduce their energy consumption so they can save money and cut their carbon footprint. It's a difficult time for everyone financially so we're all aware of the need to reduce our bills, and these energy monitors can help make Devon even greener."

The pack also contains a climate change booklet which provides a range of simple ideas for cutting CO2 emissions. Its convenient layout means you can just dip into whichever section you need. There is also an Energy Saving Trust care which can provide advice on wall and loft insulation and many other aspects.

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Councillor Gordon Hook, Devon County Council's Climate Change Champion, said: "In small ways we are all personally responsible for climate change. In similarly small ways we can all play a part in correcting that situation. If we know how, where and when we are creating carbon emissions in the home (which these devices tell us) we can start to save carbon and energy. With energy bills a major problem for many this is a win, win for all of us."

Councillor Roger Giles, Devon County Council's Energy Champion, said: "I welcome this really important initiative which will help members of the public to play their part in saving energy, saving the planet and combating climate change."

Any member of Devon Libraries can borrow a pack, and there 250 packs are available across Devon. For anyone who is not currently a member, it is free to join.

The packs will be issued just like books, so you can borrow one free for three weeks and renew it if no-one else is waiting for it. If you find they have all been borrowed already, or if you are a mobile library user, you will be able to reserve one free of charge.