<a href="https://www.greenlifestylemag.com.au/blogs/daninkahn#">The Conscious Consumer</a>

The Conscious Consumer

Less really is more, when it comes to consumption

Understanding energy usage

energy meter

Credit: iStockphoto

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We've all heard loads of energy saving tips such as "Turn your air conditioner up a couple degrees in summer and down a couple degrees in winter". We've been told that this is a great way to save energy and reduce our carbon footprint.

I'm sure we all believe it (as it is correct), but do we really relate to it? Do we truly connect with tips such as this the way we might with more tangible activities such as turning off the lights.

We probably don't truly relate activities such as this to real, tangible savings in energy because we can't really see or understand the results. In many of the Eco Home Assessments I have conducted, when referring to an energy-saving tip, people often say "I've heard that mentioned somewhere, but how do I know how much energy I'm really saving?"

There are a number of readily available and easy to use products that enable you understand how much energy your devices or your household are actually using.

What this means is that you can hold the wireless energy meter in one hand and the remote control of your air conditioner in the other, and as you adjust the temperature with your remote control you are able to see the difference in energy usage in real time.

What's more, you are also able to see the difference in both dollars and CO2 in real time. This doesn't just apply to air conditioners, but it applies to opening and closing the fridge, turning the lights on or off, or unplugging standby appliances from the walls.

Once people can see the results of their actions, they feel empowered to make changes as they have a true understanding of the results and benefits.

What I usually recommend to families is to get their children involved in energy saving and make it a fun game. Show your children the energy bills and run them through some of the energy-saving tips you have come across.

Get them excited by offering them any savings on future energy bills as extra pocket money. This really gets kids excited and motivated to save energy and helps them really understand energy conservation. It is fun and it won't cost you anything.

As they say: knowledge is power - or in this case power saving.

–– Danin Kahn, CEO of Todae