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Everyone likes to save money and with energy costs rising all the time it is great if you can find a way to cut your electricity bill. I saw an advert recently for the Ecotek Energy Wizard and was keen to find out more about it.
What is it?
Quite simply it is a little device, slightly bigger than an electric plug that you put in a spare plug socket which the manufacturers claim can help you reduce energy costs by around 10%.
How does it work?
The makers say "Electricity is supplied to your home in the form of alternating current and voltage. This means that the voltage and current rise and fall continuously, many times each second. Electricity is used most efficiently when the voltage and current rise and fall together, with their peaks occurring at the same moments in time." Now I am not an expert in electricity and I have to take their word for that.
They go on to say "In a household environment some appliances will cause a difference between the times at which the voltage and current peaks occur. If this difference is significant it will reduce the efficiency of energy usage for those appliances. You can improve this situation by using an Energy Wizard. The device works by helping to reduce these time differences, which in turn reduces inefficiency and losses, making your appliances work more efficiently."
Did it work for me?
I do love a gadget and, although I confess I didn't really understand the theory behind it, given that it cost less than £25 and offered the opportunity to pay for itself fairly quickly I decided to give it a try. A search of the internet revealed that Amazon were offering it at the best price (£19.96) so I sent off an order.
It came within a couple of days and I picked it up and read the instructions. They were very simple, open the box, take out the Energy Wizard, plug it in to a spare socket, start saving money! You couldn't ask for anything simpler.
I have been monitoring my electricity usage on a daily basis since I had my solar energy panels installed at the start of July so I figured it ought to be fairly simple to see if this device made a difference by comparing readings before and after installation. I marked the date of installation of the energy wizard on my spreadsheet and sat back to see how it performed in practice.
Looking at the figures over the last two weeks I can definitely see a saving of around 10% on usage at a time when I would expect to see a slight increase as the days are getting shorter so I would say that their claim of a 10% saving would seem to be accurate. The manufacturers suggest that you get bigger savings on some types of equipment so I expect much depends on where you greatest usage is incurred.
According to a leaflet included with the product the following are the typical energy savings you can achieve on different products:
Electric kettle - 4% Automatic washing machine - 13% LCD TV - 11% 15x40w household light bulbs - 29%
Would I recommend it?
Yes I would, it is by far the simplest device I have ever had to 'install' just plug it in and forget it and then save money. At a cost of less than £20 I suspect there are few people who wouldn't recoup the cost within a year or so.
The details received with the product suggest that if you have two separate circuits for sockets upstairs and downstairs that the best place to locate the unit is close to the consumer unit. I would think if you have a very big house then it might be worth buying two and having one on each floor to maximise the savings.
I am very happy I bought mine and I think that when I combine the savings from this and the income I am making from generating my own electricty I should have much lower electricity bills in the future.
We have been looking at getting something like this but with Hubby being a electrician, he seems to prefer larger ones that sit under the consumer unit and cost about £250.00, I might give this a try with any spare Amazon vouchers I have left after Xmas.
abbs75 27.08.2010 11:55
Really interesting read.
chugglebunny 27.08.2010 11:37
Sounds interesting, can't say I get how it works or what it does though :S I wonder if it would work in a flat as it's a shared supply? x