The other day, I received an unexpected call and was offered a device to monitor my energy usage. I asked for more information (there are so many calls from people offering something for free that you always need to check what’s behind the offer). But, after some research, I found that this offer was legitimate. The offer involved allowing this company to come and connect a device to my meter, which is then connected to my phone via Bluetooth, to send me a report every Saturday detailing both the amount of power consumed as well as the total cost. Why would someone “help” me in such a way? Because they can use the information produced by the device to recommend providers to me who might allow me to reduce my energy bill. They will therefore get a commission if they refer you to a provider and you sign up with that provider – sounds like win/win/win. The provider of the device gets an opportunity to earn a commission by helping me better understand my energy use and showing me where I can make savings.
After a few weeks of using the device, the system had enough information to recommend a new provider, but the best bit was they found a plan with my current provider that was going to save me just as much as any other. I was able to log on to my existing providers portal and change to the “better” plan, hopefully providing me future savings on my utility bills.
There are several schemes in place that allow organisations to claim carbon credits by helping you save energy. If you get cold called, its often worth having a look into whatever program they are offering. Other offers out there now are installation of solar panels, replacement of old water heaters, government comparison sites to help get a better plan for electricity or gas and replacement light bulbs for low voltage LED’s that can save you a fortune over time (especially if you have a household that knows how to turn lights on but struggles to work out how to turn them off!).
One of my key tenets in building wealth is always know what you are spending your money on and be constantly looking for ways to save, therefore giving you extra money to invest. Understanding your energy use, which is a significant percentage of your yearly household spend, is just one of the ways to do that.