Soaring UK energy prices have forced us all to consider the amount of gas and electric we’re using at home. Whilst those living in highly energy efficient properties will be protected from these price rises, most of us are facing far higher bills than we’re used to – with the prospect of further price rises to come in the Autumn.
Because of the energy crisis, cheap, fixed price tariffs are a thing of the past – we can’t just switch to a more competitive provider. But there is some good news.
According to the team from a clever little app called Loop, up to 30% of the energy used in an average home each year is currently wasted. This means that there’s big potential for most of us to make the changes needed to benefit both our wallets, and the planet.
This is a sponsored post, in collaboration with Loop.
What is Loop?
Loop is a free app which pairs with an existing smart meter. It allows you to monitor your household energy usage straight from your phone, helping you to spot which devices are using up the most.
With Loop’s detailed breakdowns of each day, you can get a better understanding of how your home uses energy and what your appliances are costing you. Armed with this information, the theory is that it becomes easier to make choices and changes, then see the impact in real time – something called the “feedback effect”.
Loop claims that its app users can save around 10% on their annual energy bills, simply by getting to grips with energy consumption and making these small changes. Previously Loop was electricity-only, but it’s now dual fuel, supporting efficiency improvements for gas as well, and increasing the size of the savings available.
Calculating My ‘Phantom Load’
The main way that the Loop app helps lower energy consumption, is by helping people to understand their ‘phantom load’ – the energy being wasted by leaving things on all the time.
Loop estimates that its average user spends £429 a year on this Phantom load which is a scary amount of wasted energy and cash. The good news is that Loop can help reduce this.
I signed up to the Loop app and connected it to my Smart Meter (which took about 10 minutes to do) and was pleased to find out that I’m already doing quite well – my Loop app estimated my Phantom Load at just £70 a year.
However, I did find some useful tips which could help me to lower this even further – like being mindful of the fact that appliances which generate heat (like electric wall heaters, the kettle, heated towel rails or, worst of all, underfloor heating) use the most energy, so these are the ones to use more mindfully.
Reducing My Carbon Impact
40% of UK carbon emissions currently come from within our homes, which means they have an important part to play in meeting 2030 emissions reductions targets, and mitigating climate change.
In fact, the Climate Change Committee estimates that measures like better insulation and smarter, more energy efficient lighting and appliances, could reduce a household’s emissions by up to 600kgs of CO2 per year.
My Loop app estimated my household’s current carbon output from electricity alone as 380kgs of CO2 per year – so I’m looking forward to making some changes and seeing this figure decrease in real time over the coming weeks and months.
By using Loop’s Net Zero Calculator, I was also able to take a longer term look at how I could get my household to Net Zero, by showing the impact of home grown solar energy (reducing the need for power from the grid), adding insulation, and switching to electricity (rather than gas) to heat my home and power our car.
I’ve always fancied the idea of solar panels, but I know that they can be a costly investment upfront.
After April’s energy price cap rise, the payback time on a typical solar install has reduced by 30%, so solar makes financial sense for more people. An average solar installation can save 1.6 tonnes of carbon every year.
With Loop, by using my energy data combined with local weather information, their unique solar simulator showed me the actual difference solar power could make to my monthly bills, and my reliance on grid energy.
My personalised solar simulator results showed that there is potential for me to become up to 43% self-powered with solar panels alone, and up to 96% self-powered with the addition of battery options – which is incredible!
Knowing this, it’s definitely something I’ll look into in the next few years.
To analyse your energy data and find easy ways to use less, save money and cut your eco-impact, download the FREE Loop app at www.loophome.app. Because the greenest energy is the energy you don’t use!