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Home Energy Display Show Consumers Which Appliances are Using the Most Electricity

Trials of Latest Home Energy Display System Show Consumers Which Appliances are Really Using the Most Electricity. The system, Called Coracle, is Designed to Give Sophisticated and Personalised Energy Saving Advice to Maintain Consumer's Interest in Home Energy Reduction.

Do you know how much your power shower costs to run? What difference does switching your dishwasher to an 'eco' cycle make to its energy consumption? Householders across the UK have been taking part in trials of Coracle, the latest smart metering development, helping consumers spot the impact of their household appliances by showing what they have been using, when, and how much it costs.

Trial results show the system can, for example, identify the cost of an electric shower used four times a day, every day, spot a faulty fridge's excessive energy use and list the most energy hungry appliances in a household.

The system only needs energy data from a single point, either in a smart electricity meter or as a consumer energy display device, to show how much electricity fridges, ovens, consumer electronics and heating systems are using. Household displays will show what class of equipment is costing the most and consumers will be able to identify how much money (and carbon) they might save by switching to an eco cycle or defrosting the freezer.

'The average UK family household uses GBP383(1) worth of electricity a year, generating 2 tonnes of CO2(2) in the process, around 34% of our domestic carbon footprint. Coracle can help to reduce this, and to keep it low, said Mark England, MD of Sentec, developers of Coracle.

'Industry research suggests that reductions of up to 15% are achievable, even with the simplest of in-home energy monitoring. Coracle takes this to the next level, and should encourage a new generation of informed, environmentally conscious consumers.'

Small scale trials have been run in Cambridge and with a major utility, with promising results. Larger scale trials are planned for later in the year, which will last for several months and confirm the performance of the technology and consumer reaction to the information. In the meantime talks will continue to incorporate the technology into the next generation of smart metering products, which could be available within the next two years.

'The first thing most people do when they get a standard energy display device is to walk around the house turning things off and on to see how much energy they consume.' said Tom Fryers, Commercial Director. 'Coracle gives householders the full picture of their energy consumption, minute by minute. There's no need to re-wire all the built-in appliances in the modern home to use plug-in energy monitors. Coracle analyses the energy supply to the whole house, and can learn the characteristics of the appliances in most houses by itself.'

After the government's clear signals of commitment to Smart Metering, Coracle is the next generation over the devices currently on the market, which show aggregated energy use with no analysis of how the energy has been used, and it will help consumers to manage their energy consumption with much more sophistication than has been possible up to now.


  1. Source: Digest of UK Energy Statistics 2007, BERR
  2. Source: Energy Savings Trust

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