Smart meters for hire from U.K. city council

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York, U.K. — (METERING.COM) — January 21, 2009 – The City of York Council has taken the unusual decision to offer smart meters for hire to households, so they can find out how much energy they are consuming.

Two types of smart meters are available. The OWL wireless energy monitor comprises a device that is clipped around the electricity cable that connects to the home’s electricity meter and a display unit that can be positioned anywhere in the home, and provides information about the total mains electricity consumption in the home.

The Maplin plug-in mains power and energy monitor simply fits between the appliance one wishes to monitor and the wall socket, and thus provides information about the electricity consumption of individual appliances.

The smart meters are available at all York libraries and may be loaned for one week free of charge.

The meters have been available since the end of last year and are proving to be a huge success, according to the Council.

"We all use fridges, televisions and washing machines all the time but often don’t realize just how much energy they use and how much they can cost us over the course of a year,” says Sarah Garbacz from City of York Council’s library service. "The smart meters are a great way to measure the amount of electricity one uses and will help people to make informed choices about the energy they consume and hopefully save money in the process.”