Villages Housing is loaning energy monitors free of charge to any tenants or residents keen to be greener at home.

The energy monitor uses a sensor which measures how much electricity you are using. This portable device allows you to keep an eye on your energy usage throughout the day - whether you are watching TV or cooking dinner.

Using the energy monitor, you can:

- See how much energy it takes when you use appliances around your home;
- Check whether you've left anything on before heading out or going to bed;
- Keep on top of the cost for your energy you use.

Where can I find one and how much does it cost?

Borrowing a monitor is just like borrowing a book from the library - there are no hire charges.

The monitors are available from Villages Housing Head Office in Stockbridge Village. Residents will be able to receive an energy monitor on a short term loan (normally three months). You can loan a monitor by calling into Villages Housing to collect one, or by contacting Barbara Murray, Community Development Officer, on 0151 480 1313.

Will I have to do anything to participate in the scheme?

When you receive your energy monitor, Villages Housing will ask you to complete a simple application form and provide evidence of where you live. We will also ask you to complete a simple survey when you receive and return the monitor, so we can find out how effective the energy monitor has been for you. We do ask if you could please record your weekly electricity usage on our energy use monitoring form, as this will demonstrate how your electricity usage has changed.

How do you install the energy monitors?

Villages Housing use "The OWL" energy monitors which comes in two pieces:

- A sensor, which is clipped to your incoming electricity cable; and
- A display monitor, which shows how much energy is being used and cost in pence per hour.

The monitors are simple to install, and instructions are included in the box. You can also find the manufacturer's user manual for the OWL monitor on their website www.theowl.com

How much electricity can I save?

The Energy Saving Trust estimates that households in the UK waste around eight per cent of their electricity bill on standby power - that is about £30.00 per year for an average household. In small scale trials of home energy monitors, customers have typically saved five per cent to 15 per cent in the first year when using a monitor, which amounts to approximately £25 - £75 off a £500 bill.

To register your interest in the scheme or for more information please contact Barabara Murray at Villages Housing on 0151 480 1313.