Aug 26, 2022
Tackling the energy price cap: Understanding energy usage is great - but an app that saves you energy is even better!
With ongoing price increases affecting many areas of our lives, understandably there has been a lot of talk about the energy price cap in recent months, with many consumers across the UK actively looking for ways to save money and cut their energy bills in anticipation of the new price cap coming into effect in October this year.
Ofgem has just announced due to record high global gas prices, the energy price cap will rise to an average of £3,549 per year on Saturday 1 October. This is a devastating 80% rise to the price cap! We are in a crisis and the only way forward is to work collectively to address it, government, industry, consumers and Ofgem.
We are already seeing this collective action come into play. Consumers are naturally leaning towards solar panels and batteries to reduce the dependence on energy supply from the grid and protect them from future price rises. In fact, demand for solar panels has reached unprecedented levels with many companies reporting a 400 - 500% increase in business and others having to refuse new inquiries due to the massive backlog of customers.
It is extremely unlikely that the latest price cap announcement will see this trend reversed. However, although the cost savings of solar panels and batteries are huge, there are other less expensive ways that homeowners can reduce their energy bills.
Knowledge is power, but…
One of the keys to reducing energy bills is to understand how much energy you are using at home and where you can make savings. This is not something that requires lots of expensive technology or hardware. In fact, over 26 million households can already increase their understanding of their energy usage thanks to smart meters.
However, it is only when you combine smart technology such as smart meters with software like the equiwatt app, that things really get interesting. By connecting smart meters, energy monitoring smart plugs and electric vehicles (EVs) to the app, our users are given a clear breakdown of how much energy their homes, EVs and household appliances save during energy-saving events run by equiwatt.
Our app alerts users of these events 1-2 times a week and encourages households to save energy during these events. The energy saved by our users during these events helps energy companies like the National Grid reduce the burden of peak-time demand of electricity on the energy network helping energy companies reduce the cost, complexity and carbon impact of supplying energy at peak times.
Our users get rewarded for participating in these events and become part of an energised community that reduces energy use collectively and simultaneously to save money and help the planet.
Putting knowledge into action...
With the data that their smart devices provide in the app, users are able to build a clear picture of what the high-consuming appliances are in their homes. As equiwatt rewards users based on the amount of energy their appliances save during our peak time events, users are incentivised to actively reduce their energy consumption and change their behaviour to help them save more energy at home and thus earn more rewards in the process.
Pictured: equiwatt user Rachael Hunter
Although everyone has different motivations for saving energy at home, there is no doubt that reducing energy usage and becoming more energy efficient is something that can have a real impact on energy bills as one of our users, Rachael Hunter, points out:
“Energy bills are going up and up and up, but our energy usage was reduced compared to last year and I really think that’s greatly because of using equiwatt. We started paying more attention to what energy we were using during equivents and beyond. We actually saved money on our energy bills even though the cost of each energy unit had gone up”
As well as providing users with the data necessary to make changes to their energy consumption at home, equiwatt also makes things really easy for users by providing automation and prompts alongside rewards to help put energy saving into action.
For example, by connecting a smart plug, compatible electric car or smart charger to the equiwatt app, users are able to participate in our energy-saving events without having to lift a finger as their devices automatically take part and save energy for them. This means that users can simply connect their devices and let the energy savings happen without the need for any input from them, making it participation that just becomes part of their lives very seamlessly.
However, equiwatt also helps those without smart devices connected to the app to save energy too. By sending notifications to them via their phone to prompt them to switch off or shift their energy usage away from peak times, users can participate in events manually by switching high-usage appliances off at the socket or switching lights off that no longer need to be on.
This prompt to change their energy behaviour is not something that a smart meter will do on its own. However, combined with the app, equiwatt users can not just gain energy data from their smart meter, they can also get rewarded for putting that knowledge into action, something that the app helps them to do. In fact, our community earn back 10% of the cost of their energy bills thanks to the app.
Ultimately, the key to saving energy and reducing our energy bills lies in not just understanding how much energy you are using across the home, although this is an important starting point but, in being able to put that knowledge into action, this is something that equiwatt helps homes do, in an easy, affordable and rewarding way.
Want to join us? Download the free app for iOS and Android via the links below.