Wednesday, 10 March 2010

How much energy are you wasting ? Here's how to find out...

Caption: The energy readers can now be borrowed from libraries in Leeds

Anyone interesting in finding out just how much wasted energy their household appliances are costing them each day can now do so by borrowing special energy readers from libraries in Leeds.

As part of the drive to improve energy efficiency and protect the environment, Leeds Library and Information Service has now taken on a stock of energy readers which show how much energy an appliance is using and how much it is costing when it is switched on and also how much is being wasted when it is left on in standby mode.

The readers can monitor any electrical appliance from washing machines and tumble driers to lighting and heating as well as everyday items like kettles, mobile phone chargers, hair straighteners and games consoles.

These monitors can now be borrowed free of charge for a week by all Leeds library members and are available from 22 libraries across the city. The project follows a successful pilot scheme carried out last year in Otley organised by Leeds City Council, Otley Town Council and SURE (Sustainable and Renewable Energy in Wharfedale).

The pilot produced hugely encouraging results, and if those results are matched by the new readers each home could see a reduction in electricity use of 5% which across Leeds has the potential to save 772,200 kilowatt hours per year which equates to 404 tonnes less carbon dioxide being produced.

The readers show the cost of using an appliance as well as leaving it on in standby mode, so therefore encourages users to make sure household products such as washing machines and dishwashers are being used with full loads each time as well as things being switched off properly when not in use to save money and energy.

Figures from the Energy Saving Trust show that UK households now spend up to 8% of their electricity bill on standby power, which is taken across the country is equivalent to the annual output from two-and-a-half large power stations. Leaving lights on unnecessarily is another big energy waster, costing the UK £170m pounds each year.

The new service also fits in with the international WWF Earth Hour which takes place on Saturday 27th March. Some of the world’s most iconic landmarks will be joined by buildings all over the world, including those managed by Leeds City Council, in turning their lights completely off for one hour to promote the campaign against climate change.

Leeds City Council executive member for Leisure Councillor John Procter said:

“We are pleased to be able to offer these new energy readers for our library users to try out. With these readers you can actually see for yourself how much energy you are using and possibly wasting and what it is costing you.

“I am keen to try one out for myself at home as I’m sure like most people I will be shocked at the figures. We all need to do our bit for the environment so using these free readers is a great way to start and may also help you reduce your energy bills too so can bring real benefits in both respects.”

For more information on the energy readers, contact Leeds City Council’s Sustainability Communications Officer Amanda Burns on 0113 247 5704 or email

Notes to editors:

The energy readers can be borrowed free of charge from local libraries for one week. Should the reader not be returned in time, late return fees will apply. If a library does not have a reader, staff will be able to advise where the nearest library is which has one available.


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, Learning and Leisure Media Relations Officer,
Tel 0113 247 5472, Email: