Like a bird on the wire.. (and other feedback loops)

OWL Wireless Energy Monitor2 We've got our Owl working. Or to be a little more accurate – we finally got around to putting a Christmas present from last year to some use. The Owl is a wireless monitor which tracks the electricity flowing out of your meter, multiplies it by pounds and pence and the odd kilowatt. And transmits it to a display you can put somewere prominently  in your house – ie not under the stairs with the meter. Hey presto instant feedback about how much electricity you are using every hour.

It has only been in operation for an evening but we are already exhibiting behaviour which borders on the obsessive. I find myself charging around asking who has switched the oven on and why – because I notice that the electricity load has more than tripled. Its such a simple demonstration of the power of feedback loops to modify behaviour. And the best thing about it is that its fun. It turns energy conservation into a game.  You can set an alarm on it to warn you when you have gone over your target hourly rate. I don't have the stomach for that yet.  But no doubt it will come.  You can get these sorts of device everywhere these days. At ethical sites like this one or in Comet or Tesco. Well worth the effort – sorry we waited so long.

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