Playing the stock market, cooking your dinner, meeting that special someone... there's an app for everything these days. Our techno-lifestyles have transformed the way we live, and now it's time they transformed your energy bills too.
That's why we're revolutionising the home energy market by taking advantage of the latest technology to make sure customers can manage their energy consumption, and their money, with a level of accuracy and detail never seen before.
How are we doing this? Well, it's all thanks to a supremely clever piece of kit called a smart meter. smart meters replace your current gas and electricity meters and come with an energy monitor to help you see how much energy you're using and what it's costing you. The display on your smart energy monitor shows the energy you're using as you use it, in pounds and pence, putting you in control of your consumption. As a result, you can make choices to be more efficient.
Knowing more about how much energy things use will help you choose how to use them in a way that could save you money. Plus you'll receive accurate bills without submitting a meter reading as your smart meter will send British Gas regular and accurate readings of your energy usage automatically.
Even more importantly, this doesn't have to cost you a penny. British Gas are installing smart meters and smart energy monitors as part of a free, nationwide upgrade to all its customers.
Obviously, we're aware that this is quite a big change in the way you manage your utilities. That's why we've teamed up with the bloggers at BritMums.com to enable everyday people to test out the new technology. Our Smart Mums hub is full of information about smart meters, energy saving advice, and frank discussions from people who'll be using the meters in the real world.
As part of the Smart Mums partnership, we're also challenging BritMums bloggers to change the way they think about their energy and cut their consumption with our Watt Loss challenge. To help you and your family do the same, here are a few expert tips from the Brit Mums bloggers themselves.
1. Make energy awareness a part of the lessons your child learns about the home and money, says Lynne from HonieMummy Blog. “So that saving money should come naturally to them and credit will become something that is managed much more effectively in the future.”
2. Recall the practices from your own parents (possibly passed on in more austere times). Mirka from All Baby Advice remembers the lessons her own mum taught her, so turning the tap off while brushing teeth and making sure lights weren't on in empty rooms is second nature.
3. Get the kids to contribute their own energy-saving ideas, like Wendy from Inside The Wendy House did when enlisting the help of her eco-aware nine-year-old. Her daughter devised a list of energy-saving tips that mum hadn't thought of, including making sure they “dirty out” their clothes before washing.
4. Drum the message into them early. Marianne from Mari's World opens up about the surge in her fuel bill since summer, and how she's getting the kids to help bring it back down – while they're still young.
5. Put your thinking cap on and get organised. Penny from Alexander Residence brainstormed ways to get the whole family on board with energy saving. The family made turning lights off a game, created a shelf for chargers when not in use so they're not tempted to just leave them plugged in, and finally put the thermostat timer on GMT so it reflects their routine.
6. Look at the bigger picture, and you and your family's place in the world. Michelle from Mummy From The Heart points out that we all have a responsibility to save, and it goes beyond our own fuel bills.
7. Start talking about it. Energy wastage affects us all, and there is plenty of information and advice available to use it wisely. Nickie from I Am Typecast goes on to put the onus on her readers, asking for their top tips for conserving energy and utilities.
8. Did you know that chargers for handheld game devices continue to use electricity while plugged in and out of use? Cass from Frugal Family is making sure her children's current Mario Kart obsession doesn't cost the Earth.
9. Don't be afraid to nag them. Kat from 3 Bedroom Bungalow is: “constantly having to go behind my children and turn off the lights”.
10. Acknowledge that it's an effort. You may be like Karin from Cafe Bebe, who admits that she is very bad at saving energy. Like her, you can make it a mission to improve.
11. Put pen to (recycled) paper. Cheryl from Madhouse Family Reviews was rather impressed with the list of top tips she managed to brainstorm. Do you have others?
Join the smart revolution. Talk to our Smart Mums and find out more about smart meters at our BritMums hub: www.britmumsblog.co.uk/bgsmartmums