energy-saving device unveiled

New energy measures have been launched by the Environmental Change Institute (ECI) at Oxford University in a bid to help householders save energy and reduce fuel bills.

ECI has joined forces with not-for-profit utility Ebico to develop a free internet energy monitoring device, which enables users to keep track of the cost of their energy expenditure.

Users are required to upload their electricity and gas meter readings every week and an online calculator will determine the cost of their individual energy usage in addition to each household's carbon emissions.

Catherine Bottrill, a researcher in ECI's Lower Carbon Futures team, said: "We will learn a tremendous amount about how and why people's energy use varies between apparently similar households.

"This will help inform policies to improve energy use, reduce people's energy bills and reduce their carbon emissions."

The pilot phase of the scheme attracted over 1,500 people, who uploaded their meter readings.

ECI hopes this number will surge by several thousand during the winter season when household energy usage will rocket.

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