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Can I borrow energy monitors from my local library?

Yes, both Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire Libraries loan energy monitors to residents who are members of the library service. 

These monitors are designed to enable residents to see how much energy they use in their home. Click here to find details of your local library.

Click on the questions below to find out more information about the monitors, how to use them and the loan service.

What is an energy monitor?

Energy monitors are devices which attach to your meter at home and allow you to monitor energy usage in real time.  A transmitter on the meter sends information to a small unit which can be placed in a suitable position around the house.  By using an energy monitor it is possible to see how you are using electricity and build up an understanding of which appliances are electricity hungry and which are less.  This makes it easier to find ways to reduce overall consumption.  One example might be in comparing the amount of power different types of lighting use, for example comparing energy saving bulbs to standard bulbs or to fluorescent lighting.  The monitor will tell you exactly how much your electricity is costing you in pence per hour as well as the monthly cost.

How will it help me?

"The Energy Saving Trust estimates that households in the UK waste around 8 per cent of their electricity bill on standby power thats about 30 a year for an average household. In addition, 140 million a year is wasted through leaving lights on in unused rooms.

In small-scale trials of home energy monitors, customers have typically saved five to 15 per cent in the first year of owning a monitor, which could be 25 to 75 off a 500 bill."  ( - April 2010)

How do I borrow an energy monitor?

  • Energy monitors are issued in the same way as a book.
  • They are loaned for three weeks.
  • They are subject to fines at the same rate as books.
  • They can be renewed if not requested by another borrower.
  • They can be requested for the normal reservation fee.
  • If they are not returned, or are damaged, they will incur a replacement charge of 30.

What will I get?

Energy monitors are loaned as a pack which includes:

  • a transmitter and sensor jaw (the device that is clipped onto a wire feeding into the electricity meter)
  • a display unit and display unit adaptor plug (that provides a visual display of the energy that is being used)
  • an instruction leaflet.  Please note staff cannot provide advice on installation of monitors.

Installing the energy monitor

After carefully reading the instructions which accompany the monitor, if you have any doubt about how to install it safely you should not attempt to install it yourself, but consult a qualified electrician.

You wont need to carry out any electrical wiring to install the energy monitor.  However, you should take care as it is used around the electricity supply in your property.

You will have to input your unit rate of electricity (which can be found on your energy bill) in order to get an accurate reading.

When you return the monitor
please ensure that you bring back all the components

Page last updated: 21st February 2014