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Free monitors to check electricity use

Ministers have put forth plans to give away free electricity monitors to show householders how much energy they are using at any given time.British homes waste an estimated £900 million of electricity every year by failing to turn off appliances when not in use, estimates have suggested. Households could expect to make £25 worth of savings on energy bills just by switching these electrical goods off.Alistair Darling and David Miliband tabled plans which would require all electricity providers to give real-time electricity monitors away free of charge to all customers who request one. Visual displays would also be fitted to all new domestic electricity meters.A survey by Logica CMG revealed that 82 per cent of people in the UK would like a real time display. Such a display would provide minute to minute data on the amount of electricity being used and how much it was costing.David Miliband, Defra secretary of state, said: "People want to do their bit to help protect the environment. If they can save money at the same time, all the better. Visual display units provided free of charge will help people do both."Electricity meters tend to be out of sight and out of mind. Visual display units can be put in a prominent place, for example the kitchen. They provide information on electricity use from moment to moment, helping cut unnecessary use, for example by reminding people to turn appliances off rather than leave them on stand-by."

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