Victoria Pendleton knows a lot about competing - and winning. However, when the cyclist, who won a gold medal at the 2008 Olympics, is at home she competes against a different kind of clock.
Inspired by her role as an ambassador for Team Green Britain, a movement founded by EDF Energy to help people work together to tackle climate change, she has strived to live a lower carbon lifestyle. In fact, she has become very competitive about cutting her energy use thanks to her Smart Meter and EDF Energy EcoManager.
“I have a Smart Meter in my home that gives me detailed feedback via an in-home display every time I switch something on,” she says. “I can see my energy use clocking up on the display - at first it was a bit of a shock to see just how much I was using increase in real time.
“The smart meter display unit has green, amber and red lights, and obviously when I go into the red, it makes me want to try much harder to cut my electricity consumption. Making changes to how I use my appliances makes a real difference and it’s really rewarding seeing the usage drop down as you switch things off.”
Just as Victoria has a very detailed and carefully worked out training plan, she is doing the same for her energy use at home. “My smart meter plots my energy use on simple graphs – day by day and over the year, so I get a very detailed display of my energy use to remind me of when I’m being good, and when my usage is creeping up.
Victoria also has an EcoManager. Exclusively available from EDF Energy, the device is a wireless handheld appliance controller that you can position where you wish in the house. After plugging the appliances you wish to monitor and control into wireless transmitter plugs, the relative running costs 1 and CO2 emissions 2 of each one are displayed in real time. Each connected appliance can then also be switched on and off remotely from the EcoManager. According to the Energy Saving Trust, over £900 million worth of energy is wasted each year by leaving appliances on standby 3, so switching things off properly can make a big difference not just to the planet, but to your pocket.
“I’m passionate about living in a more sustainable way,” adds Victoria. “And with help from EDF Energy I’ve been able to reduce my carbon footprint, and save some money too.”
Victoria says that it has become second nature to do this as she can now switch connected appliances to fully off from standby all at once using the EcoManager unit. “It means I don’t need to run around the house, digging behind cupboards to turn off each one at the plug,” she says.
As Britain’s largest producer of low-carbon electricity, EDF Energy is the power behind the Team Green Britain movement which has more than one million team members, including leading athletes such as Victoria. By simply following the advice and ideas at www.teamgreenbritain.org, you could reduce your energy consumption by up to 20 per cent, which could cut up to £166 off your energy bills 4.
Inspired to join the team and go green? Then visit teamgreenbritain.org.
1Cost information is calculated using a single rate. This rate is initially set at 16.33p/kWh but can be changed by users.
2The conversion factor used for the CO2 on the EcoManager controller unit is: 1 kWh = 0.537kg/CO2 (DEFRA 5-year Grid Rolling Average electricity emissions factor 2006).
3Source: Energy Saving Trust, 2010, www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/Resources/Useful-statistics.
4The figure of £166 is the potential saving achievable by an EDF Energy customer with a typical consumption supplied on our standard tariffs, meeting the challenge to reduce their annual household energy consumption by 20 per cent through energy saving.