Green councillors call for libraries to loan ‘smart meters’

Green councillors have recommended that every library in Edinburgh provide free ‘smart meters’ to help residents cut their energy use and household bills.

Under the scheme, which has been suggested by Green councillor, Steve Burgess, the devices would be loaned out, in the same way as books or DVDs, based on sign up sheets provided in all libraries. 

The imaginative project was the brainchild of Lewisham’s Green councillors in London, who have implemented the scheme in their area.

The device clips onto wires from an ordinary household electricity meter, and a separate portable monitor can be read by the householder as they walk around their home and witness the changes in electricity consumption, cost in pence per hour and CO2 emissions as they switch appliances on and off in turn.

Steve Burgess said:

“Smart meters are simple to use and incredibly successful in helping people to cut their electricity bills and their CO2 emissions by showing exactly which appliances are expensive energy-guzzlers.

“It has been estimated that an average household could save up to 150kg of carbon dioxide a year by turning off unnecessary electrical devices – and in these days of soaring fuel bills that will mean an important financial saving too.

“These meters are still too expensive for many households to buy, so it’s an exciting idea that using libraries in this way will make that technology available to everyone.”