British Gas remote could cut bills

British GasBritish Gas has launched a new remote control which it claims will help you cut your energy bills. What other gadgets should you consider to help keep your costs as low as possible?

British Gas has launched a remote control heating device which lets customers control their central heating from a laptop, mobile, smartphone or iPad in an effort to save money.
Customers waste an average of £140 a year by leaving their boiler on while away from home and by having the power to change this from afar, British Gas aims to lower its customers' energy bills.

With the new technology, customers can remotely control their heating by setting up a schedule for the boiler via an online dashboard or turning it off completely by sending a text message.

The small print from British Gas
However, the gadget comes with a price tag of £149 when purchased with a new central heating installation, £199 for other British Gas customers or a hefty £229 for new customers (though this does include installation).

To use the service you'll also need a home broadband connection, as it runs through an Ethernet cable to the home broadband router.

Soaring energy bills
Energy bills have rocketed in the past year with some of the poorest areas of the UK being hit hardest.

However, although you can't get away with not paying them, modern technology has made it much simpler to save money on your bills and there are gadgets around to reduce your spending on almost anything.

Here are our top five gadgets to save you money on your energy bills.

Meter Readings app
Keeping an eye on how much gas, electricity and water you're using is time consuming and can be pretty tedious. This app is designed to do the hard work for you and if you enter your water and energy readings it will track how much you're using and spending.

The £1.49 app also suggests cheaper deals from other providers and includes links so you can switch directly from your mobile.

Install a water meter
Instead of paying a blanket fee to your water company on an annual estimate, having a water meter installed means you only pay for what you use.

It's free to get a water meter installed in most homes and generally if there are more people than rooms in a house it will save you money. If you want to check how much you could save, visit the Consumer Council for Water website.

Energy efficient light bulb finder app
We've all been told the benefits of using energy-efficient light bulbs, but they are more expensive than standard bulbs and it can be tricky finding the exact match. The free lightbulb finder app gives you information about the right kind of bulb you'll need, where you can buy it and details of the cost, environmental impact and the amount of money you'll save.

Get an energy meter
Lots of companies sell energy meters and they can be a useful tool to track how much energy you use in your home and reduce the amount you spend on it. The OWL meter for example costs £29.99 for a basic model and promises to cut around 15% off your yearly bill. Some energy providers also hand these out for free so check if you're eligible first.

Green Outlet app
Most homes have hundreds of appliances which use energy, from the kettle to the toaster, and this app shows you exactly how much energy each one consumes, and how much it is costing you.

The Green Outlet app costs 69p and by entering in which appliances you use on a weekly basis it will calculate what your electricity bill will be for the month and also the environmental impact.

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