JAN Stuart always knew air conditioning systems and pool pumps were chewing up electricity.

But she was shocked to see how much power her oven was using when she hooked up to Ergon Energy's HomeSmart electricity monitoring system.

Jan is one of 48 Rockhampton customers to trial the software, which allows residents to manage and monitor their energy usage, helping to save dollars on each electricity bill.

If certain appliances, like hot water, pool filters or air conditioning, are connected to the software, they can be switched on and off remotely to reduce consumption.

Users can also set a daily or monthly budget for energy consumption.

Jan said before the starting to use the software about a month ago, the family could expect bills of roughly $700.

But within just four weeks, they had managed to save about $100.

Jan said any savings on the household budget made a big difference in her family.

"When we got the invitation in the mail, we thought it would be a really good idea to monitor our usage and keep an eye on how our bills are going and how much energy we use," she said.

"I think it's absolutely fantastic for lower-income families and pensioners because you can monitor your usage and set a daily budget.

"You can also keep an eye on where you're using the most energy."

Being able to monitor household energy use at the touch of a button has changed the way Jan and her family use their appliances.

She said they stopped using the dishwasher at night, when they didn't have the benefit of solar panels generating energy, had shorter showers and spent less time with the TV on.

"I think everyone should have it," Jan said.

"If there's any chance of lowering our household bills, we've got to go for it."

Energy saving tips

Turn off appliances at the power point after use

Switch to energy-efficient lighting

Set air conditioning between 23 degrees to 26 degrees in summer



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