The government of the United Kingdom has decided that people should know how much energy they're using all the time, and which appliances are the biggest draws on their power. The U.K. will soon be giving a free real-time energy meter to any household in the country that requests one.
The initiative is part of the United Kingdom's commitment to cut CO2 emissions 60% by 2050.
The ability visualize energy use, in kilowatts, pounds of carbon, and pounds and pence is vital to decreasing household carbon footprints. These real-time monitors are simple to install and easy to use. Of course, there's no guarantee that the devices will be of high quality. In order for consumers to really use these they have to provide meaningful information, namely, the amount of money being spent and saved.
Some worry that electric companies will provide households with tiny and difficult to decipher meters that will, in effect, just be another lousy piece of plastic in the junk drawer.
It will probably be another year before citizens are able to ask for the meters, but by 2008, the U.K. should be the first country who's citizens always know what's going into their houses. ::BBC