UK researchers have designed a new device that could help consumers monitor and compare energy usage.
The Wattbox, developed by a team at De Montfort University, learns householders' energy usage habits and uses this to set the thermostat to suit householders' lifestyles.
The system comes with a simple display with buttons for more heat or less heat when the automatic decision does not meet users' needs. Householders will be able to see how much more or less energy they are consuming as a result of their choice.
Researchers said the Wattbox could help reduce energy consumption by up to 20 per cent. The fact that the device provides instant feedback could mean that consumers can more easily see the effects of taking the option to switch energy providers to a cheaper option.
Peter Boait, of De Montfort University, said: "Involving people in the design of technology and in developing energy reduction strategies offers a new opportunity to make real cuts without undermining comfort."
A recent report from the Prince's Foundation found that making homes more energy efficient can reduce energy consumption.
If you want to find out more about switching energy suppliers and how you could save up to £378 in minutes, click here.