No, This Device Will Not Provide Big Electricity Bill Savings

Power saver scam

Online ads have been popping up on Australian screens spruiking a magic product that promises to slash electricity bills by “up to 90%”. It’s a scam.

For starters, the party or parties behind the campaigns haven’t even used an accurate image in the ads. What is shown (displayed above) definitely won’t work as it’s a basic electromagnet. After seeing the ad eleventy-bazillion times in the last couple of weeks, I clicked to see what they were actually peddling.

The “real” device is one of the many versions of so-called power savers that are heavily promoted from time to time. They keep popping up as people keep buying them. These devices aren’t cheap given what they are – in this case costing around $75 a throw, and throwing it is what you’ll end up doing with one. It could be the worst $75 you’ve ever spent as there have been some instances of these sorts of devices overheating and catching fire.

The “power savers” have been marketed under a bunch of names. Unfortunately in this incarnation being thrust in front of Australian eyeballs, the device has been given the same name as a legitimate electrical supplies company in Australia. That poor company, which has absolutely nothing to do with the scam, has been copping a virtual earful in online reviews.

Assuming it’s like other devices of this nature, it’s just a plug containing an LED, small circuit board and capacitor; basically an ineffective power factor correction capacitor. This doesn’t reduce the real (aka active/true) electrical power consumed by households and electricity retailers generally only charge households for their use of real electrical power.

This entertaining video goes into greater detail on what the devices are and why they don’t work. Kids (and adults), don’t try anything this fellow does at home in the way he does it. He seems to have a fetish for getting zapped – but it is worth watching just for that.

A Device That *Will* Slash Your Electricity Bills

A much larger device, or collection of devices, that can actually provide big savings on mains electricity bills is a professionally installed, good quality solar power system. While costing a bunch more than power saver scam devices, the payback on solar panels can be just a few years depending on your installation scenario and electricity consumption profile.

But finding the money to install solar panels can be challenging, even with the solar rebate that can knock thousands off the cost of a system. If you don’t have the cash available up-front, pick up some tips on solar finance options. Approached correctly, you can still save more money every month than it costs you to finance a system purchase – even including interest.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

Comments

  1. randy wester says

    An Xacto knife will slash your electricity bill in half.

    But they’ll just send one twice as big next month.

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