Saving Energy – Part 1.

Last week I backed Neurio on Kickstarter. I was not surprised to see it smash its funding target hitting 281%.  Backing Neurio was a no-brainer for me – I can see this gadget paying for itself within a couple of months.  Neurio is a neat little device that energy aware technology inc (www.energy-aware.com) have in development.  It measures your energy consumption and facilitates energy savings.  (I won’t go into detail about what is does.  The creators of the system do a much better job – check out their web site for details.)

However you don’t need gadgets to save money & energy (and thus reduce climate change).  I thought I would share my experiences of saving energy in my home over a couple of blog posts.  Share some of my light bulb moments, if you’ll excuse the pun.

No. 1 – Measure how much energy you use every week

For me measuring is fundamental.  When you understand how much energy you use you will be able to,

  • Track your performance, set targets & give yourself an incentive to save (maybe think of something nice to do with some of the money you will save)
  • Compare your consumption with others to see how energy efficient you are at the moment
  • And get the right deal from electricity and gas suppliers

I take an electricity and gas meter reading at the same time each week.  I do this on Sunday at about 7 o’clock as I am usually at home at this time.  I record this in a spreadsheet and create a graph of how much energy I use each week.  It is important to take it at about the same time (without being too obsessive!) to make it easier to compare how your consumption changes over time. A snip of my spreadsheet is shown below.  You can see when I went on holiday and when I switched by gas central heating on! 

Image

Your your energy use does vary a bit week by week.  In winter energy use can go up as the central heating is on and we spend more time at home.  Ideally it would be good to monitor energy use before you start saving so you know how much you have saved – you might consider it a little odd, however, to continue to waste energy! – Your call. 

Step No 2.  Turn off all the things that don’t need to be on!

More about this in the next blog.

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