OK, now for step 2. In step 1 we began to track how much energy we use overall. In step 2 we will delve a little deeper into our electricity consumption
No. 2 – List the things that use electricity & estimate how much they use.
Go around your house and make a list of all the things that are plugged in and using electricity. We are going to break down our total electricity consumption to help us see where we can make savings. Play particular attention to the things that are always plugged in rather than gadgets like mobiles phones, etc.
My home is heated using gas so the major items for me are,
- Electric cooker (oven)
- TV with DVD player and digital TV box
- Washing machine
- Central heating pump
- Power Shower
- Internet router
- Other miscellaneous items (e.g. laptops, mobile phones, vacuum cleaner, toothbrushes, etc.)
Now we need to work out the contribution of each of these items to the overall electricity consumption that we’ve been tracking in Step 1. The results for my house are shown in the chart below.
You can now see that I can save a significant of electricity by;
- Making sure that nothing is left on stand-by – especially my TV / DVD player, washing machine and microwave – switch it off at the socket.
- Only boiling the amount of water I need in the kettle
- Double checking that I have energy efficient light bulbs
- Maybe eating less energy intensive meals (ie. not oven cooked)
- Check that the seals on the fridge are in good shape
- Perhaps switch to a lower RPM spin-cycle.
All this stuff is pretty simple and maybe you’ve heard it before. Importantly it doesn’t involve any sacrifice on your part. You don’t have to sit in the dark, shivering to make these savings. They are pure waste. You may discover different things, for example, you may be surprised at how many things are left permanently plugged in, and you may be shocked at exactly how much your tumbled dryer costs you (when you can let at least some of the washing dry naturally).
I want you to measure the consumption so you can see the impact of following advice on energy saving. I believe that the act of measurement reinforces these messages and ensures that these good acts become permanent habits.
I haven’t said how I completed this analysis. I did it in 2 of ways.
A. Using a Power (watt) meter
B. Estimating based on knowledge of voltage/current/watts and usage.
More about these next time.