In light of the insane cost of energy we are faced with, I started looking at our energy consumption, and it’s thrown up some surprises. Since having a smart meter installed we’ve been able to cut down how much energy we use, but I suspected there was still some savings to be made. It turns out I was right, well sort of at least.
I made a list of the items that get used on a daily basis for sustained periods of time. There’s no point in calculating how much energy a kettle uses when it’s only used for a few minutes a day. The list I drew up included:
Washing Machine – wash cycle
Washing Machine – drying cycle
Oana and I then worked out how much, on average, these things were used each day in the warmer months and the colder months. The unit of measurement for electrical consumption is watts, or kilowatts. 1kw is equal to 1,000w. To calculate kilowatt-hours, you simply multiply the watts by the time, for example; an electric boiler uses 6kw. If it’s on for one hour, then you would say the item has used 6kwh. If the boiler was used for half an hour, then it would be 3kwh. If this doesn’t make sense, have a look at the infographic below:
There is not much we can do about the fridge, and we are already at the lowest point we can go with the electric boiler, as we have it on in two 30-minute slots each day. We are basically going to stop using the dryer unless it’s something we need urgently. Also, we are looking at other wash cycles for the washing machine. It might seem that our TV is on a lot of the time, but we keep it on for Poppy when we are otherwise busy. She loves watching videos on YouTube and we’re not going to take that away from her.
We have only recently replaced our washing machine and dishwasher, but we are going to look for better options for our boiler and fridge. It just seems insane that between the standing charge for electricity and having hot water for one hour each day, our bill would already come in at almost £80. You factor in the fridge and you’re not far off £100 a month. It doesn’t seem that long ago we were paying £70 a month for electricity.
A few points about these calculations; we are in an all-electric apartment, and although there is a slightly lower night rate for our energy, this only happens between midnight and 6am. The only thing running at that time is the fridge-freezer. Our washing machine and dishwasher have functions where you can delay the start of their cycle. We are going to look at whether it’s worth using those functions.
Over the last seven days, we have used 63.484kwh. If I look back a bit further, it looks like this:
A couple of points to note; we had a fault with our smart meter between November and March, meaning we didn’t get complete data for those months. Also, in June this year, we were on holiday for just over a week and everything apart from the fridge and wifi router was turned off during that time.
We have shown that we can use 280kwh per month with no detriment to our quality of life. When winter hits, things will probably be different. With reductions in the energy consumption via our laundry and dishwasher, I’m thinking our target should be to use no more than 300kwh per month; or for a daily target, 9-10kwh. It will be interesting to see how we go.
Thanks for reading, as always. Just in case you missed them, you can click here for Part 148 of the main blog, and you can click here to read my recent thoughts on property ownership.
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