Sunday, July 12, 2009

Be climatesmart

Over the last several quarters we’ve been getting electricity bills that are enough to make you cry. Despite our best efforts, we’ve had little luck in reducing our electricity costs. We’ve installed energy saver light globes in all our lights; turned off the second fridge in the office. Reduced the amount off time the pool filter runs but we still can’t seem to make any significant impact in amount of each bill.

Recently we had an electrician come and conduct and audit out as part of the Queensland Government’s “climate smart home service”. He checked a number of things as well as looking at previous electricity bills. For me however, the most significant aspect of the audit was the provision of a wireless energy monitor. It shows how much energy we’re using in a very meaningful way – in dollars and cents.

The monitor tells you how many cents per hour its costing you to run your house based on the electricity you use. When we’re not doing anything significant with electricity it shows a cost of around 12 to 15 cents per hour. Turn an electric kettle on and that goes to 55 cents per hour. Electric irons, hair driers, clothes driers, anything that uses an element to create heat really adds up.

Now we already knew this and always tried to keep the use of such things to a minimum. But when you can see the meter ticking on the energy monitor it becomes very motivating to turn the offending item off and in some cases not to use it in the first place.

It’s also helped my boys understand the cost of electricity and they’ve really got on board and are trying to keep the use of electrical appliances to a minimum. My youngest boy rang me the other day to tell me the monitor was showing an increase from 18 cents to 57 cents and he couldn’t work out why. He said he wasn’t using anything that he could account for. We soon figured out it was the instant electric water heater in the office switching on as its store off water was being re-heated. We’ve yet to figure out how we can reduce the cost of this, we’re experimenting with the temperature at present.

If you know any money saving tips through more efficient use of electricity please don’t hesitate to share them with us. We’ll be glad to put them into effect. In the meantime, I urge you to have an audit arranged for your own home. In the interest of saving some money and reducing your carbon footprint go to climatesmarthome

1 comment:

Fine Life Folk said...

In Manila where I reside, we've always been conservative with the use of electricity. I remember my folks always telling me that the basic rule for conserving energy is to unplug appliances when not in use and basically not using them when not necessary. Another rule of thumb is to be mindful of these two -- appliances that heats things and cools things.