January 21, 2017

How much energy do we waste per day?

Lets start with our energy source we call the grid connect system.

Over 70% and possibly closer to the 80% mark of energy that is created for the grid connect system is lost in getting it from the source to your home. For every 100 tonnes of coal burned to make your energy at your powerpoint only 30% of that if best makes it to supply to your home.

Imagine how much energy the world would save if we can fix that leak!

The use of any Energy is best used at the source of where you intended to use it.

Unfortunately most of us make our decisions in life a for a financial reason. And the less energy we have available as a planet the more expensive it will get, like anything the rarer it is the more it will cost.

So if you want to learn how to save some money and help save our energy resources for our future generations read on.

The easiest way to save money on energy is understand it and how you get charged to use it.

The best tool I have food for this is a watts clever metre. Once programmed it will tell you how many watts your house is using and keeps a track of your history and even shows you in a financial display of how much per hour your house costs to run.

I have just done a complete audit on my house and this is a real example of what I did and the effects of some simple changes.

The 1st thing I did after installing which is very simple, was just let it sit for a few days without touching anything and watching and looking at the history. We were using about 21 kilo watts per day. The house would sit around about the .21 cents per hour when no one was using any appliances.

In the morning when everyone was up going crazy getting ready for work and all the lights were on kettle and coffee machines going the watts clever would show we were spending over $1 per hour to run the house and the same thing would happen at night when everyone got home it would jump up to almost .80cents per hour. All in all on average it was costing us an average of $6.00 per day to run the house. Which in the scheme of thing $6 a day to run your house is not that expensive compared to a cup of coffee in the city is $4.50.

After watching for a few days I started to see what was power hungry and what was better than I thought. The 1st thing that I swapped from electricity to gas was our kettle and dumped the coffee machine and used the perkulator, On paper this one thing alone was going to save us a huge $500 from the power bill per year.  Saying that we would still be spending about the same on gas and with gas we are burning the fuel at the source so it is better for the environment and we will save a little. I also purchased a kettle that tells me the temperature so I don’t boil it to 100 degrees. How many people boil a coffee and sit and wait ten minutes for it to cool down?  Every little bit helps. (And the tea drinkers can still boil it to 100)

The next thing on my hit list was stand by items. Wow this was huge. I went around and had a look at everything that was on standby, printers computers, laptops playstation, XBox, DVD players lots of little stereos plugged in around the house, remember this is a house of 5 Adults that all have there own space so there are a lot of things sitting around just waiting to be used.

I made it easy for everyone for example in the lounge room I left the TV and recorder standby still because everyone loves to record the stuff they all watch on TV, and I plugged the playstation and the Wii and the stereo into a power board we had lying around that you can turn  them on at the powerpoint when required. I didnt want to make it to much of a shock to the system of making an effort to save energy for my house mates.

This one exercise alone took almost 10 cents per hour off our standby rates for the day, it had dropped from 21 cents per hour to 11 cents, that alone could potentially save us close to $900 in energy costs per year.

The next thing on my hit list was the fridges and freezers. This has a few parts to this story.

The 1st thing I asked is what is the reason we have 3 fridges and a freezer? So I had a look what we had hiding in them and after some shuffling I turned off a fridge and a freezer and we are also working on our purchasing habits as a household to further reduce what we have in the fridges to turn another one off. Our plan is to turn another fridge off and turn the large freezer back on as we get our meat in bulk from our farm and also store some of the vegetables we grow in it for longer.  This process was hard to measure the cost of as fridges only run only half the day anyway, it was hard to measure it separately.

I also made a few changes in the way we use things, Laptops for example, charge them to full and then turn off the power and use the battery, same with Ipads and Iphones charge them and before going to sleep and then putting back on in the morning for a top up rather then leave them on all night. Using our gas BBQ to cook rather than the oven.

Over all after doing these things it has taken our daily usage down to somewhere between 8.5KW and 12KW per day from 21KW on average, you could say that is almost halved our usage on electricity.  Our standby rate at our house is now 4-6 cents per hour.

Also what I have learned is that for us once we use 1784KW per quarter they put our prices up which I didn’t know, having gas heating for water I assumed we we just on a flat rate and didn’t have a peak and off peak.  If you do not have gas for heating your hot water take the time to understand how your peak and off peak rates work, this itself could save a small fortune.

These little things all added up and now we are installing a solar systems with batteries and because of our reduction we can buy a smaller system.