Energy Lime

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Dr Lobster*
Posts: 2013
Joined: Sat 30 Aug, 2003 20.14

we moved house at the end of last year and the wife has always been the one that sorted out the energy bills... just because it happened that way.

well for some reason it became my turn and when i was setting up all the direct debits the lady on the phone asked me a few questions about the size of the house, how long it's been built, that sort of thing and came back with something like £70 per month for electric and £70 per month for gas.

that *seemed* like a lot, i mean how can i use all that energy in a month? we both work full time (the wifes hours are more irregular than mine, but not massively) so how can we be using all that energy when we're at work most of the day and the house is empty?

so a couple of months in, we're using about £25 per month gas and £40-60 of electricity, which to me again seems quite excessive really.

i understand what a KWh is and how it works, and so it seems to get to £60 a month, i've got to be using a lot of them (our unit price for electricity is about 10p per kwh).

so i got myself one of these nifty little energy monitors to see what was going on.

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we've got led bulbs almost everywhere - kids night lights are 1w leds, most of the bulbs in the house use no more than 6w, so it isn't that.

so what amazes me is just how power some things use that do very little work.... our telly (which is only about 3 years old- your bog standard flat panel) is well over 500w... (the newer ones use about 60w) and we've got an electric fire (brand new)... just having the bulbs on to give a nice glow... nearly 200w!(changed them for leds... now 6w).

even the cooker led clock (again, brand new cooker)... 15w.

things which surprised me for efficiency - the washing machine and dish washer... i assumed that because they are heating water that they'd use a lot of power, but it seems they only actually turn the element on intermittently and so not that bad.

but 500w for a tv really did amaze me.

the good news is that broadband routers, the sky box and phone chargers that are plugged in and turned on, but not charging don't seem to use any power (or not enough for the meter to measure), neither do fridge freezers (ours ticks away at 20-40w).

have you done any investigations into your energy usage and found any big surprises?
bilky asko
Posts: 1171
Joined: Sat 08 Nov, 2008 19.48

LED backlighting has made huge differences in energy usage. My LED backlit 39" TV uses less energy than the 19" CCFL model it replaced.
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cwathen
Posts: 1149
Joined: Fri 15 Aug, 2003 17.28

so a couple of months in, we're using about £25 per month gas and £40-60 of electricity, which to me again seems quite excessive really.

i understand what a KWh is and how it works, and so it seems to get to £60 a month, i've got to be using a lot of them (our unit price for electricity is about 10p per kwh).
I'd say those charges are pretty reasonable personally. I get through about £40 of electricity in an average month myself, and I live on my own in a 2 bedroom flat.

Did you allow for standing charges?
have you done any investigations into your energy usage and found any big surprises?
Very recently actually - never realised how power hungry modern computers are (or modernish anyway). Recently decided an old Dell USFF machine I had knocking around would make a perfect intelligent NAS drive (and pull double duty as a sort of RAS to my main box when away from home, being able to RDP in to the Dell to power up my main box and in turn RDP into that if I needed to access it remotely).

To that end, I pimped it out with a big hard disk, maxed the RAM and replaced the Pentium D with a Core 2 Duo to give it more grunt. Rather naively, I assumed that being small with an external power brick it would naturally be uber-efficient to run. How wrong I was, I have a key meter and so can actively see how much electicity I'm using and this thing was costing about a pound a day with 24/7 operation which was necessary for the task. I was shocked at how much power it was using.

After about a month, it was quickly replaced with a Dell 160 (sold as a 'tiny desktop' but it's essentially just a glorified thin client) with the hard disk relocated to an external enclosure. Not as neat looking, and far less powerful (it's only has a 1st generation Atom chip powering it) but much less thirsty to run.
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Pete
Posts: 7228
Joined: Fri 15 Aug, 2003 13.36
Location: Dundee

I found my microwave used loads of power for the clock.

I'm £100 a month electric only although I've got storage heaters (boo, hiss). That said, I've been £100 a month for the past 8 years because I've slowly made everything more and more efficient. LED bulbs, dimmers on the other ones, new fridge, new freezer, new shower.

As mentioned the power savings between the new LED TVs and the older ones are incredible. If I accidentally build up a load of clubcard points again this year I might get a replacement 32" for my bedroom as the new 40" I got for the front room uses so much less power I feel bad turning the little one on. I'd replace my monitors too if I didn't use my laptop more than my PC.

Need to get the flatmate trained in putting the TiVo into standby though, he turns the kettle off at the plug (why??!!?) but doesn't put that into standby when that's the hungry thing.
"He has to be larger than bacon"
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WillPS
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Location: Carlton
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Pete wrote:he turns the kettle off at the plug (why??!!?)
People are strange about kettles. My great Nana used to tie a knot in the kettle's flex because "it boiled too quickly". Both the problem and the solution were ridiculous.
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thegeek
Posts: 620
Joined: Sat 04 Jun, 2005 12.35

Dr Lobster* wrote:have you done any investigations into your energy usage and found any big surprises?
No, but after this thread, I'm going to.

My previous energy supplier (Ovo Energy) installed smart meters, and provided me with a 'Smart Gateway' (rather than an in-home monitor) so that I could monitor our usage on their website. But then they never managed to get that bit working. And now I've switched suppliers to a company that does to smart metering, but doesn't support the brand of meters I've currently got.

So maybe I'll just go and buy a monitor instead.
Dr Lobster*
Posts: 2013
Joined: Sat 30 Aug, 2003 20.14

i am a bit of a light bulb nerd and i've really fallen in love with the led filament style lamps

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this one i ordered off ebay a couple of months ago for a table lamp - 2w, almost looks like a one of those retro carbon filament lamps, bright enough for what it is, but not too bright... and no shimmer.

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in our main lights around the house we've got mostly these... i've got a cfl in the garage because ireally, really bright led bulbs a stupidly expensive. i've got a couple of other interesting oddities that i'll post some pictures of. i've got an led cob lamp that's a very odd shade of warm white but interesting all the same.
Martin Phillp
Posts: 1016
Joined: Wed 11 May, 2011 01.28

I use a pre-pay meter and found when I changed my CRT 32" for a modern LED LG set on the 'Eco' setting that my money was lasting at least three days longer than before.
TVF's London Lite.
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Nick Harvey
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Martin Phillp wrote:I use a pre-pay meter and found when I changed my CRT 32" for a modern LED LG set on the 'Eco' setting that my money was lasting at least three days longer than before.
Sorry, pedant of Wiltshire here.

Is that three days extra on an original twenty days, or on an original three days?

You'll probably realise why it's of interest.
Martin Phillp
Posts: 1016
Joined: Wed 11 May, 2011 01.28

Nick Harvey wrote:
Martin Phillp wrote:I use a pre-pay meter and found when I changed my CRT 32" for a modern LED LG set on the 'Eco' setting that my money was lasting at least three days longer than before.
Sorry, pedant of Wiltshire here.

Is that three days extra on an original twenty days, or on an original three days?

You'll probably realise why it's of interest.
Three days extra out of a seven day week with a £10 top-up.
TVF's London Lite.
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Nick Harvey
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Martin Phillp wrote:Three days extra out of a seven day week with a £10 top-up.
Oh, that's a nice percentage then.
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