Wednesday, May 21, 2008

"Real-Time" revelation

Avid blog-readers will recall that back in June last year, I filled in one of those carbon-footprint calculators ... we didn't score too badly as a family unit - but I did subsequently switch to a green energy supplier (as I promised!), namely Good Energy.

I've still to upgrade the gas boiler to a condensing model ... just can't afford it at the moment, and the old boiler does appear to have a bit of life left in it yet. We will upgrade eventually - honest.

Anyhow, the purpose of the post is to let you know about a gadget that Good Energy had on offer for only £29.99 (not the £49.99 as per the eco-eye website) which I've installed in the flat today ... and I'm totally sold on it! In essence, its a "real-time" monitor of your electricity consumption, it was simple to install (only took minutes), and is a real revelation.

I've been wondering round the flat this evening trying a variety of electrical appliances (I know, short-term affliction of 'defeating-the-purpose') and watching the "real-time" consumption duly fluctuate. As a consequence:

  • I have already ordered a 'hob-kettle' for the gas cooker, as the consumption of the electric kettle is shocking compared to almost any other daily appliance
  • the last few (there aren't many) 'non' long-life light bulbs are getting replaced as soon as possible
  • the video-recorder is being switched off every night (we've been switching off the TV for years, but not the VCR!)
  • there will be a strict ban on leaving the fridge door open - there is a distinct surge in power consumption when you do this
  • the washing machine use will definitely have to be rationalised
  • and computer printers (we've got two I'm afraid) are certainly being switched off whenever not in use

All simple stuff I appreciate but actually SEEING IN REAL-TIME the effects of not doing these things is, I would contest, a real incentive to actually take concerted action. And there are bound to be other potential actions that I haven't yet had drawn to my notice by the monitor.

I'll get that £29.99 back within weeks - of that I'm certain - but the longer term consequences of having such a monitor in the flat will undoubtedly be pretty significant.

Why haven't I bought one of these before? - and there is surely a case that they are equally as important as smoke-alarms, which many Local Authorities are now fitting free of charge??

P.S. I am not on commission to Good Energy or eco-eye :-))

No comments: