Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Checking out energy suckers

Having had solar panels before (albeit for a very short time), I know how effective they can be at decreasing your electricity bills if you are also watching your usage. But this time around I've been having more fun checking out what makes the dial go forward rather than backwards (ie what is an electricity guzzler since we want the system to feed back to the grid).

And it's been an interesting few weeks. Some things have surprised me and some have just been a confirmation of the obvious...

* the slow cooker uses hardly any electricity and the dial goes backwards when it's on

* the dial spins crazily forward whenever anyone uses the kettle :-0

* the dial moves forward when the microwave is on standby (which it never is because a) I already know it's an energy sucking monster and b) I hate EMF's).

* the fridge obviously doesnt impact much as the dial goes backward when it's on

* we are currently only using 1kw a day (and that's without making any changes really)

So what changes to make?? Granny B would like an ecokettle as it allows you to only boil what you need and thus reduces energy usage. But Mr B and I have preferred to use a little gas hob kettle we got from the op shop in the past. It's currently being used by Little B to dress up as the Saucepan Man from The Faraway Tree but will go back to the kitchen when we buy a house :-)

We already do all the obvious things - keep things switched off at the powerpoint to avoid vampire loads, wash in cold water, use sunshine rather than lights when we can, have laptops not computers, have gotten rid of anything electrical that's main job is to be a power sucker (read answering machines, cordless phones). And obviously when we arent living here and Granny B is working all day, there will be nothing on to compete with the solar feeding back into the grid!!

So in the meantime, I cant wait to see what happens with Granny B's first bill :-)


  1. We put our TV/ laptop/ other appliances onto timers, so they go completely off at 11pm & back on at 6am, without us having to remember to turn them off at the wall!

    Ooh, didn't know that about the kettle... I recently bought a SS stove top kettle (though I dream of an Estelle one) so must start using it more. We'll be drinking less tea & coffee now the weather is warming up anyways.

  2. You only 1kWh per day??? Wow!!!!!

  3. I really want to get solar panels but am finding it too complicated to work out which ones to get so it is in the "too hard" basket at the moment! We've done lots to cut down our energy use and also use about 1kwh per day. Mostly it's about switching things off when not in use. If I accidentally boil too much water in the kettle I put the water into a flask and then use it to make drinks later in the day to save boiling the kettle again. I'd love to be able to watch the meter dial go backwards!

  4. Hi Mrs B. I just dropped over fron Dixiebelle.
    We also got solar panels recently (they went on early July, but we only had the inspection that allowed them to be turned on a couple of weeks ago), and now I have to challenge my kids to help us get our electricity usage right down. I think we're actually using quite a lot at the moment. 1kw is very impressive. I was just talking to my nine year old half an hour ago about this, and about trying to reduce by half - then using the money we save in the first year on a family outing. Not that we had to wait to have solar panels to do that...