£400 saving on electricity this year

Recently had another campaign around the house to reduce any unnecessary electricity usage. By switching to an even more ethical energy supplier – Ecotricity – our cost per kilowatt (Kw) went up by 1.6p (I feel it is a small price to pay to tap into 100% renewably sourced energy). This prompted me to think about further reducing our electricity use to prevent the bills going up. Having already done a lot of the obvious things we were not too sure that many more savings could be made, especially when we are full on with the B&B in the summer.

This is going to sound time consuming but  it only takes 5 minutes each day. You do, however, need to keep on measuring 1 appliance/program a day over the course of several days/weeks to build up an accurate picture as to what uses the most energy in your home. In the long run you cannot manage what you don’t understand and it will help to save significant amounts of money & energy. By using a Wetekom energy monitor we have been able to establish the energy usage of each appliance. Not only that, it is possible to establish the comparative amounts of energy used by e.g. running the washing machine on an eco program / quick wash / regular program or dishwasher on it’s various programs.

During last winter, taking this approach has seen our energy use cut from about 10Kw per day to 3Kw. Some of this has come from changing some of the energy hungry appliances such as the freezer – to a more energy efficient A+ model. So far with the B&B season we have maintained about a 10Kw reduction per day (monitored with owl type energy monitor). Whilst this only adds up to about £1.40 per day, that does add up to significant amounts over time. More importantly it reduces our carbon footprint.

At 1 point we went around the whole house turning EVERYTHING off. We got it down to the last 100 watts (using the real time owl type monitor). It is surprising what you forget takes energy – central heating pumps, wired in doorbell, cooker & microwave clocks…. Conversely in the switching back on, you see how the monitor logs the jumps in consumption. This can give the clues to the more energy hungry systems. Our background electricity consumption runs at around 300 watts per hour, when guests are here, less in the winter months.

The most energy hungry systems in this 2nd round of analysis were the Sky TV box and the desktop computer, which tended to be on for 12 hours a day. So the purchase of a 2nd hand laptop (about £170) has dispensed with the desktop. That has been packed up & will be donated to a charity when we have wiped the hard drive. The Sky box we only turn on when we are actually watching our TV – only disadvantage seems to be that we can no longer record a TV series!

Savings – currently about £400 this year compared to last. Way more than I thought could be possible, as I thought we had already done a good job of cutting out electricity wastage. Just goes to show that being a bit anal about monitoring can really pay off, along with a few changed habits. We have now just about halved our annual electricity use from around an 8000Kw peak to about 4000Kw per year – which at current prices is a saving of around £560 pa.


~ by Aurora Bed and Breakfast on October 6, 2012.

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