Using The Light (Featured Post)

About a month ago, we had a small parcel delivered and to our complete amazement it wasn't for me. This rarely happens in this house and so Mr. TBaM was overjoyed to open it up and discover what somebody had sent him. He'd forgotten that it was an energy monitor so that we can assess how much electricity we're using in the house, how much it costs, whether our house is happy with us or not (I kid you now, it frowns at us if the house is deemed too hot!), and the overall aim is to reduce energy consumption.

The first night, he ran around the house like a child on E numbers, flicking on and off all the different electrical items to see how much energy they use; "Look at the kitchen lights! Look how much they use! Even more than the dining room lights!" To which I responded that I already knew that and it is why he is nagged all the time to turn them off. 'I told you so' was mentally said. The worst is the washing machine, shower and the fan in the downstairs loo. He nearly had a fit when he saw power consumption go up to 2.5kwph when said fan was turned on yesterday.

Nonetheless, has it made us cut down on the amount of electricity we use?

Yes. We're far more conscious now to turn off the only two high power lights in the house, remove chargers from sockets, and turn the heating down slightly. Every small action can mount up and make a big difference in one house; imagine how much it can make worldwide?

Especially worthwhile remembering at the moment when people moan about the lack of warm weather; climate change anyone?

I've blogged several times about how I am a bit of an eco-warrior; we put out less one bin bag of rubbish a fortnight, have a compost bin, recycle all we can, have a food waste bin, refuse excess packaging in shops, and (as is the law in Wales to charge for carriers – 5p each) we always use reusable bags. There are a few others things that I'd like to investigate to help reduce costs, both financially to use and ecologically to the environment. In the past we've had out an energy advisor for free cavity wall insulation but unfortunately due to debris in the cavity, we're unable to have that put in. The other area that I'd like to investigate is solar panels on the roof.

As our garden is a perfectly south-facing garden we could garner quite a bit of solar energy. When we first moved in the solar panels that were around were the type that heated the hot water and fed into the storage unit for use in the house. Unfortunately we'd just had a brand new combination boiler installed and therefore it wasn't compatible. However, nowadays the solar panels available for use in residential properties, like Trina Solar panels, feed back electricity into the National Grid which the home-owner is paid for. People in Britain may mock the amount of sun we have but enough sunlight reaches us every 15 minutes to power the world for an entire year. It seems rather wasteful to not make use of it, especially when there are tax incentives and rebates to help finance solar panels.

I'll let Mr. TBaM finish rejigging the patio at the bottom of the garden before I ask him for the next alteration on our house though!

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