Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Reducing electricity usage

Sarah got me one of these gadgets for Christmas and it's been a real boon. It is a clamp meter that monitors your current draw in your house's 100A feed from the street and wirelessly sends it to a monitor that lives in the kitchen. It keeps tracks of rolling averages and the best display is the one that shows instant power draw as well as a previous week's average daily consumption (in kW-hours).
Now then, at Christmas we were averaging just short of twenty kWh per day and I started on a mission to reduce this;
  • Cut the number of computers! The kitchen Mac and the Windows machine that runs MediaPortal went and a single machine (with dual DVI o/p's and dual soundcards) replaced them - it also has much better power management.
  • 'phone chargers on a timeswitch. Those wall-warts are around 50% efficient (put your hand on one even when it's not charging a 'phone).
  • All incandescent bulbs replaced with compact florescents.
  • Intelligent mains switch - this gadget powers off the TV, XBox, Wii etc when you sleep the TV. I might get a couple more for other parts of the house.
So, I've managed to reduce my consumption from 19.8kWh to 16.9kWh (as of yesterday) - that's around a tenner a month.
My next step is to replace the 50w halogens in the bathroom and kitchen with 4w LED bulbs.

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