Do you ever wonder how much electric and gas you might use? Do you care? Do you worry about it and wonder how big the bills will be when they arrive if you don’t already pay by direct debit? Do you wonder how you can reduce your electricity consumption?
A couple of months ago we had Smart Meters installed as part of a study from Mumsnet and British Gas to attempt to learn more about electricity and gas consumption, and help the consumer to understand what energy they use in their homes, and to help educate children to care for the environment and their pockets in the future.
The outside meter isn’t very exciting (this is the gas one). The whole installation process took around 1.5 hours to be completed by an engineer. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I wasn’t disrupted very much during the time he was here. The most inconvenience to me was the loss of power for around half an hour. It was a nice sunny day though so we played in the garden.
Once the job was complete, I was given my new smart meter, and given a quick talk on how it worked. The process is quite simple though to be honest, and despite not having a manual to leave with me, it was all explained before the engineer left.
After leaving the meter alone for a couple of days, resisting the urge to see exactly what was happening on the screen, we started to have a look at what uses the most electricity.
We have been set the challenge of finding out what the whole family thinks uses the most electric, and do their choices really use the most?
- Hair Dryer
- Washing Machine
- Tumble Dryer
- Hair Dryer
We tested out some appliances and compared them to our resting usage which was lights and a laptop on.
So immediate results showed that the TV didn’t in fact use as much electricity as boiling the kettle would. Miss A was surprised and thought it meant she could watch TV even more. I soon put her straight on that one!
We’re not a family who has the kettle on all the time, so I wasn’t too worried about the kettle usage. We are a family who relies on the microwave though. The only saving grace there is that microwave cooking is quick so the high usage doesn’t last for too long at one time.
I do like to cook roast dinners, and whilst the electric usage goes down once the oven is at room temperature, it’s making me wonder if there are ways I can be more organised in the kitchen and take advantage of the oven being at temperature to cook more instead of the oven going on, cooking, going off and then being turned back on again a little while later.
I’m going to be looking for ways to save the pennies in the house and keep the bills down, especially as the winter months are approaching. I’ll be updating with how I’m getting on soon.