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The Knimbies who say No

Household Energy Consumption

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Recently received a statement detailing energy use via supplied gas and eleccy for our (3 bed semi, 2 adult + one baby) household.

Eleccy: 2,000kWh

Gas: 8,000kWh

Wasn't surprised to see the average UK household consumption is above our useage, but was somewhat surprised by how much (chart on page 7), practically double:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/338662/ecuk_chapter_3_domestic_factsheet.pdf

Which says 4,000kWh electricity and 15,000kwh gas use average.

Elephant in our room is the 9,000kWh of petrol burned mostly for commuting purposes.

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My bills are well below average - I begrudge using power/gas more than an essential minimum. All lightbulbs are now low energy in my house, and heating is on for a short time if it's cold - so well insulated, the house stays warm for hours. :)

Other people seem to leave everything switched on - example is my sister's household. When I stay there, after they've left for work, I can go round switching off: 4 TVs, multiple lights [all incandescent bulbs], The heating seem to be on constant all year round, and they forget to turn the thermostat [in the hall] down from 22C. I'm just glad they earn plenty - their bill must be horrendous! :o

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Mine is about the same as yours.....but I could still get it down some more, there is an enormous difference between different homes of the same size, how they are built and insulated, and how people use or try and save on their fuel bills......looked at a neighbours house last night every light was blazing, were there people in every room? ....... I think if people thought a bit more about what they use and how they use it they could save quite a bit of money each year.

Simple things can be done that don't cost much like thick curtains in winter, turning off lights in rooms not used, individual thermostats on rads, off in rooms not used, closing doors, putting draft excluder on doors and windows, not boiling a whole kettle of water for one cup of tea, fill the oven up, not keeping tv videos printers etc on standby....lots of ways.

Best thing to do is go out to work and use their fuel to keep warm.....saves a fortune. ;)

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I gave up counting. With a rubbish house and a cold blooded wife it's not worth the stress.

As it looks like we're staying I need to do a pikey mod and stick clingfilm on the windows again.

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I switched all the lighting to LED/CFL so there's little fat to be cut there now. If I didn't drink so much tea I could probably save quite a bit though. Laptop and smartphone have supplanted the desktop PC by and large so nothing there. Cooking is all electric but water/heating/shower is gas. Fair to say we are pretty good at not having stuff on standby, or chargers plugged in if not required etc.

The gas useage is ripe for slashing, if it was not a private rental. My hands are tied, a solar heating arrangement to boost the inlet temp for the boiler would likely work very well but I have to put up what I've got, and what I've got it a crappy combi boiler which comes on randomly for 30 secs or so regularly and at times struggles to provide anything more than the flowrate of hot water required to run a shower. 2006 vintage, and ripe for replacement already.

Not sure how much more could be cut from the useage, I reckon up to 10% is from making tea alone, similar for lighting and most of the rest for the cooker. Maybe we should eat out more..

BTW Costco have GU10 and standard bulb shaped LED lighting products on offer at present btw, around half the price I paid two years ago, circa £5 per GU10 offer price now iirc.

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I switched all the lighting to LED/CFL so there's little fat to be cut there now. If I didn't drink so much tea I could probably save quite a bit though. Laptop and smartphone have supplanted the desktop PC by and large so nothing there. Cooking is all electric but water/heating/shower is gas. Fair to say we are pretty good at not having stuff on standby, or chargers plugged in if not required etc.

The gas useage is ripe for slashing, if it was not a private rental. My hands are tied, a solar heating arrangement to boost the inlet temp for the boiler would likely work very well but I have to put up what I've got, and what I've got it a crappy combi boiler which comes on randomly for 30 secs or so regularly and at times struggles to provide anything more than the flowrate of hot water required to run a shower. 2006 vintage, and ripe for replacement already.

Not sure how much more could be cut from the useage, I reckon up to 10% is from making tea alone, similar for lighting and most of the rest for the cooker. Maybe we should eat out more..

BTW Costco have GU10 and standard bulb shaped LED lighting products on offer at present btw, around half the price I paid two years ago, circa £5 per GU10 offer price now iirc.

I haven't got the courage to check energy efficiency of the tumble dryer and the antiquated chest freezer we possess, nor limit us as to the frequency and duration of (electric) showers. Ditto the kids, don't really need a bath every night but they are still at an age to enjoy it.

The central boiler in this rental is 35-40 years old. The only references I can find to it online make it older than I am. As such we may as well use the gas cooker for heating, it's probably about the same sort of efficiency. When it is chilly rather than cold we have a electric radiator to heat one room rather than fire up the central heating.

Needless to say, even at £150 per month for energy, the energy penalty saves that again in rent penalty.

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Loft insulation is a must if you have one...thick as you can, even old carpets help....carpets and rugs help anyway, find they are better than draughty floor boards or even badly fitted wooden ones.....not having a dish washer must save quite a bit on electricity in both heating water and motor that washes not to mention the extortionate cost for rip off washing capsules.....washing clothes etc cooler washing temps for general clothes washing and fast spin helps, because tumble dryers eat up elecy, watch the wheel go round ....so peg on the line in fresh air if possible and never tumble dry towels....today is a good drying day. :)

Little tip about getting the best fuel deal.....always know your kWh usage for gas and elec so that you can compare best deals....never accept the deal your company will default you onto when a deal ends, standing charges make a big difference, what you have to pay before using a penny....I preferred the old system where you paid a higher cost for the first units used and much cheaper thereafter, I thought it was much fairer.....when you find a deal check if there is a penalty fee to move, this never happened in the past, another way to tie you in....always go back to your existing provider to see if they can match it, often they almost can...who will realistically move for £30 a year and all that involves.....some providers give you a loyalty discount if you have been a customer for a period of time....so duel fuel saves, Direct Debit saves, on-line bills saves, read your own meter can save....so shop around, then report back.

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Loft insulation is a must if you have one...thick as you can, even old carpets help....carpets and rugs help anyway, find they are better than draughty floor boards or even badly fitted wooden ones.....not having a dish washer must save quite a bit on electricity in both heating water and motor that washes not to mention the extortionate cost for rip off washing capsules.....washing clothes etc cooler washing temps for general clothes washing and fast spin helps, because tumble dryers eat up elecy, watch the wheel go round ....so peg on the line in fresh air if possible and never tumble dry towels....today is a good drying day. :)

I am not a child with my head up my ****.

I don't know if it's the poor performance of an old washing machine or eco friendly concentrated detergents bit I am find the need to wash more and more at 60c+. Ditto drying, I wouldn't use a TD if there is an alternative. For 9 months of the year. N/E facing overlooked yard, washing does not dry.

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I am not a child with my head up my ****.

I don't know if it's the poor performance of an old washing machine or eco friendly concentrated detergents bit I am find the need to wash more and more at 60c+. Ditto drying, I wouldn't use a TD if there is an alternative. For 9 months of the year. N/E facing overlooked yard, washing does not dry.

One area I think we've lucked out on is the drying of washing outside. The exceptionally warm weather combines with a sunny garden has avoided almost any tumble drying, but as junior starts to grow and the weather reverts to a more average year seems likely we'll have to take a hit there.

Almost all our washing is done at 30 deg C too.

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I am not a child with my head up my ****.

I don't know if it's the poor performance of an old washing machine or eco friendly concentrated detergents bit I am find the need to wash more and more at 60c+. Ditto drying, I wouldn't use a TD if there is an alternative. For 9 months of the year. N/E facing overlooked yard, washing does not dry.

As I said some soiled clothes may require hotter temps....but ordinary stuff sheets and towels only require freshening up....Tip get a washing powder or liquid that is bio or biological for tough stains .......that will clean better than the mild eco ones....they are fine for general washing.

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I haven't got the courage to check energy efficiency of the tumble dryer

Tip. Ditch the tumble dryer.

Get a dehumidifier. When the weather isn't suitable for just hanging the washing out to dry, hang it indoors with the dehumidifier running and it'll be dry in a few hours.

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Working from home. Lots of computer usage. Lots of kettles boiled. Both cooker and shower on 'leccy ...

bill.jpeg

I think if I was living on my own my useage would be similar to yours. Seems perfectly adequate. We are at 5.5 per day between three (mostly two), albeit the shower is not included.

Are there any areas where you think you could cut down by any meaningful amount? Apart from the kettle? Just looking for ideas.

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Tip. Ditch the tumble dryer.

Get a dehumidifier. When the weather isn't suitable for just hanging the washing out to dry, hang it indoors with the dehumidifier running and it'll be dry in a few hours.

Will we all need visas to move my family to Neverneverland?

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I think if I was living on my own my useage would be similar to yours. Seems perfectly adequate. We are at 5.5 per day between three (mostly two), albeit the shower is not included.

Are there any areas where you think you could cut down by any meaningful amount? Apart from the kettle? Just looking for ideas.

The year is 2014 you live in a first world country and you are highly educated and you're trying to reduce the number of times you boil the kettle for cups of tea.

It's python-esque.

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I've no idea. I'm not remotely motivated to switch to those horrible third-rate CFL bulbs although I keep meaning to give LEDs a try. I don't pointlessly waste (i.e. lights on in empty rooms) but neither am I keen to going to an "efficient" politically-driven lifestyle. The heating comes on if I'm cold (and not to the extent where I can sit around in a T-shirt).

I had a ~£100 refund paid back in for the electricity and gas recently.

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I've no idea. I'm not remotely motivated to switch to those horrible third-rate CFL bulbs although I keep meaning to give LEDs a try. I don't pointlessly waste (i.e. lights on in empty rooms) but neither am I keen to going to an "efficient" politically-driven lifestyle. The heating comes on if I'm cold (and not to the extent where I can sit around in a T-shirt).

I had a ~£100 refund paid back in for the electricity and gas recently.

politically driven? Wallet driven more like. And think of all that impossibly beautiful countryside sitting under power stations that could be demolished if you could be arsed to change a bulb.

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I suppose it is also worth pointing out that the politics are unavoidable since energy bills are being looted to pay feed-in tariffs to those fortunate enough to be able to have installed solar PV panels to rake in very generous subsidies, seen figures of about £500/year or more.

So by not attempting to cut use you are going to be fleeced even more than the rest of us to pay for it. That prospect alone narks me enough to try and cut back as much as possible.

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The year is 2014 you live in a first world country and you are highly educated and you're trying to reduce the number of times you boil the kettle for cups of tea.

I'm not. But I never overfill the kettle.

And I make some effort to cook efficiently: for example, if using the oven, plan a meal of several oven-cooked things and nothing on the hob. This evening (probably) I shall heat the oven once not three times, for a quiche, baked spud, and a blackberry crumble.

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politically driven? Wallet driven more like. And think of all that impossibly beautiful countryside sitting under power stations that could be demolished if you could be arsed to change a bulb.

If you're going to act like that the please **** off, I find your reply utterly repellent.

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As I said some soiled clothes may require hotter temps....but ordinary stuff sheets and towels only require freshening up....Tip get a washing powder or liquid that is bio or biological for tough stains .......that will clean better than the mild eco ones....they are fine for general washing.

I don't agree. I wouldn't wash sheets or towels at anything less than 60.

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I don't agree. I wouldn't wash sheets or towels at anything less than 60.

You're missing the meaning of "efficiency" - these days, depending upon the circumstances, it means "not enough to do a proper job" or "no contingency" (or both).

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I don't agree. I wouldn't wash sheets or towels at anything less than 60.

Put it like this...what I have saved on fuel bills in a year means I can buy a four day break to Rome......you pays your money you take your choice....I know what I would prefer.....the other option is sleep on your sheets for six months and wash at 60 degrees....same thing. :P

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I suppose it is also worth pointing out that the politics are unavoidable since energy bills are being looted to pay feed-in tariffs to those fortunate enough to be able to have installed solar PV panels to rake in very generous subsidies, seen figures of about £500/year or more.

So by not attempting to cut use you are going to be fleeced even more than the rest of us to pay for it. That prospect alone narks me enough to try and cut back as much as possible.

Of course it's a political thing. You either subsidise renewables (with money from the pockets of the unsubsidised), drain the North Sea of fossil fuels (effectively taking the inheritance of natural resource from our children's pockets), and/or cut back on what we use.

As a bit of a libertarian who doesn't believe in pick-pocketing by force from either my peers or my children - I'm happy to be as efficient (or "tight fisted, as Mrs JTB terms it) as possible.

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