Friday, September 23, 2005

The e-Plan Diet

I have recently decided to put my house on a diet - its consuming too much energy and the bills are getting fat.

So I came up with the ultimate diet - the e-Plan diet! - slimming down your household electricity consumption

Working from home, the house is occupied most days and the home-office activities consume a fair percentage of the total power.

Here is a suggested daily consumption plan based on realistically achievable targets:

Fridge and Freezer 1.5kWh

Office 2.0kWh

TV and entertainment 0.5kWh

Lighting 1.0kWh

Miscellaneous 1.0kWh

Total 6.0kWh

The miscellaneous includes occasional use of high wattage appliances like dishwashers, washing machines, toaster, kettle, microwave and the like. As the larger appliances are only used two or three times per week it should be possible to get by on an average daily allowance of 1kWh.

I checked the washing machine consumption by doing a typical full load at 40 degrees C. After an hour and a half of churning the energy used for the wash was 0.42kWh. I then made use of the sunshine to dry the washing on the line. Tonight I will check the dishwasher for its consumption.

Our lighting in the living-room is a 100W incandescent lamp on a dimmer switch. It's a bit stark, so I am going to arrange for a couple of low energy bulb table-lamps to help give some ambience and reduce the consumption in the evenings.

Fortunately in our house the cooker and oven are gas, as is the central heating so we have very few high wattage appliances.

With minor improvements, it should be possible to get the consumption down to just 5kWh per day.

Whether I can stick to this diet is yet to be seen!

The "200 Watt Office"

Desktop PC (3 GHz) 100W - use a laptop - only 40W

17" TFT Monitor 40W - not needed with laptop

Wireless DSL Router 8W

20W Low energy lamp 20W - evenings only

HP 2500 Printer, copier, fax 19W - only turn on when needed

Telephone 2W - use a conventional phone that needs no mains

Coffee Allowance 20W (0.2kWh in 10 hrs)

Total 209W

These are worst case figures, which assume winter working with the printer always on. By using the laptop on a wireless link, a conventional phone and turning off the printer when not being used, this could easily become The 100W Office, consuming only 1kWh in a typical 10 hour working day.


James said...

What is "dishwasher"?

I know about washing dishes. I run the tap after using something, squirt a little Fairy on it and use this thing called a brush.

There are two of you, yes? You're not washing up after tea at a cricket match.

Your house is half the size of mine. You can get it down to 3kWh if you really want to.

Incandescent lighting. Do they still make it? Thought it only existed in the Edison museum.

Remember only to put enough water in the kettle for whatver you need it for.

Though you use gas to heat water, remember that the pump is electric and prolonged use of that bumps the meter reading along too.

Ken Boak said...


The dishwasher was not my idea, Apparently, I've got the wrong chromosomes to make such a bad choice of appliances.

I'm trying to save the planet whilst Elaine complains that a 20W CFL is too dark and 20 C is too cold for her to enjoy her drip feed of Coronation St., Eastenders, Millionaire, Spooks, Frost, etc etc etc......

TV uses 75W on a bright picture.

After doing some tests, the dishwasher used 0.93kWh and the washing machine was 0.42kWh.

I thought I was doing quite well to get the electricity consumption down to 6kW,a 40% saving from where I was last week.

I'll be sleeping out in the shed at this rate if I suggest any further cuts!


Tracy said...

From a woman's perspective (and a mother's), my dishwasher is sacred. I've got the most energy-efficient one possible (Miele) and recommend looking at at their website's stats about energy usage: A Miele dishwasher is much more economical than washing by hand. To wash a full load of crockery on the Universal 65°C programme every day will, over a year, save 400 KWh of electricity (worth £30), 7,000 litres of water (equivalent to 40 baths) and 500 hours (3 weeks) of your time.

Ok, I know it depends on how you heat your water, etc. but I love the extra guilt-free time to spend doing something more worthwhile than washing up!!!!


Smart Blogger said...
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Wireless Geek said...

Really amazed how you cutting down consumption of energy from every day use of electronics.

I am also looking for energy efficeint models of Wireless Routers or WiFi Access Points. So I could use them with a Solar charger with a battery backup.

Hey Ken IDEAs from you about a nice homemade gadget to power Wireless Devices with solar.

I am to buy single solar charger for more than my wireless device price.