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
TV and entertainment 0.5kWh
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)
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.