Thursday, 1 July 2010

Day Forty-Five: 47.76kWh

So it's been a week since I installed my NPower energy monitor and I am back with some official statistics. So far, over one average week's use I have used 47.76kWh of electricity, that equates to about 25kg of C02 emissions and has cost just under £6. A very handy little gadget. It allows you to easily switch between you energy usage for the past day or week, and gives you a target usage to stay under. It's quite scary to watch, in real time, how much electricity you're using. Turn a light switch on and suddenly your kWh shoot up  - I've come to fear the barely visible LED screen every time I walk by for fear I've fluctuated beyond control. To extrapolate into an insanely rough figure, my current usage would equate to about 1.3 tonnes of C02 a year - this would seem to tie into my findings from my carbon footprint last year. So what am I not doing to reduce this? Heading towards the same sort of figures is, obviously, not my intention. Have I merely reached the 'floor' of my electricity usage, or am I still just not doing enough?

I'm taking care to switch lights off, unplug appliances and take the telly of standby, but it seems this is not working. A year ago I was still environmentally aware enough to know I shouldn't be leaving appliances switched on overnight so I've come to the conclusion that, as far as electricity is concerned, I don't think I can reduce my usage much more than I already am (within the constraints of my current living arrangements). So what now? I don't even know where to begin to look at my gas usage - any ideas? Time to get my research hat on again and see what else I can do to reduce my C02 emissions.

As a side note and, being a bit of a gadget freak, I'd like to point out that if you own a first:utility smart meter you can access something called Google PowerMeter which is a wonderful pretty little tool that can produce all sorts of lovely graphs and charts showing your energy usage which you can access from anywhere using the online tool. There are also many other fancy meters available at various costs and some with subscription costs but, to be honest, if you would just like to see what you're using then a free meter from your electricity provider will suffice. All the big players provide them free of charge these days, and they're so easy to set up that there's really no excuse to not have one!

- JamesTweet This