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Saving Money on Electricity Usage

Just to follow on a bit from the VI Savings Plan and the money making scheme below, a couple of months ago I decided to follow up on some of the usual bumpff about saving money on your electricity bills by turning off electrical items at the wall sockets and all that jazz.

There has been a lot of advertising and awareness campaigns about such things recently. The focus seems to be the useful Power of One website.

The key tips in question that I was looking at were here, for energy saving at home. Essentially, the points I followed religiously for two months were as follows:

  1. Unplugged my phone charger when I wasn’t actually charging my phone.
  2. Turned off my TV/Video/DVD/Digital box at the wall at night – equipment on stand-by uses up to 20% of the energy it would use when fully on.
  3. I turned down my heating to 20ºC – lowering your thermostat by 1ºC will knock 10% off your heating bill. I also reduced the amount of time it was on for – though this was for gas, and I haven’t received my gas bill yet.
  4. I have replaced all but 3 of the normal light bulbs in my house with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) – they use 20% of the energy and last up to 15 times as long (though they are more expensive to buy).
  5. I made sure to always switch off lights when I left a room – energy is wasted lighting unoccupied rooms. Also, there’s rarely need for lights on in hallways if you’re not there – though I know it’s an “Irish thing” to have lights on in the hallway when you’re home.
  6. A simple thing that I used to always do, but then stopped was not overfilling my kettle – only boil as much water as you need.
  7. They say to avoid unnecessary electricity use between 5pm and 7pm but I’m rarely home before 7 anyway, so that wasn’t really an issue.

So, for the first two months, my ESB bill went from €57 for two months to €46 for the last two months. Now, I know this was the summer period, but my usage on ESB wouldn’t change much across the year – the gas usage is where my usage would change coming to the winter.
So, €11 saved in two months. Assume something similar across the full year, and that could mean savings of about €66 (which doesn’t look that impressive), or of 20% (which looks a much better number).

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