- How much electricity does your house use when you're not in?
Ponderin’ about this today while looking at the output of the energy monitor over the last few months.
When we’re not in and the house is basically not doing anything, the monitor says we’re using about 110 watts, then a bit more occasionally when the fridge or freezer kick in.
Adding that up over the whole month suggests that nearly 60% of our total usage is just stuff idling. That seems like a lot!
The kitchen appliances stay on but the telly, xbox and hifi are on remote controlled sockets so aren’t normally on and the rest is just the normal load of stuff like clocks, chargers, phone, router and whatnot going all day. Does that really add up to that much?
Does anyone else know what their house uses? What’s normal?
(Ironically right now we’re being very frugal with electricity as we’ve had a power cut all evening…)Posted 3 years agoluffy105Subscriber
Here’s a question I’ve wanted to ask for a while but always felt daft asking. Bought a house last year that has an electric shower installed and has a pull cord on/off in the bathroom.
If I leave it on is it using a lot of electricity? Is it expensive?
I was really strict on switching it off at the start but now wondering if I am just being a bit anal. If all I am powering by leaving the pull cord on is the cost of an led then I can live with that. Just don’t want to find out down the line that I am pre heating water 24/7Posted 3 years agosharkbaitMember
Well, the last time I checked the house was using about 800w. But we’re a bit different as I work from home and there’s are least 2 x servers, 2 x wifi access points, 1 x router, 1 x NAS, 1 x 24 port switch and 2 x hardware firewalls running.
On top of that there will be the alarm system, 2 x big fridge freezers, sky box, Apple TV, raspberry pi, printer, solar inverter, the laptop thats monitoring solar inverter as well as the usual phone/tablet chargers, radio alarm clocks (x3), etc.
I am trying to cut down!Posted 3 years agospooky_b329Member
Handily I discovered that the TV hardly registers when left on standby, but the old DVD player and Hifi that were hardly used were gobbling up more than the rest of the house altogether!
Definitely worth doing a check of what things are consuming, I went by pence per hour but I cut it from something like 7p to 3p per hour whilst out of the house/sleeping, and when you consider most houses are vacant or just a bedroom for 18 hours a day that adds up…
Edit: Just went and turned on the monitor, first time in ages. 115w which includes a bathroom extractor and a reptile heater pad thats meant to cost 5p a day to run. Juicy Hifi on standby as we use it regularly now.Posted 3 years agogears_suckMember
If you don’t need it to be left on. Turn it off. Including the shower switch. It’s not just about your own consumption, it’s about the cumulative usage of millions of people.Posted 3 years ago
All those LEDs on shower pull cords will add up so why contribute?
On another subject. I can’t understand why traffic lights aren’t being upgraded so that they don’t keep vehicles idling unecessarily. Adding up all that wasted fuel and resulting pollution is mind boggling.nickjbSubscriber
There seems to be an obsession with turning TVs completely off and not leaving them in standby but a modern TV will use a fraction of a Watt. Its other appliances that matter far more. Microwaves are often very bad. I’d suspect your remote socket uses more energy than the TV on standby.Posted 3 years ago
what nick said….
we use 75 watts – thats for the fridge , heating rf reciever , router , phone/answering machine and clocks – which for the most part are just radios on standby.
energy meter brought home just how much power incandeceents use – the single remaining incandencent bulb(in a light thats rarely used in a cupboard) uses more energy than if i turn every other light in the house on at once……Posted 3 years ago
sewage biodigester, 1.8kWh/day.
fridge freezer, 2.75kWh/day.
other knick knacks:
tv & sky box & a radio on standby, wifi box, a phone charger is often left plugged in
and whatever lights mrsmonkfinger has left on, normally the bathrooms – really must get around to putting led spots in there.
Background costs are about 70p a day.Posted 3 years agoFlaperonSubscriber
Hot water / central heating (although minimal thanks to Hive).
Lounge / media PC.
VDSL modem and router.
Probably a couple of clocks on the cooker / microwave. Plus the stuff left in standby.
The British Gas electricity monitor won’t measure accurately below about 100 watts, so if you’re using it to figure out your baseline usage you’ll get the wrong result. You need one that corrects for power factor (eg, Onzo or similar).Posted 3 years ago
“The British Gas electricity monitor won’t measure accurately below about 100 watts, so if you’re using it to figure out your baseline usage you’ll get the wrong result. You need one that corrects for power factor (eg, Onzo or similar). “
dont care enough about it to spend money on a “monitor” though.Posted 3 years ago
IMO Utility costs are only ever going to go in one direction….up!
Over the last 24hrs 180w is the lowest my house got to. All our none essential items (TV’s, sky, Wii, etc) are on remote switches but we forgot to switch them off last night before heading to bed 😳
Obviously, every house is different in terms of it’s size and resultant usage. Since starting to work from home (a year ago today!) I’ve spent a fair amount of nerdy time swapping everything out and trying to cut back where possible. Our house / location is as follows:
Gas central heating with Combi boiler
3 floors and integrated garage
Loft conversion with 1 bedroom and 1KW Elect oil heater
Small study with 2.6KW Elect oil heater
3 bedrooms with central heating
1 bathroom (with 200w M2 underfloor Elect heating)
1 wet room (with 200w m2 underfloor Elect heating)
Dining / kitchen with central heating, 2 x Elect ovens and 1 x american fridge / freezer
Living room with stove
All our down lighters are LED (64 x 4w GU10s). Every other table lamp / pendant is low energy (12 in total & 1 gets left on all the time in the reception hallway)
The only Halogens are the 2 x security lights which are rarely used. I strung up some old christmas tree LED lights in the wood shed and garden so these are used when out getting wood etc.
I’ve installed PIR controlled lights in the utility, pantry, garage and wet rooms (the kids ALWAYS left them on!)
I use an OWL meter which sadly only measures the Elect. The next plan is to try and incorporate a Gas data logger but I’d need another type of meter which is a pain in the neck. Our daily KW average over the last 30 days was 19.63 Kw which I’m very happy with. Compared to a year ago that’s down by circa 1/3rd.
The ultimate plan (other than building my own SIP / Passive house) would be to incorporate a photo voltaic panel on the roof to slowly trickle charge some large lead acid batteries and re-wire all my lighting to a new Elect lighting board and swap all our lighting to 12v MR16 LEDS. I need to win a few more contracts before that happens!
BTW I served my time as a sparky so I’m a bit nerdy with all such things. 😀Posted 3 years ago
[geek mode]Posted 3 years ago
A guy at work has a Source Forge project for an API for the OWL power meter: http://sourceforge.net/projects/electricowl/?source=directory
I’ve wondered about the accuracy of the monitor at low values; the monthly total seems close enough to how much we pay, although I haven’t compared the readings directly. It’s just odd how going round with the plug-in thing suggests everything is using practically nothing, but together it all adds up to quite a lot!
nickjb – The telly doesn’t use a lot, but it is more than the remote socket; when combined with the other things though it makes a definite difference (the xbox uses loads on standby!). I have wondered in the past about putting a few more things on timers, but came to the same conclusion that we’d probably be using more power for the timers than we were for the things themselves…
I think I’m going to have another go round the house with the plug-in one and see if I missed anything, or whether all the things sat there doing nothing really do add up to that much. I think it’s one of those things where we think we’ve got hardly anything using power all the time, but if you include all the little things you don’t think about there are probably more of them than we’d guess at.Posted 3 years agoGrahamSSubscriber
Turn it off. Including the shower switch. It’s not just about your own consumption, it’s about the cumulative usage of millions of people.
All those LEDs on shower pull cords will add up so why contribute?
I admire your dedication, but this sounds like trying to bail out the Titanic with a teaspoon. It makes a difference.. but not much… 😀Posted 3 years ago
saving energy? switching off LEDs? pissing in the breeze. instead, lets talk about
owning a carPosted 3 years ago
not living in a triple glazed hermatically sealed house which is within walking distance of work
having a pet cat / dog / iguana / iguanadon
eating cooked food instead of raw
reproducing, kids use energy too
clothing yourself in anything other than the furs of animals you have killed with your bear hands
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