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Monday, 30 July 2007

Stats update (with comments)

The latest figures are for 9 days from 21st to 30th July:
- General electricity 5.36kWh per day (average 6.65 this quarter vs 7.98 last quarter)
- Electricity for water heating 7.01kWh per day (average 7.33 this quarter vs 5.60 last quarter)
- Water consumption 301 litres per day (average 333 this quarter)

We were away on Saturday night so the figures are slightly skewed in our favour but they're still not bad. Our water use is holding steady at about 330L per day even without the tanks installed yet. The government's high-profile target is 140L per person per day. Our kids are young but even if you considered the three of them as equivalent to one person we'd still be 90L under the target.

I'm baffled as to how other households can use as much water as they do. We use our dishwasher, we wash our clothes (lots of them with the three kids), we water our fledgling vege plants, we are pretty lax about shower times. Our conservation efforts could largely be summed up like this:
- use the "water saver" options on the dishwasher and washing machine
- don't be obviously wasteful with washing hands or brushing teeth
- keep the water pressure low in the shower
- and the big one... don't flush the toilet for every little wee

Julie pointed out just recently that using less electricity can also contribute to reduced water consumption. (Though that's not true of wind, wave or solar photovoltaic systems, it is the case for the vast majority of electricity generated in Australia.) So I'll get on to electricity now.

Obviously we use more energy heating water in winter than we do in summer. That's why there's an obvious seasonal variation in the graphs I've previously shared. So although this quarter's figure of 7.33 is up against last quarter, it's significantly better than the 9.0 we consumed during the same quarter last year. And I reckon this winter is actually colder!

The water/electricity relationship goes both ways here: by using less hot water in the shower we're reducing our energy demand.

One last comment on these figures. With our continuing downwards trend in general electrical consumption, this is the first quarter in nearly two years of data where we're using less energy for lights, cooking, computers etc than we are for heating water.

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