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If you want to know what I'm on about in the shortest time then please read the introductory first post and my current action plan. Comments are very welcome. And if you like this blog, please tell a friend. Thanks!

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Stats Update

Our mains water consumption for the past 11 days has averaged out to...

187L per day!

That's the total for the five of us, not per person. This is in line with the drop I saw in the last readings period after the tanks were connected to the laundry and toilet. Looks like sub-200 territory is here to stay, at least while there's water in the tanks.

With that qualification in mind, I'm going to start reporting our tank reserves along with these stats. With a specified minimum diameter of 2.2m and a current water height of 110cm in two tanks, we have approx 8.3kL in storage.

Looking at electricity, our hot water system narrowly avoided needing a boost late last week. I had a shower one evening in water that was merely "warm" but with a pause in the rain the next morning the temperature quickly went back up into "ouch" territory. Tariff 33 consumption remains at 0kWh.

Our general consumption is definitely up a bit from the previous trend though. The water pump would be contributing to that. We're using fans to keep ourselves cooler in the warm weather. And maybe we've slacked off a bit with turning things of and generally being frugal. For the past 11 days Tariff 11 usage has averaged 7.4kWh per day.

Just for comparison, here's a graph of our average daily usage per quarter (as per the electricity bill) for the past two years or so. The final column represents the current usage. Would love to get that blue bar down significantly but I'm not sure how I can do that without tossing out the fridge and not cooking food any more.


Ian said...

Have you considered cooking with gas, either replacing your electric gear or just a standalone burner on the benchtop? And wherever you can use a microwave rather than a stove or oven you'll come out ahead, too.


TB said...

No I haven't considered cooking with gas because that would be rather defeating the point. Gas is neither clean nor renewable, whereas the electricity I'm paying for is certified to be both.

The point about using the microwave is a reasonable one, and I'm pretty sure I made that part of my action plan back in May. The idea being that a greater fraction of the energy used by a microwave oven ends up being converted to heat in the food, compared to a conventional stove and oven where much heat is lost to the surroundings.

Some time down the track I aim to replace our electric stovetop with an induction hob. Similar reasoning about efficiency applies here: a greater fraction of the energy gets converted to useful heat directly in the cooking vessel and less gets wasted.

I'm still obsessed by the fridge though. 2kWh a day. There has to be some way to reduce that.

Ian said...

Hmm.. yes, I was thinking of coal-fired electricity compared to gas, in which of course the latter is a better choice (as strongly argued in one of your favourite books, IIRC).

As far as the fridge goes, I'm reading Linda Cockburn's Living the Good Life at the moment, and in it she mentions hanging heavy plastic across the front of the shelves with flaps to get at the food, the idea being to stop all the cold air flowing out every time the door is opened. I don't know how much difference it would make (or how much of a hassle it would be), but I do highly recommend the book :-)

Crazy Mumma said...

Hi Terry,

That's awesome results for your water and electricity! Well done :-)

Regarding the fridge, if you don't want to/ can't get rid of it, I have seen some great conversions of chest freezers into fridges. They have better insulation, and the cold air doesn't "fall out" when you open the door, unlike a conventional fridge, hence much lower kWh used. I don't have any links handy, but you could Google it of course, if you are interested.

Cheers, Julie

TB said...

Hey Julie,

That chest fridge idea is brilliant! Except it didn't pass the spouse approval test. :-(

Given me food for thought though.