Thursday, 4 September 2008

Energy update

Electricity usage is one thing I am very hot on here, for a number of reasons. Some months back, I tried to persuade OH to change to all renewables for our elctricity; after humming and hawing for a while, I left it a couple of months, but lalst week, sat him down , had another go, and we finally got our application sent off to Good Energy
However, since we applied, their prices have risen by 16%; I was impressed by the letter that arrived on Tuesday, explaining the rise and by how much, etc, and giving us a week's cooling off period in case we didn't want to go with them after their price rise. I don't know the exact figures, but I think the 16% is favourable compared with other suppliers, some of which have risen more than 16% I think. I pick up these things on the news, etc, but am not good at retaining figures for long. However, the main thing for me is the fact that Good Energy supplies all of its electricity from renewable sources; it really has to be the way for us, even if it costs a little bit (or even a lot) more each month. If push comes to shove, then we will cut back elsewhere (oh no, not Amazon..........:0) ) So - we're going with Good Energy.
We use very little electricity, I think. In the kitchen, I am down to a fridge, a radio cassette (rarely used, so is moving out of there) and a blender. The blender's days are numbered when I find the insert to my Mouli, which I think should be lurking down the side of the washing machine - don't ask!! Yes, the washing machine, but I am working on that one; bedsheets would be hard work, as would towels, but not impossible by hand. The other issue ofcourse, with the machine, is the water usage; I use it as wisely as I can, and it empties straight into a butt otuside the back door; this shows just hwo much water is used for one wash, and is emptied on to the garden when and where needed. Lighting is three lights on the ceiling, two of which work independently according to where the light is required; one new lamp over the table after I moved it - quite often this is enough if I am sitting doing something at the table. All bulbs are energy saving ones.In the sitting room we have one small TV,DVD,video and computer/printer, one small lamp, one ceiling light. Not too bad upstairs, but TV in each of the children's rooms, plus game thingy in EJ's, computer (non net) in Bean's. One clock radio in our room, belonging to OH. I'd rather have a wind-up alarm clock, but I would miss the farming programmes on Radio 4 in the mornings.......:) Could live without them, though.
So far, quite pleased with the efforts we've made on the electricity front. I was going to buy a thing that shows yoru usage over the day, and what uses up the power, but I decided it was just another gadget, and we will watch the bills instead. The biggest drop in usage occurred when I got rid of the elctric kettle and toaster. Because the Rayburn is on all the time, we started to use that couple of years ago instead of these. I think it's a question of adapting and thinking hard about what you use, and how to fit the changes you want to make into your life without compromising the things most important to you and your family too much. However, I think that in the not too distant future, even a compromise may be a luxury. I am not convinced that alternative energy is the only answer in the long run; the answer is to CONSUME LESS; and consume less of everything, not just electricity. Think more, consume less, live better.

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