Friday, April 4, 2014

Earth Hour 2014

Did you participate in Earth Hour this year? I know some people go to the city to watch the lights go out in the buildings. What a great lesson to teach your kids.

This year, we at Casa de Surely Sarah decided to do a little experiment. It involved trying to gauge just how much energy we waste on electrical devices.

Being the frugal person that I am, I wanted to know what was sucking the most power in our house - because our electricity bill at present is enough to give any normal person a heart attack.

So, at 8.30pm, I got out our little electricity meter (obtained via a city council "green" initiative a few years ago), lit some candles and turned everything off.

Here's the numbers for what happened next:

Initial reading (all devices on, air con on, lights on, tv on)

Everything off
 (at this point C drove himself into a frenzy trying to figure out where that 0.059kW of energy was coming from - we never did find it)


+Computer powerboard


+Water cooler

+Fridge and Freezer

+Air con

What did we learn? Well, for one thing, that lights don't contribute much, but added up with power points with standby power they do contribute to energy use. The water cooler was a surprise - it's on 24/7 so may have to rethink how much power it uses. One thing we did know already was that our fridge and freezer aren't very energy efficient and we need to look at replacing them.

And of course, air conditioning is the main culprit. We do tend to switch it on more than we should, so maybe this stark reminder of how much it costs us might help us use it less!

Did you participate in Earth Hour? What do you do when the lights are out?

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