Saving money with a Power Meter
In my last energy-saving post back in June I said that I was going to start blogging about the energy-saving things we’ve done about the house and if they worked. I’ve been a bit slow starting this (and sorry for the lack of photos) but the best place to start is how we reduced our electricity bill from £55 a month to (as of this week) £28 a month and went from owing money to our electricity supplier to being £150 in credit, and all within less than a year!
Yes, it sounds too good to be true, and it sort of is (sorry, despite opening this post sounding like one of those internet scams it gets dull from here on in), we didn’t come up with some amazing new gadget (yours for only $150……) we just discovered that our fridge and freezer were costing us a fortune.
Late last year (October I think) we received a free Energy Fit Pack from our supplier which included a Current Cost EnviR electricity monitoring meter. We set it up within a few days and spent some time playing with it, looking at what was drawing the most power. I turned off everything I could think of (including switching off whole parts of the house from the fuse board) and discovered that we were always drawing 600W.
Eventually I twigged that it was the fridge and freezer; ours were built in under the counter and were installed when the kitchen was fitted (sometime before 1985).
They were very old and between them pulled 500W constantly. I added stainless steel vents to the back of the counter (the units were completely enclosed, I figured that trying to improve the ventilation might make things better). A huge amount of heat came up through the vents (the vent above the freezer was almost too hot to touch) but the electricity usage was still very high. In the end we decided to replace them (and rip out the old counter) with a single combined A rated fridge-freezer, which would also give us the room to fit a dish washer (we have a very small kitchen).
That was it really, we continued to pay £55 a month until this month, but received a £100 refund in May (leaving £50 in credit). Our base electricity usage is now 100W, which costs less than £10 a month (obviously we have higher usage at other times of the day hence £28 a month), at least that’s what the meter says.
So there you go, get an energy monitor and as long as you have old and very inefficient household equipment you too could save big!! (alright, I will stop that).