Electricity usage challenge week 3

family-watching-tvLast week I vowed to work on the following four areas of reducing our electricity usage:

  • Reducing use of electric heaters by wearing more clothes
  • Turning off the computers and peripherals at night time
  • Turning off lights when people are not in the room
  • Closing the curtains at night to keep heat in

During the week I’ve noticed four other areas for improvement which I’ve put into action straight away:


I’m first up in the mornings. As a treat for Mr Green, who you can’t talk to unless he’s had his coffee, I switch the kettle on. When he gets up he switches the kettle on again before going into the bathroom.

I figured my initial warm up was,in fact, wasteful (especially as the first kettle of the day is a full one). I’m still doing ‘my bit’ to make the mornings run smoother by filling the kettle, but I’m no longer turning it on for a pre-warm.


Mr Green and I are exceptionally bad with the router. If we go out during the day we leave everything on, including laptops and desk tops. It’s a convenience thing – I mean, who wants to wait a whole three minutes or so for everything to warm up again when you get back in? I know, laughable isn’t it? Time is so precious that we would rather waste electricity than spend 3 minutes meditating while our 21st century clicks and whirrs into life.

Tankless water heater

The other thing is I’m using the tankless water heater a lot. I have to confess I often wash up under running warm water rather than filling the bowl; which is a big eco sin to own up to as this wastes water as well as electricity. So this is something I really need to look at improving.


Last week I cooked jacket potatoes on four days. These take 1 1/2 hours in the oven and are pretty energy intensive. Wherever I can I fill the oven with other things but with a family of three I don’t need to do that much baking! This week I only ate jacket potatoes twice and boiled them the rest of the time.

Electric heating

Regarding my initial 4 areas of improvement, I’ve been a bit chicken when it’s come to the heater. I HAVE worn more clothes, but I’ve also used the heater in the bedroom at night-time – it’s just SO cold, even with a hot water bottle and feather duvet for that first half hour or so. I can work on this however, and toughen up over the next few weeks!

Computer peripherals

We’ve been excellent with turning off the router and computers at night time since we bought our new remote control. Not a night has gone with everything left on – yay!


Turning the lights off has been difficult. Honestly I would spend all evening walking around the house and checking things to keep on top of it fully. I don’t know why we find it so difficult, but it would appear we do. At least most of them are LEDs so I don’t feel too bad. I just went downstairs to get the figures for this post and turned off SIX lights!!

Closing the curtains at night we have done, so that’s another plus.

Electricity consumption

Our reading reduced from 102 the first week to 93 the second; which means we’ve reduced our usage by 9 Kwhs. I AM pleased BUT as you’ll see from my chart helow I only used the dehydrator twice (I injured my hand so couldn’t hold a knife safely to peel and chop the apples!) compared to five times last week, so I’m not sure how much reduction was due to the changes we made.

For this week I’m going to focus on using the wood burner much more for heating things on – this will make a difference to the amount of electricity we use for cooking.

What about you – have you managed to reduce your electricity consumption? What have you found makes the biggest difference in your household?



  1. All Natural Katie on November 20, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    Your summary made me laugh because I can completely relate! You have found some great ways to save!

    Computers/Router – yes, 3 minutes is eternity! LOL. I know that I can usually find something else to do while waiting for my laptop to turn on.

    Oven – we received a big toaster oven as a wedding present. Most of the time, I reheat and bake in there. I have made a corn souffle in there before.

    Lights – I was just thinking that if I had two kids and the husband, I would have to spend all day walking up and down the stairs checking on lights. This does not seem like effective use of my time.

  2. Mrs Green on November 21, 2011 at 9:54 am

    @All Natural Katie: We’re so time poor eh? Sometimes I feel really bad about that, but it’s just who I am. I yearn for a slower pace of life but it’s a challenge in our 21st century life. Perhaps one day …

  3. nadine sellers on November 21, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    i do enjoy the focus you have brought to this automatic part of daily routine..although i am very conscious of consumption and usage, i can see some changes in my electric habits..

    i bake more–to keep house warm for a long time–to disperse pleasant aroma throughout–to humidify air = all of which raise the comfort level and minimize use of furnace; creating a perfect balance of energy.

    casseroles, baked fruits, rice puddings, baked squash or pumpkin soups, all the feel good dishes which can’t be done in summer–plus i dry mushrooms or other veges or venison jerky in oven as well on low heat..

    now if anyone could help me to convince my husband of the warmth of sweaters? i wear mine or a shawl, multiple layers, he turn up the degrees on the infrared heater..which by the way has saved much expense on the furnace usage so far..

    i leave hot water in bowl or pan till all heat has dissipated humidify + conserve heat–same with tub whenever used. it keeps us safe from respiratory discomfort or colds..

    i found some refractory fire bricks and use them in oven to store and slowly disperse heat( fantastic for bed warming or foot warming; wrap in old towel not to burn anybody..

    signed: fastest flicker finger in the west..well midwest..no light is left turned on..have trained many in the flicking game..and use night-lights which use 5 or 10 watts in bath and hall.

  4. Mrs Green on November 29, 2011 at 9:07 am

    @nadine sellers: Do you find baking also uses less energy than your furnace? Obviously the other benefits are priceless but just wondering on cost – it is more for me to use the oven than keep the fire running!
    Love the fire bricks idea; we have night storage heaters in the UK – have you come across them? They are electric heaters which heat up during the night and are full of bricks. They switch off in the morning and dissipate their heat during the day (well that’s the idea, they are not that efficient but they take advantage of night rates of electrical which is cheaper for some…)