Mrs Green’s electricity usage challenge.

turnofflightAs well as trying a vegan diet for a day, we’re taking part in a month-long challenge over at Reduce Footprints.

It’s all about reducing our carbon footprint in a tangible way; by reducing our electricity usage.

The idea is to take a meter reading then have a ‘normal’ week – go ahead and use all your appliances as normal.

Take a reading a week later, make a note of it, then for the next three weeks see if you can reduce your electricity usage by around 10%.

This is something I’ve done before and I’m continually amazed that there is always room for improvement.

I must admit, electricity consumption is where I can be pretty lazy. We leave lights on, the router on overnight, the printer on all day…

On the upside we only ever use the washing machine when full (it’s just it seems to become full pretty often!), we limit the number of baths we take and we’ve installed a tankless water heater in the kitchen so we no longer need to use the immersion for washing up.

One thing that will distort my reading slightly is that I’m using my dehydrator daily. Our apples trees are groaning under the weight of a magnificent crop this year and I’m determined not to waste any of our bounty. However, for the second week I will continue to use it, so any decrease in usage will be the usual day-to-day running of our home here at Chez Green.

Ok then – on Thursday morning (3rd Nov) our electricity meter reading was 6364. I’ll record it again this Thursday morning, report back and see what I can do over the next three weeks to lower our consumption.

What about you – would you join in the great electricity consumption reduction challenge? It could add up to great saving for you AND the environment.


  1. All Natural Katie on November 7, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    I just started the electricity reduction challenge today. I love that you point out some of the items that will always be on and some items that you can turn off sometimes. I hope to making small reductions each week.

    BTW, I am your newest email subscriber (kmogilevski at hotmail) 🙂

  2. Small Footprints on November 7, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    I’ve noticed that, for some reason, I tend to backslide on things … so having a challenge, occasionally, to tighten the belt (so to speak) is a good thing. 🙂 Inevitably, I’ll learn something new from all the people participating … so I’m looking forward to that! Thank you for suggesting this challenge!

    Mmm … dried apples. Just lovely!

  3. nadine sellers on November 7, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    electricity is one important part of our collective energy equation which really needs attention–i welcome this challenge with great curiosity–everywhere i have lived, i have had bills much lower than the average consumer.

    some of my lifelong practices are so simple, i wonder why people resist improving their environment with daily living gestures..

    teach children to flick that switch…
    use low wattage lighting where possible–good direct light focused on specifics, like reading, sewing, minute chores etc..
    hang clothes on line or indoor folding rack.
    wash rugs or blankets on rinse only with a spoon of baking soda..on a sunny day to hang outside.
    set furnace thermostat to 60F and maintain humidity level at 25-30%with a kettle placed by the vents.. use a small room heater if necessary–we have an infrared mobile heater for cool areas when we are stationary (at the computer) bake plenty, roast meat and veges to, a bread recipe can warm more than the kitchen! mrs green can tell you..

    so many sweaters are sold every winter yet i find people do not wear those at home or in their cars, they turn the heat to full blast..and then wonder why my elec. bills are so low and my health so fine??

    out to read meter now, mon. 1:30 PM. that will sharpen the wits at home…see you next it!

  4. Mrs Green on November 8, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    @All Natural Katie: Lovely to see you Katie; I love your blog and was intrigued with your vegan eating plan – it’s great to learn from others 🙂

    @Small Footprints: there are more apples being dried as I type and boy do they use a fair bit of electricity! Yep, I’m really pleased to be taking this challenge, especially now as I’ve been using the electric heater this week – eek!

    @nadine sellers: Thanks for all your great tips, Nadine; I’m so looking forward to seeing how you get on. I know my usage is going to be high this week on my ‘normal’ week, which just shows how many bad habits I’ve allowed back in …