Saving Energy

For some time I’ve been taking monthly meter readings of my gas and electricity bill – I started a little over a year ago when we moved into our new house. The new house is quite a lot bigger than our old flat, so I was concerned that the bills would be a lot more… Also, I’m keen on doing my bit to become more efficient.

This graph shows 4-weekly gas & electricity readings, divided by the number of days between readings, to give an average daily reading. The most striking is our gas usage. Obviously usage declined as the weather got better, but we had a condensing combination boiler installed to replace a 20 year old conventional one at the end of May.

Following the boiler install, our gas usage dropped to basically zero – helped in part by three weeks in the summer when we had our new kitchen installed, so the only use was hot water. Since the weather’s got colder again and we’ve had the heating on, you can still see a significant difference to our gas usage.

For electricity, we’re obviously using less than we were last year. We’ve been consciously trying to be more efficient – I’ve been gradually replacing light bulbs with CFLs, and trying to turn things off when not in use. I’m hoping that getting a Current Cost meter (or hopefully an Onzo) will trigger some further change in behaviour.

I also sold my car in the summer, and instead rely on Streetcar. This is saving me a lot of money, but also is an environmental benefit to a degree. There’s the debatable benefit of reselling my car theoretically avoiding someone else buying a new one, but also the fact that it’s encouraged me to think twice before driving.

What’s next? I’ve noticed our loft insulation isn’t up to much, and there’s a big hole where our cold water tank used to be, so I’m thinking of installing some Thermafleece.

I’d really like to double glaze all our windows, but large double-glazed sash windows don’t come cheap, so I think the best I’ll manage is to install draught strips around the doors and windows.

Any additional suggestions welcome!