electric challenge?

(58 Posts)
StephenFrySaidSo Mon 09-Sep-13 13:29:39

I've decided to set myself a challenge to get my electric bill down from currently over £15 a week to £10 (less would be great) not a great amount but every little helps and this is more about me changing my habits although the extra £5 will be a help tbh.

currently I am really lax about leaving things switched on when not in use. the tv, modem, playstation and freeview box are all switched on from around 8am til I go to bed anywhere between 11pm and 1am. I can have the radio on in the kitchen and bedroom at the same time if i'm cleaning, putting laundry away etc. I also have a dehumidifier which is on 24/7 even if the clothes are already dry! I leave the washing machine, kettle, laptop and phone charger all switched on at the plug even when not in use. in short- i'm haemorrhaging money through electicity waste.

so I have decided to set myself some rules. there is ds1 (8), ds2 (4) and myself.
1) no electric (apart from fridge) between 9am and 4pm. this will mean all my cleaning and laundry will have to be done before we leave for school in the morning. also, I will boil the kettle at breakfast and fill a flask for my tea during the day and at lunch. dcs are at school until 2pm (from next week- 12 this week for ds2) so it's just me to make lunch for and that can be sandwiches, salads, fruit etc.
2) limiting myself to either being on the laptop OR watching tv- not both at the same time.
3) limiting dcs to 1 hour of tv/playstation time per day
4) setting a timer for charging my phone and heating the water so I only use the electric that I need
5) switching everything off as soon as I finish using it
6) radio only on whilst i'm in the room it's in
7) use the washing line as much as possible when dry and dehumidifier only when raining out. also use the heat from the airing cupboard to 'air' the clothes after the washing line rather than overnight with the dehumid on.
8) keep a daily record of electric used on the calendar.

that's all I can think that I need to do to reduce electric use. feel free to join me with your own challenge or give me any tips you might have although I don't mind if nobody does, i'm really just using this as a record of my challenge to see how i'm doing and keep me on track.

oh i'm going to start tomorrow morning. wish me luck! smile

MrsPnut Mon 09-Sep-13 13:42:05

See if your electricity company will give you an electricity monitor. We got one a few years ago and our consumption went down by almost half because I can see at a glance how much electric is being used.

I make it my mission to get it as low as possible and you can tell which lights are more expensive than others etc.

ontheallotment Mon 09-Sep-13 13:55:29

turning things off that aren't being used (phone chargers etc) will make minimal savings. Setting a timer for heating the water will make a big difference, as will reducing the time the dehumidifier runs. Boiling the kettle when you need hot water (ie at lunch and tea time as well as breakfast) wont cost more as long as you only boil the amount of water you actually need each time, so unless your flask means you use less hot water through the day you won't actually save (unless you currently fill the kettle each time when you reallly only need 1 cup, in which case you can make the saving by just boiling a cups worth each time).

Good luck!

StephenFrySaidSo Mon 09-Sep-13 14:02:07

thanks mrspnut I've just emailed them to ask for one. couldn't see any offers for them on the website.

that's good to know ontheallotment. I do tend to have too much water in the kettle when I boil it, I also am guilty of boiling it and then forgetting ive boiled it for half an hour then coming back and reboiling it, or pouring my tea and forgetting about it while it brews so at least the flask will get rid of that issue.

ontheallotment Mon 09-Sep-13 14:21:46

I forget I've boiled the kettle too now you mention it - perhaps the flask does have some merit...

specialsubject Mon 09-Sep-13 15:01:42

only boil as much water as you need.

turn OFF that dehumidifier, get your washing outside. Washing can dry outside through the year as long as it isn't raining. If it is raining, don't do washing. Cheaper to buy a few more knickers!

be much more careful about your water heating.

those are the big ones. All the rest are good but the above are your major money wasters.

Mum2Fergus Mon 09-Sep-13 16:10:07

I only ever charge phone in car or at work lol switch off cooker and microwave (both have clocks which use power, and constant flashing annoys me lol), no alarm clock use alarm on phone instead. Unplug everything but fridge and Sky box if heading out and at bedtime. Heating on timer but will click it off if not required.

Mum2Fergus Mon 09-Sep-13 16:25:20

Check the thermostat for your water too, in our last house it was left at max by installers, I turned down to half what it was and it was still sufficiently hot for shower.

AllDirections Mon 09-Sep-13 16:36:43

I never turn the tv/modem/freeview box off at the socket unless I'm going away.

Will it make much difference turning them all off overnight?

StephenFrySaidSo Mon 09-Sep-13 16:37:58

good tip about charging phone in car and turning the thermostat for the water down. I work in people's homes so wouldn't charge my phone there.

another thing I've done is to take 4 of the 5 bulbs out of the light in the living room. i don't use the main light in the evening, i use a lamp but sometimes just need a bit of extra light if i'm reading and I've found that one bulb in the ceiling light is plenty bright enough.

StephenFrySaidSo Mon 09-Sep-13 16:40:02

i don't know alldirections, i haven't worked out the cost of running them on standby. i'm hoping it makes a difference anyway.

Thatsinteresting Mon 09-Sep-13 19:37:33

Try your local library for an energy monitor. Ours hire them out for 3 weeks at a time free of charge. It means you can work out what's costing money (heating anything!) and what's not too bad. I worked out that leaving our tv on standby every night costs us around £7 a year so not a huge saving. However, when I finally bought a tumble dryer I was really worried about what it would do to the energy bill, even though it's rated A++. So I made a big effort to boil a flask full of water at a time and use that as it means you don't have to keep heating the actual kettle and when my bill arrived my consumption had gone down by £5 a month so it's worth doing.

StephenFrySaidSo Mon 09-Sep-13 20:30:38

thanks thatsinteresting that is something i didn't know about the library so i wll call in tomorrow and ask if they do it.

confusedofengland Wed 11-Sep-13 15:51:58

Watching this thread with interest, as we have just bought a new house & have been told we have to wait until 22nd October for our meters to be switched from prepayment to standard (even though we are eligible) shock

YoureBeingADick Wed 11-Sep-13 15:59:37

just a wee update. I started yesterday morning but forgot to check the meter to see what the credit was at so I check at lunchtime when I remembered and then today at roughly the same time and it had gone down by £1.51 which is a good drop from over £2 that it usually is- some days it can be £3! however I discovered yesterday morning that I don't actually own a flask! I used to but must have lost it at some stage over the last few years and house moves. so i'm just boiling enough for a cuppa each time. another thing that will have kept the usage low is that because it is raining I didn't do a washload like usual.

I got an email back from electric company saying their monitors are available to purchase so I will wait and see the library have any- i'm not going to buy one.

Mum2Fergus Wed 11-Sep-13 17:23:09

That's a great result OP, well done you!

YoureBeingADick Wed 11-Sep-13 18:29:40

thank you- it will be a good saving if I can maintain more or less that figure per day.

Fluffycloudland77 Wed 11-Sep-13 20:29:09

Asda are good for big flasks.

Well done for getting it down so quickly.

Fluffycloudland77 Wed 11-Sep-13 20:30:25

Asda are good for big flasks.

Well done for getting it down so quickly.

goodasitgets Wed 11-Sep-13 20:32:31

My electric bill is around £15 a month. I'm a little obsessive grin

YoureBeingADick Wed 11-Sep-13 20:34:59

£15 a month!! how? what size of house and how many of you living there?

and please share your tips! grin

goodasitgets Wed 11-Sep-13 20:38:56

Oops just noticed - I am billed not metered
2 bed, 2 bath apartment, open plan living room kitchen. Heating is gas and hob but cooker electric
Energy saving light bulbs everywhere. Everything except fridge and freeview switched off when I'm not in. Never leave lights on

goodasitgets Wed 11-Sep-13 20:39:38

Oh and I don't have a tumble dryer

YoureBeingADick Wed 11-Sep-13 20:43:42

right you have made me even more determined to get this right down! don't think I could get it to £15 per month though that's 50p a day!

are you out of the house all day?

YoureBeingADick Wed 11-Sep-13 20:44:10

do you have dcs?

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