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British Gas smart meter reviewer feedback thread - Month 2. Non testers: Share your pet peeves on wasting energy in your household for a chance to win £100 JL voucher. NOW CLOSED

(106 Posts)
KatieBMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 25-Oct-13 11:23:55

This thread is for the 3 Mumsnetters and 2 Mumsnet Bloggers who are testing the British Gas smart meters in their home.

Non testers: What annoying energy wasting habits does your family have that really wind you up? Maybe the children leave their games consoles running all night? Or perhaps your partner always takes never ending hot showers? Whatever your pet peeves around energy waste in your household are we'd like to hear from you.

Everyone who adds a comment to this thread by 22nd November will be in with a chance of winning £100 worth of John Lewis vouchers.

Testers
Month 2: Day and Night

This month we're focusing on the energy you use at certain times of day. As you've had smart meters for a couple of months now you should be able to see the history of your consumption over this time using one of two ways:

1 If you’ve received a Smart Energy Report this will show your pattern of consumption.
2 By looking at your historical use data on the smart energy monitor.

Below are a few questions for you to answer but please also add any other comments you may have to the thread.

• When do you and your family consume the most energy?
• Challenge each family member to change the time they use at least one appliance (gas or electricity) - please tell us which family member chose what, and how they’re going to change the times at which this is used
• How did you and your family find making these changes? Was it easy to adapt to or not?
• Do you use your smart energy monitor more now than when you first had smart meters installed, or less?

Thanks and good luck,

MNHQ

PS You can see how the testers got on with the first challenge here.

ShatnersEmptyCatacomb Sun 27-Oct-13 14:02:11

My pet peeve is DH wasting energy at every opportunity. In winter he goes out to the bin and leaves the front door open every time, he leaves lights and televisions on in empty rooms, he showers for far too long, he forgets to turn the oven off, he heats the whole house when he's working at home alone. It's willfully wasteful and annoys the hell out of me.

Tianc Sun 27-Oct-13 14:39:41

OddSockMonster, BG's "challenge" really is Please change the time of day you use your appliances.

This is one of the key ultimate goals of Smart Meters.

The utility companies are planning to introduce Time Of Use pricing, where they charge more at peak times, such as evening when everyone's cooking or morning when we're showering.

They need Smart Meters to record how much electricity we use in each specific half hour (or shorter interval), so that they can do this.

Eventually, their aim is that smart sockets or smart appliances talking to the smart meter will actually switch themselves off during peak periods. So your washing machine or tumble drier or fridge will switch off mid-cycle until the utility company decides the peak is over.

This is because it's inconvenient for them to produce more electricity to meet peaks in demand, so they'd rather tell us to stop demanding.

Sadly, I'm not a green-crayon-scribbling conspiracy theorist; the Dept of Energy & Climate Change has had this in train for years. For more info, and lots of DECC documents, check out my thread: Anyone having a gas/leccy meter replaced with a Smart Meter? Something you need to know

dahville Sun 27-Oct-13 16:21:58

Non-tester here - my pet peeves are long showers and opening the window for fresh air when the heat is on!

OddSockMonster Sun 27-Oct-13 19:45:16

Thank you Tianc, that's very interesting! Some bedtime reading there I think.

Still don't know how we're going to do the challenge - routine's been a saviour with our two excitable children, and I'm really not willing to give up my morning shower, tea & toast, even though there's definitely a morning electricity peak. Will have to think about that.

Steffanoid Sun 27-Oct-13 21:31:47

my biggest pet peeve which I am slightly guilty of doing myself is that the tv and sky box get left on when we go upstairs, oh and we have a laptop running all night because I can't sleep in the quiet blush

magentastardust Sun 27-Oct-13 21:48:41

Non tester-I have turned into my dad. Things that he used to do and I used to roll my eyes about at him I now do.

Follow everyone around switching light switches off behind them and turning the heating down!

Appliances often get left on or left plugged in , I try not to use the tumble dryer much but as the winter weather comes in it is more difficult.

CheeryCherry Sun 27-Oct-13 22:02:25

Non tester... I get irritated by lights being left on, TV not being watched, the TV can only be left on standby as its so hard to access the socket, things being left forever on charge, the shower switch being left on....grrrr....lots of things really!

3bunnies Mon 28-Oct-13 07:08:05

non-tester - I get annoyed by lights being left on, taps running when brushing teeth, chargers left plugged in charging the air, doors left open for ages to load the car, kettles being boiled tgen forgotten about and reboiled to make tea. Although I am guilty of rewashing clothes as I think that the rain will stop soon and I can put it on line but then rain doesn't stop and I forget so have to rewash and then still put tumble dryer on.

MoogDroog Mon 28-Oct-13 07:08:46

Non tester here.

My DH loves to heat the house to the max (because if you can't wear just a t shirt and jeans, it's too cold). Once the house has reached the same temp as say, the Sinai desert, he then throws open all the windows and doors as he is too hot. hmm shock confused angry

pussinwellyboots Mon 28-Oct-13 08:01:44

Non testers: What annoying energy wasting habits does your family have that really wind you up? Maybe the children leave their games consoles running all night? Or perhaps your partner always takes never ending hot showers? Whatever your pet peeves around energy waste in your household are we'd like to hear from you.

Opening the fridge door and standing looking at the contents for hours - so they can ask for treats that I will say no to! Leaving phone chargers on in sockets. But if anything DH is a bit too keen at switching all the lights off so walks into things!

Willemdefoeismine Mon 28-Oct-13 08:33:44

Non-Tester - children putting lights on in day-light - why? And DS leaving for school in the morning often leaving his light on and the computer on (not even in sleep mode!) - aaargh....And the TV being left on when no-one is watching it!

GRRRRR

poopoopoo Mon 28-Oct-13 16:40:52

Tester- Challenge 2
•When do you and your family consume the most energy?
We consume the most energy on weekday evenings around 5pm and on Saturdays at around 12:00 and 18:00. This is because of cooking and heating water for baths.
•Challenge each family member to change the time they use at least one appliance (gas or electricity) - please tell us which family member chose what, and how they’re going to change the times at which this is used.
This is a bit tricky because the only thing the kids use is the TV, and me and my husband use the PC. The kids have agreed to not turn the telly on as soon as they get home, this means homework can be done first. I have decided to do the washing overnight, so put it in the machine last thing before going to bed. My husband finds this challenge the hardest; we have challenged him not to use the computer as soon as he gets back from work.
•How did you and your family find making these changes? Was it easy to adapt to or not?
It was quite easy, we are getting on ok with it, the kids are happy as long as they have my attention and help with the homework; otherwise they tend to switch on the TV! I have to remember to get the washing out and hang it first thing in the morning and avoid the using the tumble dryer as much as possible.
•Do you use your smart energy monitor more than when you first had smart meters installed or less?
We are using it about the same, checking every now and then to see what is going on. I am more concerned now prices have risen and try to turn off lights and cut down energy use where possible. I just make it part of everyday life to try and be responsible (we can't afford not to be careful- for the planet and for our bank balance!).

10thingsihateaboutpoo Tue 29-Oct-13 12:48:12

We're pretty energy conscious, but DH would be happier with the heating ten a couple of degrees hotter :-)

Fillybuster Wed 30-Oct-13 12:35:56

Pet peeve (I know it isn't very original, but it does wind me up....) : the children seem incapable of turning lights off when they leave a room. Any room. At any time.

Every morning they leave for school and almost every single light is on in any room of the house which they have entered, even for a second.

Drive me mad...

<Thank you for letting me get that off my chest!>

spicers1976 Wed 30-Oct-13 15:09:21

Tester:

When do you and your family consume the most energy?

We definitely use the most energy between 5-9pm. It seems to be the time most of us are at home at the same time, dinner is cooked, the TV / laptops are on, showers and baths are being taken, and the lights are on in the rooms we are using.

•Challenge each family member to change the time they use at least one appliance (gas or electricity) - please tell us which family member chose what, and how they’re going to change the times at which this is used

I asked hubby to take his shower later at night to see if it changed any consumption in electricity. There is usually plenty of hot water left in the tank from the heating being on for a burst in the evening.
I asked the teen dd to take shorter showers as she seems to be able to spend ages in the shower, to the point where I want to knock on the door and ask if she is OK in there sometimes.

I think the teen dd is finding it the most difficult to change her routines to suit us. She is trying, and it's a little easier to teach 6yo to turn lights off when she leaves her room for example.

I am learning to make maximum use of the oven if it's on for dinner, then I'll do the baking from a hot oven rather than wait an hour until it's cold and turn the oven on again.

•Do you use your smart energy monitor more than when you first had smart meters installed or less?

I am the one in the house who looks at the smart meter. I think the rest of the family have forgotten about it, or are oblivious to it now. I do like to check back on weekly useage to see if we're managing to do better than the previous week.
The tarif on my meter took ages to update with monetary figures, but it seems to be working properly now which is good.

tinypumpkin Wed 30-Oct-13 20:30:15

Leaving lights on, it drives me batty!

SaltySeaBird Thu 31-Oct-13 08:36:50

Non testers: What annoying energy wasting habits does your family have that really wind you up? Maybe the children leave their games consoles running all night? Or perhaps your partner always takes never ending hot showers? Whatever your pet peeves around energy waste in your household are we'd like to hear from you.

On the whole my family are really good about not wasting energy. In fact I'm the worst offender (I leave lights on which is my DH's pet peeve). We do try to not leave things on and are concious to do things like only fill the kettle with what we need. I do find it annoying when DH pops outside when it is freezing cold to put rubbish out and leaves the door wide open though. It's only for a few minutes but you always feel that cold blast of air!

Ramblings Thu 31-Oct-13 10:08:21

Non tester - leaving lights on is the main culprit in our house that's for sure. The kids and hubby go round switching them on and I follow them switching them off!

lorka Thu 31-Oct-13 11:31:02

Non - tester - it has got to be leaving lights on - sometimes just about every light in the house is left on and I go around switching them all off again. The other things that are my pet peeves are leaving doors open when the house is nice and cosy or leaving TV on and not watching it anymore!

DifferentNow Thu 31-Oct-13 16:03:49

DH switches on the kettle every time he walks into the kitchen, whether he is ready to, or has any intention of making a cup of tea. This means that for every cup of tea he makes, the kettle has boiled about 3 times. Gives me the rage. Also, the DDs leaving their Kindles charging constantly.

Where do is start - DH often leaves applicanes switched on or on standby. He also leaves chargers plugged in but not actually charging anything. My MIL always boils a full kettle when making a single cup of tea and won't hear otherwise. The kids will have the TV on but not actually watch it. And I'm fond of turning lots of lights on!

yUMMYmUMMYb Thu 31-Oct-13 22:23:01

Non-tester: having to re-wash clothes... out on the line but it rained: tissues in the pocket; toddler switching off mid-way through cycle.
Outside light left on all day "so that it's on when we come home"
The absolute worst is cooking ONE (yes one!)baked potato in the oven for 2 hours!!

Hopezibah Thu 31-Oct-13 22:45:39

non-tester: Pet peeve: My son getting up to go to the loo in the night (which is good he remembers to get up and go to the loo rather than wet the bed) BUT ALWAYS LEAVES THE LIGHT ON!!!!

Non testers: What annoying energy wasting habits does your family have that really wind you up? Maybe the children leave their games consoles running all night? Or perhaps your partner always takes never ending hot showers? Whatever your pet peeves around energy waste in your household are we'd like to hear from you.

We're pretty good now - we've had a smart meter for about a year, and have trained the kids to check its traffic lights - DS1 shouts to tell me whether it's green or not on a regular basis grin

Having said that, they are hopeless at turning lights out when they leave rooms, and as PPs have said, leaving lights on if they get up for a wee in the night.

We use most energy when the heating is on and when our water is heated. DH went through a phase of testing everything, and seeing what stuff was least efficient. We replaced all our lightbulbs for low energy ones, and he's worked out when they will have paid for themselves already, though I can't remember when it is (I think I stopped listening tbh blush) and he's just put our boiling water tap onto a timer, so it turns itself off overnight. Every little helps, as a certain supermarket says...

kateandme Fri 01-Nov-13 02:31:21

the teenager turns on the shower then sits on the loo!!
when he goes upstairs he turns on all the lights.
leaving the tv on whilst going to get lunch then sits in the other room!!

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