The Electricity Eating Culprit

Right, so we all know electricity has become rather expensive as of late. True, as a prepaid customer we’re in a better position than the post-paid guys, mainly because we are more aware of our usage because we’re forced to watch the meter the whole time just to make sure we don’t come home to a dark house and no kettle for coffee.

For some or other reason our electricity usage recently spiked, and unaware as to what the culprit might be, Chantelle and I embarked on a week long investigation and science experiment, whereby we tinkered with various items in terms of periods on and off, recorded meter readings during the day and in general just became very stingy towards our overall electricity usage.

As it turns out, there isn’t very much we can do to save electricity, as what we expected was pretty ratified during this process.

Washing machine, stove, tumble dryer, those all eat a lot of power and in winter, you tend to use those items even more than normal (well, the tumble dryer in any case). I’ve implemented scheduled tasks to automatically shut down all my PCs overnight, and in general the standby mode of the television and blu-ray players doesn’t utilize much at all. Heck, even the little photo frame now gets unplugged at night.

And funnily enough, our lights don’t actually chow all that much.

Also, the geyser isn’t as big a culprit as one might think, and the savings to be had by turning it off and on when needed is pretty negligible when you’re dealing with as small a household as ours.

As for our energy consuming problem child, yup you guessed it, Jessica’s newly installed panel heater was to blame. Even though it is touted as one of the more cost effective heating solutions, cost effective doesn’t mean cheap and it chows through quite a lot of units overnight, meaning we have now had to rethink our strategy and will only use if for those winter nights when the mercury is dipping particularly low. (In other words, thank goodness for living in the mild Cape as opposed to those horrible inland places!)

All in all, it has been a good exercise as we’ve both become more energy aware in the process, and have also learned that those silly energy efficient lightbulbs really aren’t that much more efficient after all! :P

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About Craig Lotter

South African software development manager and senior application developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.

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