Thursday, 30 July 2015

Smart meter review

I have written previously about the electricity company giving us this Smart meter. My husband is a constantly checking our bills so got annoyed when he could not get the "period" readings on the Smart meter to match up to the "paperless" bill on our account. After some head scratching and theories about double book keeping accounting techniques, we worked out what it all meant and yes we did owe that much (ouch). It is not easy to understand out suppliers bills and he wanted to change to a bill at the end of every month that showed the same amount as the Smart meter display!

We worked out that we were averaging £24 a month. But really we would like to average £20. So where could the savings be made this time (having done a lot previously)? It so happened there was an article in the weekend newspaper on the subject so I had a go at some of the suggestions.
1. Turn off your BT hub. Unless you are constantly on the web what is the point at it is really sucking the juice. We worked out at this time of year with being out gardening etc we only went on line over a 2 - 4 hour period each day. So that is 20 hours plus of electricity being used keeping it on.
2. Think about standby again. I have previously unplugged  radios and CD players that are only used a few times a week and I turn off the small kitchen TV at the plug. The newspaper suggested more major appliances. I have started to turn off the cooker - most cooking at present is between 1 pm and 6 pm, So it is just displaying the time for 19 hours in a room with 4 other clocks !
3, Think about TV time. Sometimes we are just channel surfing, or both of us are reading and not really watching. Our big TV and sky box use a lot of power. We estimate one hour less per day would save £2 a month!
4. Don't forget those re-chargers - husband left a power tool battery on for hours the other day and as I was going to bed just asked why was the unit doing 330 watts? Lucky catch otherwise it could have been another 24 hours before he went back to that shed!
We have observed in the last couple of days that when the house is "at rest" and nothing much is happening (when not even the fridge is running) we are using a steady 20 watts now. I would like to kill a few more standbys but the husband hates resetting the times on some things.
Things like don't wash unless there is a full load, use all the space in the over, only boil water needed, etc are all everyday actions to us thrifty living people. As I actually hate vacuuming I did consider one further electricity use saving today -in  my early married life we had a carpet sweeper you pushed round by hand.
 Do you remember those?
Could it be a good idea now, especially as I only have one room with carpet? (rest is tiles and laminate which I sweep or mop mostly).


  1. I wish we could acheive that level of electric usage but we are a big family , and it runs at £30 a week in the summer and £50 plus in the winter . The washing machine does an average of four loads a day everyday . Meal times are staggered because theyre adults and work different hours , though i do plate stuff and nuke , it infuriates me that rather than cook they will head for a takeaway miles away

    1. Been there, done the big family thing, just look forward to them leaving - its heaven!!

  2. We had a Ewbank carpet sweeper. One day I got it out to sweep up some crumbs and as I pushed it forward a mouse shot out. It had built a nice little nest with fluff and food in the dust compartment.

    1. I am mouse phobic - that would have been the end of me ever cleaning again!

  3. Brilliant post, we have wooden floors so I use vac only once a week, and dust the rest of the time. On our TV and computers we have at the socket an extra socket, we plug every thing into it and then use a remote to turn it all off when we have finished, so nothing is left on stand by, it works well for us, and is easy to use. I only turn the microwave on when we want to use it, but we do leave the cooker on. Great tip with the hub. My mum always turned everything off at night and I am the same.

    1. I was seeing the £20 as a possibility and then my husband received his annual statement from EoN saying we were running at £35 per month. He pointed out the standing charge and VAT was the other £15!!. I like the idea of one point of turn off. The computer turn off at present involves laying on the floor to reach the plug - so we must do something!



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