TGKWC – Heating ,Cooling and Water Heating.


It was nice to see a few people sharing their progress so far during the challenge.  I am certainly no saint when it comes to using electricity, however it is due to a few circumstances beyond my control.Today I discovered that my solar hot water system is broken.  Well the little pump that circulates the water up to the flat panel collector is anyway.  It was 34 C today, and I   [Continue Reading …]

TGKWC – Weekly Confession


Confession time everyone!The Challenge is now at the one week mark.  Everyone should have been taking daily readings, and recording them either manually or in the spreadsheet.So now is the time to share your initial baseline and weekly average with everyone via a comment.What I would like everyone to do is add up each figure in the "Total kWh used in home" column, and then divide the sum by   [Continue Reading …]

Diploma of Carbon Management


Just a quick break from The Great Kilowatt Challenge to let you all know that I have finally finished and passed my Diploma of Carbon Management!  I am over the moon, and it was challenging and enjoyable.The course had the following units of study:Apply principles of energy and resource efficiency to greenhouse gas ManagementParticipants learn to apply the principles of energy and resource   [Continue Reading …]

TGKWC – Energy Efficiency – Cooking


So on with the show.  Most will have about 3 days worth of readings now.  Here is how my calc table looks (click to enlarge)I have been at work the last two days, and in my absence and to my surprise our total kWh per day has gone up, not down like I expected!  WTF?  20.7 kWh in the last 24 hours!  I have been unable to figure it out for two whole days, and thought someone   [Continue Reading …]

TGKWC – First Steps


A big thanks to Farmer_Liz and Kane for pointing me in the right direction regarding the not-so-pretty spreadsheet. I have fixed all of the issues, and the calc sheet now works very cleanly. Nothing like a good IF statement to fix ones messiness. You can download the new spreadsheet from the original link if you would like to use a cleaner version.Now that we have our baseline couple of   [Continue Reading …]

The Great Kilowatt Challenge – Baseline


Thanks for all the emails and comments so far during the challenge.  I believe that we have between 25-30 people on the challenge so far and the numbers are growing.With your second reading some time today, you would have been able to calculate your baseline.  The baseline is the figure that we are going to attempt to beat every single day.  When I started reading my meter many   [Continue Reading …]

The Great Kilowatt Challenge – Recording Data


How are we going so far? By now you should be able to read your meter, or at least the numbers that display, so now we are going to learn how to record and calculate our daily usage in kilowatt hours or kWh.I suggest that you find a time of the day where you can consistently record the data.  I have chosen 7.00 pm, which is about an hour after I get home from work each day.   You will   [Continue Reading …]

The Great Kilowatt Challenge – Meter Reading


I am so glad that so many people are going to join in on the energy challenge.  As my pal Michael in Canberra mentioned today, Lord Kelvin said it the best with "If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it”.  Well said that man.  So lets start feeling empowered and taking back control of our electricity usage!Lesson One - Electricity BasicsJust a simple lesson on   [Continue Reading …]

The Great Kilowatt Challenge


Most of my readers will know that the initial motivation to change my lifestyle was because of my awakening regarding climate change and the fear of the impacts that it will have on my children and unborn grandchildren.  I wanted to (and still do) make a difference and this blog is a testament to my behavioural change and subsequent journey towards a more sustainable   [Continue Reading …]

Whey Ricotta Video Tutorial

Cross post from Little Green Cheese.I was busily making Romano on Friday night with the milk that Kate sold me, and was left with this wonderful creamy whey.  Now, I didn't want it to go to waste, so I looked up the recipe for Whey Ricotta, as I knew that it would go down a treat in Sunday nights Lasagne!Anyway, the process for this cheese is very simple, and I caught it all on video for all   [Continue Reading …]

Chicken Nipple Installation


A while ago now, I purchased some chicken nipples.  No really, there is such a thing!Yes, these little nipples clamp onto a piece of 25mm OD (outer diameter) Grey electrical conduit with a 9mm hole.  Here is how we did it.The nipples should be placed so they hang straight down from the pipe, approximately 300mm (1 foot) apart from each other.  Using a pencil, mark a straight line on   [Continue Reading …]

Al Said….

"This is a historic moment. Australia's Parliament has put the nation's first carbon price into law. With this vote, the world has turned a pivotal corner in the collective effort to solve the climate crisis. This success is the result of the tireless work of an unprecedented coalition that came together to support the legislation, the leadership of Prime Minister Gillard, and the courage of   [Continue Reading …]



As mentioned previously, Ben and I have taken up Archery/Bowhunting as our Father/Son sport.  We have found that Ben is not your normal sporty type, and we don't particularly encourage football any other sport for that matter.  However, being the practical guy I am, I thought that this sport would be a good skill to learn as well as spending some man time with my son.  Ben jumped at   [Continue Reading …]

Mind In The Gutter


I have been on a weeks worth of annual leave since last Tuesday as my Dad, his partner Norma, and Kim's mum Pam are visiting.  A full house one would say.As on previous visits, Dad and I always have a project to keep us busy around the suburban farm, and this visit is no exception.  Today we started two guttering projects, that I have been chaffing at the bit to get moving on as I had a   [Continue Reading …]

Learning To Cook In The Cob Oven


Since that first cooking attempt documented in "The First Pizza", we have added a layer of render to the oven, and the mosaics as you have seen in this post titled "Clay Cob Oven Mosaics Complete".After that final layer dried solid I tried to cook in it again.  I started the fire small, and built it up and kept the burn going for 3 hours which was twice as long as the first attempt.  I   [Continue Reading …]

Tribute to Jonesy

I interviewed a knowledgeable guy called Doug Jones for my podcast back in April this year.  He blogged over at Wind-blown, dust and dirt. Here is the link to podcast 16 where we talked about his community, his passive solar house, and his veggie patch, as well as his illness.Today, I received this from his daughter Michelle today via his blog."For those of you who have enjoyed my Dad's blog,   [Continue Reading …]

Broad Bean Harvest


This is the 5th year that I have grown Broad Beans (Fava), and I have reaped a bumper harvest for very little effort. This year I sowed about 2/3rds of a 2.4 x 1.2 mtr garden bed, but planted them a lot closer together being about 10 cm apart.  The seeds were saved from the previous year, and are the Aquadulce cultivar which are an heirloom variety.  To save the seeds, I hang four stalks   [Continue Reading …]