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 lifestyle.
Lately, I have had many personal conversations regarding energy efficiency and energy auditing due to the legislation of the “Clean Energy Future Act 2011”. People want to understand the impact and how they can reduce their electricity bills. It is about this time during the conversation that I usually ask them if they have monitored the outcomes of any of their energy efficiency actions to date.
Most look at me weird? I repeat the question in a different way, and say “Do you read your electricity meter?”. The reply, more often than not is no, and they state that it is read for them by the power company.
Usually the conversation turns to me explaining how and why this is a good thing to do, even on a weekly basis. I believe strongly that one cannot manage an action if you cannot monitor and evaluate the outcome of that action. You may think you are making a difference, but how do you really know that you are. Facts are our friends, and cold hard data are worth their weight in gold when it comes to implementing an energy efficiency programme.
When I first started had my green epiphany, I took weekly meter readings for three years running from 2007 to 2009 and still have the data I collected and all fully trended. However, even I have let this behaviour slip and have not read my meters for a while. So I want to get back into it again, so that I can see if anything has changed and to calculate my current carbon emissions and expenditure on electricity, natural gas and water usage.
So I put this proposal to you all. Who would like to join me in an energy challenge? We will only begin with grid Electricity as most folks have it connected. Subsequent posts will be about the following;
how to read your meter, the quick basics about electricity terminology, how to manage the data you are collecting, documenting your energy baseline for the first week, and then launch into an energy efficiency programme. I have an MS Excel spreadsheet that I designed that will help out. For those who don’t have Excel, Open Office or Google docs will suffice. I will guide you all the same.
The posts for the challenge will be over four weeks and at the end of each of the four weeks we will post the total percentage of electricity reduction we each have made. It should be good fun, and I hope that we can all achieve a big reduction in our consumption.
I also have another request. In an attempt to spread the word about this challenge, please post about this on your own blogs (if you have one) and get as many people as you can to join us – every person who joins will add to a greater reduction. Re post the button above with a link back to this post (it is just a gif picture) wherever you can, to highlight the fact that we all giving this our best shot.
Please let me know if you’re joining in via a comment below. I will be here to help you out along the way. After all, I haven’t nearly completed a Diploma of Carbon Management this year for no reason at all. I will be putting my learning to good use in this challenge.
Remember that not only are we doing this for the kids, but for our own hip pocket as well. You can shout yourself a nice lunch with the savings!