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 7. This will give you a daily average over the week. Hopefully if all is going well then it should be lower than the baseline reading you had on day 1.
If it is not, then don’t worry too much. We still have 3 more weeks of the challenge to go, and can work on other ways to reduce our electricity consumption as we go along.
Here is my daily average for the week. It was 15.9 kWh with a starting baseline of 16.6 kWh. That is a 5.4% reduction in consumption! Click to enlarge any image.
Even though we have been working hard at watching our consumption, we didn’t realise how much electricity that our oven used. We do now, and are only going to use it for special baking days when the sun is shining to minimise grid consumption, and bake multiple things or use the natural gas or the outdoor cob oven. I am also investigating Solar Ovens, so if anyone knows of a good one, or has instructions on how to build one, please share via a comment.
I will be a little more diligent with tips this week, and I appologise for last week, however I was snowed under getting my Diploma completed. In fact, I used some of the information that I had written in this challenge as part of my behavioural change submission, which helped me pass!
Until next post, keep on saving and looking for opportunities to reduce your kilowatt hours!
Our baseline was 8kWh, and our average for the week is 6.9kWh. We had dinner out on Friday and only used 4kWh that day! The stove/oven certainly is power hungry. I’ve been thinking about solar ovens ever since I first heard of them on Little Eco Footprints, but now I might start thinking more seriously!
Gavin I’m keen on solar ovens and have been looking into them. The thing that I am setting as my minimum is the max temp of the oven. I am looking for at least 180 degrees.
So far have looked at
Sun Cook oven http://www.suncooking.com.au/index.php?p=1_8 they have a few but I was looking at the top of the range one, max heat, max capacity.
The other one I looked at they didn’t specify capacity or max temp.
I have also looked at a few DIY ones and am not sure I have the patience for the fiddling to get top results. I’d like to, but just want something I can cook in this summer, save power, and take camping (fresh bread after a week out bush would be lovely!).
So am keen to know how you go re solar ovens.
Michael from Canberra says
Our daily average was 3.6kWh for the week, with a starting baseline of 3.8kWh. We’re already lean from the start so there’s not a lot of fat to trim, but a reduction (of 5.26%) is a reduction!
(2 adults, no kids, gas cooking but a wife who runs a full time business from home).
Michael from Canberra says
Also, I too have been interested in getting a solar oven and this page is a wonderful resource in determining the pros and cons of each commonly available model.
I just bought a solar kettle and a solar oven (the top of the range one) from http://suncook.com.au
Due to torrential rain and then work, all I’ve managed to do as yet is boil water. (But that coffee tasted like Freedom!)
I chose the oven becausae it can cook just about everything I’d cook in my normal oven (bar frying things) and it can also dehydrate. I have an electric dehydrater but in summer it annoys me to have to turn it on.
Popping back to add that I just showed the brochure an the cookery book to a friend at work and she’s jumped omto the site and ordered one. It’s all happening here!!!
8.1 kWh from a baseline of 8 kWh. I can cope with that, two adults and three kids (two home during the day). We going to target outdoor stuff next. We’re trying to set up some gravity feeding for watering the garden. Hopefully that will make a good difference.
Thanks again. I’m really enjoying being able to track our usage!
baseline: 34.0 kWh
average for week 1: 29.8
This indicates a downward trend, but we did in fact go up to 36.7 mid-week, and we do seem to yo-yo quite a bit. I think it might relate to hot water use(showers and dishwasher). The best thing this week has been that the teens have consistently managed to turn their computer off each night, which is great. The worst thing has been how grinch-like I’ve felt going around turning off the trail of lights left on as people move about the house – though one person sent me a definite message by ostentatiously reading their book with a flashlight in an otherwise pitch dark room!
Next week’s goals: get everyone else to turn off the lights themselves, and see if we can reduce shower times – I’m already less than 5 minutes (I’ve been at 5 mn for abotu 2 years, but reduced to 4 min this week), but the rest are going to set their own time goals and we’ll see how that goes.
And all this talk of solar cooking – won’t be happening up here – for the next three months, our days will be cold, wet or snowy, the skies will be grey or cloudy. Now woodstoves (we don’t have one, but we talk about it) is a conversation I could enjoy!
Hi Gavin & Guys.
Our base line is 8kwh. On average our usage was 8.8kwh. I blame this largely on me caving and using the dryer after five days of rain and the weekend when we are all home it spikes. On the plus side we did have one day at 7kWh which is great!
My baseline was 5.3kWh and the average is 6.7kWh. Definitely spiked on the weekend (9.5kWh on Saturday)due to constant stereo and computer usage plus running the washing machine (about 5 loads). Only 2 adults in the house and we did have 4 out of the 7 days with rain, so not much chance for the solar panels to generate power. With long summer evenings ahead of us, I’m hoping to spend more time outside of a night with some candles and mozzie repellant!
Really appreciate the spreadsheet and encouragement. Cheers
Great work everyone. Keep on recording your consumption, and try out my heating, cooling and hot water tips in todays post.
Steph Cox says
We started at 11kWh, and our average was 10.7… I don’t think that’s a meaningful reduction, however, as each day varies depending on (I think) oven and washing machine use. I’m really surprised at how low some peoples figures are, and thought we’d be lower, given that we have not been using any heating/cooling at all, and have a solar hot water system.
This weeks goals are to turn tvs off standby and se if that makes a difference.
WOW, this is interesting. I only keep track of my KWH monthly and consider myself pretty careful. But my best recent month (Sept.) was 380 divided by 32 days = 11.875KWH. In the summer I keep the a/c (a must in Arkansas) up around 80 degrees, and even so, I’m too embarrassed to share that KWH.
Still, it’s quite an improvement over past years and a huge improvement compared to the two years my sister and neice lived with me.
It’s good for me to see how low folks can go, and it will be good to see what steps taken make the most difference. Thanks.
brenda from arkansas
Its good to see what everyone else is measuring. I only measured one day a while ago to work out if we should get solar panels, and ours was 16kWh, which is awfully high now compared to everyone else (feeling guilty). We do have a ridiculous number of fridges and freezers running what with home killing beef, the beer fridge and the cheese fridge and the dog bone fridge, think its time to consolidate! Thanks for running this challenge Gavin!