Energy Club helps you do your bit for the environment.
With growing attention on climate change, you may be asking ‘What can I do to make a difference?’
Getting to grips with your household energy usage could be a good place to start and it could also benefit your pocket.
Energy Club is a fun way of tracking and trying to reduce the amount of energy you use in and around the home.
You can do this on your own as an individual household, or join up and compare your usage and savings with others.
Do you think you’re a high energy user or low energy user? This is your chance to find out.
About Energy Club
Take ‘The Power in Your Hands’ to manage your household energy and make a real difference to your usage, costs and energy footprint
- Understand your ongoing usage
- Understand how much energy everything in your home, and the people in it, use
- Reduce this wherever possible
- Consider time shifting your energy use and reducing your carbon impact
Look at opportunities for local generation (e.g. solar panels) and storage. More about this later.
Understanding your ongoing usage
Why is this important?
- To understand your energy bill(s)
- To know what you’re using through the day and when your household is asleep / not at home
- To help manage your budget
- To track improvements and the impact of changes
- To alert you if something is wrong e.g. something left on / gas [or water] leak
- To highlight high energy use periods … what’s causing this?
- To compare your usage with others
Recording meter readings
You can record your meter readings in a number of ways. We recommend starting with a weekly meter reading.
- On paper … see table below
- In a spreadsheet (you can download a template here soon)
- To share with TEC, via this link – available soon (using Google Forms)
Here’s an example of a simple table for recording meter readings
|Date||Electric meter reading (units kWh)||Usage*|
|6th January 2020||1037||not applicable|
|13th January 2020||1101||64|
|20th January 2020||1161||60|
|27th January 2020||1219||58|
*Usage is calculated by subtracting the previous week’s reading from ths week’s reading
How much are your appliances using?
You may be surprised by how much and in some cases how little your appliances are using, and it can be very helpful to put together a list of your appliances and their power rating.
A fun way to understand more about ho much differences appliances use s to play the What is Watt game (available soon).
Every appliance should be labelled with its power rating in watts. Some may be difficult to find e.g at the back of the washing machine.
How much does this cost?
The amount of energy consumed by an appliance depends on the length of time you use it and its power rating
To calculate the amount of energy used by your appliance multiply the length of time you’ve used it (in hours) by its power rating (in kilowatts) to give you the number of units used (called kilowatt hours).
To calculate the cost of using the appliance multiply the amount of energy consumed (in kilowatt hours) times the price you are paying for each unit (kWh) of energy. You should be able to find this on your energy bill.
A kilowatt hour (kWh) is a unit of measurement of energy. A kilowatt hour therefore refers to the consumption of your device.
1 kilowatt hour (kWh) is the energy consumed by a 1,000-watt or 1-kilowatt electrical appliance operating for 1 hour.
So if you have a 2 kilowatt hour electric fire on for one hour, and your electricity is costing you 15p per unit, how much will it cost?
An example table
|Appliance||Power rating (kwatts)||Avg, usage time (per use in hours)||Energy used||Cost per unit (£)||Cost per use (£)|
|Electric shower||9||0.17 (10 mins)||1.53||0.17||0.26|
Tips for reducing your usage
There are lots of simple and low cost ways of reducing your energy use
- Use a slow cooker or microwave instead of your oven
- Spend less time in the shower
- Switch to LED bulbs
- Use energy efficient appliances e.g. A+/++/+++
- Switch things off – lights and appliances
- Use a ‘standby killer’ device
- Turn the thermostat down by a degree
- Reduce draughts
Time shifting and time of use tariffs
There are certain times of peak demand during the day (particularly between 16:00 and 20:00) when lots of people are using energy. This means that more needs to be generated to meet demand, and it is often at times when there is less renewable energy (e.g. solar) available. This means that energy at time of peak demand is more carbon intense (i.e. produces more greenhouse gas emissions).
If you are able to avoid these times you could have a positive impact on your carbon footprint.
The renewable energy available e.g. when the sun is shining can also cost less. This means that the wholesale cost of energy is less when there is more renewable energy in the system. You can take advantage of this in the future by switching to an energy supplier offering Time of Use (ToU) tariffs. To benefit from this you will need a smart meter. There is one tariff available at the moment called Active Octopus.
Tec has developed Energy Club building on lessons we’ve learned from our innovation project ‘The Power in Your Hands’. More here.