19 November 2008

Reading meters is a great simple living tool

These are the posts that really make blogging worthwhile for me. Oh sure, I blog for myself in that it creates a good record of what I'm doing here but the real pleasure comes when I connect enough with you to change what you're doing. I am so pleased at the results of this challenge - you have made significant changes by reading your meters, and I'm sure that while you continue to want to save precious resources and money, you'll continue to read your meters and reduce your consumption by doing it.

Patricia, our electricity is measured in kilowatt hours (kWh). I'm sure when you start turning off your appliances not in use you'll notice a big difference.

Donetta, thank you. It's amazing how much power those plasma screen TVs cost to run. Hanno read your comment too and we talked about it for a while.

Gail, welcome. Don't wait to start living the good life. Start today. It's not about location, it's more a change in the way you think and how you live your life.

Rhonda, our grandmas were much more frugal than we are. They didn't waste anything. We can learn a lot from the way they ran their homes.

Deb, thanks for your comment, it's a good one to repeat here. You did really well and it shows how easy it is to reduce consumption by taking small steps. This is part of what Deb wrote: We are a 2 adult household and reduced our average daily electricity from 18 to 16.5 units and water from 430 to 205 litres. We have just moved back to this house and after the first two days we replaced the existing light globes with energy efficient ones. I turned a few things off at the power point and left the blinds open a little longer so the lights were turned on a little later. I did a couple of loads of washing on each of the first two days but none on either of the second two. We were also more aware of how long we were in the shower and reduced this on the second two days.

Emma, you've done well too. I hope you can get your landlord to fix any leaks there.

Hi Jacqi, Blogger strikes again. You're doing well too, particularly as you're all at home all day.

Hi Bee, welcome. It's great you got that subsidy three months in a row. Well done!

Ruralaspirations, you're right, meter reading is a great budgeting tool.

Hi Shannon, it doesn't really matter love. You are more aware now of your readings, and what increases and decreases it. Work on your family because without them on board, it will be an exercise in frustration for you. Good luck.

Hi Leanne, it takes a while to get to know your own patterns. Keep at it and it will save you money and greenhouse emissions.

Cripes Julie! $800 per quarter would send me into a spin. Good luck and make sure the family helps.

Hi Donna, the hot showers and laundry really increase usage. I'm really pleased you enjoyed the challenge and hope you continue with it.

Well done Kate, that's very impressive.

Hi Eli, we use Dipel (it's an organic solution). Read this, it might give you more ideas.

Hi Sue, my suggestions are to get everyone in the family to help. They all should turn off lights, TV, iPod and phone chargers at the wall stitch, not just at the appliance itself. Standby power, which is that electricity we waste just to have the convenience of not turning the appliance on at the wall, costs us all a lot of money. Change to CF energy saving light bulbs - this will save a huge amount. When you buy new appliances, make sure they're energy efficient with a high star rating - they cost more but save that money back, plus some, over the course of their lifetime. See what difference there is between hot showers and baths with a few kids in the bath at a time. You'll have to read your meters to find that out. When you're baking, bake more than one thing. Use a slow cooker (crockpot), they're energy efficient. Sweep instead of using the vacuum cleaner. Turn off the computer when not in use. The old style monitors use a lot of power. I'm sure we'll get more tips in the comments today.

There were about 3000 readers here yesterday so I hope a lot of the lurkers also read their meters. I'm really pleased so many of you joined in this challenge. I think we've proven just how effective meter reading is. When I went to work yesterday, I thought about the $90 saving we will make over the course of our billing period if we continue to cut back. If someone told me that they would pay me $90 to turn off lights, the TV and chargers, I would certainly do it. The problem is unless we know how much we'll save we rarely go that one step extra to turn off and cut back. Savings are there, we just have to do those small steps to make sure we realise those savings. The important part though is to make it a habit so it's not just a challenge that will be forgotten by next week, but become a normal part of the way we live.

ADDED LATER: The Crone has posted her results on her blog. She's got a brand new place it's well worth a visit. Check her out here The Crone at Wits End.

Photo from Allposters.

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