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Posted 2010-05-10 10:31 (#118)
Subject: Smart meter results


Posts: 275
I'm in the process of pulling together a report on the first round of the smart meter project - where we lent out electricity meters and displays to 12 folk on the Black Isle. The results were very interesting - not least because we discovered the huge range of electricity use we have, between about 6 kWh/ day and over 70. Partly this was because we use electricity for different purposes - anyone heating their house with electricity showed considerably higher consumption figures, but also some folk use it for cooking, whereas others use LPG. Household sizes must make a difference, although in our sample the larger households seemed to use less electricity, so maybe that isn't as big a factor as you'd think. And those who work from home must use more, although our own experience is that usage during the day is dwarfed by the evenings (cooking, lights, TV).

One household made a very clear 50% reduction in consumption during the meter trial - mainly by replacing all their light bulbs with low energy ones. Other things that made a difference were more efficient use of the oven, only using the immersion heater when hot water's actually needed, not over-fillng the kettle, dusting the grille at the back of the fridge, and generally being more vigilant about switching things off when not in use. For those who use electricity to heat the house, adjusting room thermostats and other controls can make a big difference - the householder who recorded the 70 kWh/ day figure in December reduced to 14kWh/ day in March.

Has anyone got a favourite tip to share? And does anyone want to sign up for the next round of meters loans?
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We are part of the rapidly expanding worldwide Transition Towns movement. The Black Isle is a peninsula of about 100 sq miles ENE of Inverness in Scotland, UK.

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