Measuring Your Energy Efficiency

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Educator and management consultant, Peter Drucker, often quoted, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” Think about this quote, next time you have a look at your electricity bill. To cut down on your electricity bill, you will need to measure the electricity usage.

How to measure? Think about all the appliances that use electricity like charging your laptops, cell phones, kitchen appliances, television sets and more. This will help you drill-down and keep a check on the biggest energy hogs. You can become energy efficient, when you start saving energy, and also contribute to saving fossil fuel use.

Measuring Electricity Efficiency

The consumption of electricity is measured in kilowatt hours (kWH). A 1kWH of energy, means usage of 1,000 W [1kWH = 1,000W].

We can measure the electricity use of CFL-type light bulbs. For example, a 20W CFL-type light bulb which is equivalent to a traditional 100W bulb would use around 0.02 kWH of electricity (if used for one hour). Similarly, a 10W CFL-type light bulb would use around 0.02 kWH of electricity (if used for two hours).

How do you find out the real-time use of the appliances? The best way would be getting a handheld gadget which can be set up as an energy monitor. This will give you real-time data on how much electricity you are using in pounds and pence or maybe kWH.

Energy Costs on Bills

The unit of electricity or kWH of electricity is currently around 11-12 pence. For example, a 20W CFL bulb which uses 0.02 kWH of electricity for one hour would estimate to 0.33 pence. This sounds simple, now add the other household appliances, and then also take into account the number of hours being used per day. This will help find the total electricity costs. Remember, various electricity suppliers charge for the per unit electricity in different ways. Some may charge a daily standing charge and then the per unit use of electricity, while others may charge a higher rate.

Steps for Saving Electricity

  1. Invest in more energy-efficient household appliances. Purchase appliances which have the Energy Star and replace older appliances.
  2. Check the reviews of the products and the wattage labels.
  3. Purchase a wattage measuring device.
  4. Adjust the usage, start with unplugging devices.
  5. Consider generating electricity from renewable sources like solar, wind.

Energy saving habits will make you more energy efficient and also save you money.

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