Tuesday, 10 January 2012

The Watt Loss Challenge - Doing our bit to help

In our household we try and be 'watt savvy' and by doing so we are not only helping keep the bills in check but also doing our bit for the environment.

I have recently starting using a Smart Meter which is a clever little gadget that tells me so much about the energy I am using right now, how much I used yesterday, the last 7 days and even the temperature of the house.  I was amazed when I started using the meter just how much certain everyday appliances actually cost to run and so because of this we now use the tumble dryer only in emergencies  (yes we all forget to dry a vital piece of school uniform now and then!), I try and use the microwave when the oven is not essential and turning the heating thermostat down just 1 degree all helps.

Smart Meter helps us see exactly how much energy we are using.
One helpful exercise was to explain the Smart Meter and how it works to my children and then afterwards I got one to stand and watch the meter while the other one went round the house and turned on (then off) the appliances and lights and then got the other child to do the same.  They were shocked by what they saw and all that running around soon got them warmed up to - double whammy! They are now telling me just how much energy I am using when I am cooking.

We have always used energy saving light bulbs and the cost of these has dropped considerably in the last few years so they save the pennies when you buy them and when you use them - bonus!

When it starts to get dark outside I go round the house and draw all the curtains and also tuck them in behind the radiator if possible so the heat isn't just going up the back of the curtain and not into the room and rather than turn up the heating we go old school and put on a jumper - simple but effective.

Once the children are asleep I have stopped leaving a light on in the hall all night and have switched to using a plug in low voltage baby night light which omits enough glow for any middle of the night trips to the bathroom.

As my 15 month old doesn't really get dirty another way of cutting costs is to leave his bath water in for another person, cutting the energy needed to heat more water and saving water into the bargain.  Why not warm up and share a bath with your partner and share a bit of quality time together?

This post is for the Smart Mums campaign run in partnership with British Gas, if you want to get involved and share your energy saving tips why not go and link up at http://britmumsblog.com/bgsmartmums/smart-challenge