Sunday, 8 June 2014

Tracking electricity use saves £100s

Wales is lovely but the water comes from down the hill
My sister didn't have an electricity monitor but she did take meter readings weekly and it's a good thing too. Last week her electricity use shot up from about 70kWh/week to about 300 kWh. If she had not been keeping track she might not have noticed the problem for weeks, costing her £30/week (and it would have been even more except they have solar panels which provide some of the power needed during the day). Oops. It turned out to be a malfunctioning water pump.

My sister lives in rural Wales and gets her water from a well some distance away and 90m below the level of the house. This means they have an electric pump to bring the water up the hill. It is supposed to cut off when the pressure increases because all the taps are closed. Unfortunately it has stopped doing this and runs continuously. Having clipped a monitor to the mains leads this is very obvious. Shutting off the pump reduces consumption by 1.8 kW.

Using an electricity monitor is not usually quite so effective in saving energy but it certainly helps. I have been told so many times 'we just keep an eye on it and if it's a bit high we check what's been left on.' For more about this see Should you get an electricity monitor to help reduce your bills' My sister might have found her problem at least a week sooner, saving £30. Enough to pay for the monitor in one go.

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