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Who uses the most energy in your house?


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Bruce she got you a beaut!
I grew up in a farmhouse with one water tap, kero lamps and -oh luxury- 32 volt lights which sometimes worked for an hour is so around dinner time. That made me hyper economical with power and water.

A generation later, I hooked up an old exercise bike to our water pump so my teenage kid had to pedal her shower water up to the gravity tank.

Edited by Old Koreelah
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I grew up in Melbourne suburbia, where electrickery was plentiful, and in those days we survived with pedestal and ceiling fans in summer. In Jan '97, my first client visit was to North Dakota. The client's manager whom I was workign with, who was only a few years older than myself remembered her early childhood where they still used kero lamps! I was about 30 at the time.

 

In our house. I am probably the biggest energy user. I have 2 servers running 24x7 and have my desktop running a bit, too. Although I am going to decom 1 server soon..  But I also drive to and from London once a week, and when home drive the daughter 7 miles each way to and from school. That uses up a bit of energy. When I am flying, well, that consumes energy,  too. And since working from home, I have had to fire up the heating system a few times during the day - oil fired (thankfully we stocked up before the big price hits).

 

I think the other three use it in equal measure.

 

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People have found my washing up technique fascinating; I can wash and dry the dishes single-handed faster than a dishwasher and with less water.

 

First the plates get a pre-rinse under the running tap until the hot water comes thru. Then I set the water as hot as I can handle and trickling over the stacked dishes. After each plate is washed, it gets a final rinse under the hot water then put on the drainer. Meanwhile, the cutlery is getting a good soaking in the steadily-rising water. By the time the washup is done a lot of it is dry enough to put away.

 

This is normally left to just before I hit the hay. It’s such a boring, repetitive job it sets me up well to sleep; a significant motivation is to avoid the frosty reaction of the cook if I’m too slack and leave unwashed dishes in the sink overnight!

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Since energy costs have risen substantially over the last few years, I'm very alert to unnecessary power usage. We installed a 6.6Kw solar system last October ($5000), and it's making a major difference to our power bills.

But the powers that be continue to reduce our feed-in tariff, so we only get 2.75c per Kw for every Kw we generate now - apart from after 3:00PM, when they generously give us 10c Kw for feed-in power.

 

So we're both alert now to minimising power use at night, and in the early mornings, as any power we generate is used by us first, then any remainder is fed in. So the washing machine and dishwasher are run during the day when the power is free.

We just bought a new LG front loader, and chucked out the old Fisher & Paykel top loader, because it's about 11 yrs old and it was noisy, had started leaking, and it had started leaving greasy marks on the clothes.

 

But ... despite being told the front loaders are up to 60% more efficient than top loaders, I was surprised to find the rated differences between the two machines is minimal. Both are 10kg machines.

However, the F&P uses 82 litres per wash and the LG uses 86 litres. The F&P uses an average of 321Kwh per yr according to the sticker - while the LG uses an average of 319kwh. 

The LG has much longer wash cycles than the F&P, which I don't really understand. Most of the reviews from owners of LG's all had the same complaint - wash cycles that are too long. However, the LG does have a "quick wash cycle" of 39 mins.

 

We use natural gas and an instantaneous HWS for our hot water, because it's cheaper than electric hot water, and there's no losses from a storage tank - which can be up to 60% of heat generated.

As to water use - well, let's just say, we were both brought up in country regions where water supplies were tight, money was tight, economy in everything prevailed, and you didn't waste anything.

However, we're a bit spoilt now, with two huge reverse osmosis plants supplying over 40% of the citys water supply, and there's not the previous urge to save water, as was the case when we relied on dams, and some underground water, only.

 

I like my hot showers, but I'm done in about 8-10 minutes. I reckon SWMBO takes a few minutes longer - but at our age, we have the attitude - "bugger the cost! - we don't have to worry about it so much now!"

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2 minutes ago, onetrack said:

…However, we're a bit spoilt now, with two huge reverse osmosis plants supplying over 40% of the citys water supply, and there's not the previous urge to save water, as was the case when we relied on dams, and some underground water, only.

 

I like my hot showers, but I'm done in about 8-10 minutes. I reckon SWMBO takes a few minutes longer - but at our age, we have the attitude - "bugger the cost! - we don't have to worry about it so much now!"

OT I don’t reckon we’ll be sooling the environmental police on you; it sounds like you’ve earned your little luxuries!

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I am expecting my electricity bill to drop since the passing of my wife. For a number of reasons, she had to have strong light all the time.

 

Many years ago, she visited her sister in Queensland. She stayed house sitting while her sister and her husband went to a wedding. Shortly after she went to bed, she heard a window opening. Scared the heck out of her. It turned out to be her neices teenage girlfriend who had been on a night out and was looking for somewhere to crash. Ever since, my wife was unable to sleep without a light of some sort on all night. Later, as her eyesight started to fade, she had to have lights on day and night. The last few years, particularly since getting all her cancers, she spent her days and nights on the settee in the loungeroom, where she could watch TV. She had two 48-50 inch TVs, and would sometimes have both on together.  She would regularly fall asleep with the TV going all night. Also, she would often get up and walk through the house turning every light on, and leaving them on. As well, she had her laptop and mobile phone almost constantly on the charger.

 

My daughter is almost as bad. She normally doesn't go to bed till 3 or 4 in the morning, watching overseas TV channels on Foxtel/Stan/Hulu et al. American serials or sports, F1 races at all hours, etc. Also on the internet on her iPad at the same time. Then naps during the day between work shifts.

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I had a colleague who insisted on leaving ceiling fans running in empty classrooms. When I gently asked why, he claimed they keep the room cool!
To make it worse, his specialty was teaching the concepts of evaporation and cooling…

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In our house I use less energy than my wife but overall I use the most as I drive far more km and my flying consumes a lot. I installed a 2kw solar system in 2013 which cost $4,500.00 then. I have kept monthly records ever since. It took 5 years to pay off with the savings. We have a heat pump hot water system that I have on a timer so it does not run between 5pm & 8am so my hot water electricity is mostly solar generated. We run most things like dishwasher, washing machine, vacuum cleaner etc during the day when solar power is being generated & have mostly LED lights. Airconditioning is run when ever required but I always start it early as it is more efficient to maintain the temperature that to try & reduce it when it gets hot. It is a 7kw inverter for the main living area but uses only around 800w to maintain a constant 24 degrees on a stinking hot day.

 

The feed in tariff started at around 18c/kwh but is now down to 9.5c/kwh.

 

My last quarterly power bill was just under $200.00.

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