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Power usage
28 July 2015, 22:29,
#1
Power usage
This might seem obvious, but it's something a lot of people don't bother taking the time to find out. With it coming to the end of the month, it'll be worth checking.

What's your monthly, and annual, power usage? Has it increased, decreased, or stayed the same?

Why does it matter?

Well, if you're looking at going off grid, a good starting point is to find out how much you'd actually need to produce. We have a very minimal power usage as we have high efficiency equipment and no TV's or HiFi's/Radio's in the house, as well as no DVD, no SkyTV, no Digibox, or PS3 (I actually do have one somewhere. I think my mate has it at his house though).

If you're breaking off grid, at the end of the month, take a meter reading, and note it down. Then just behave as normal. Then see where you are at the end of August. For a real challenge, try it at the start of December and check again at the end of December (december is usually the highest power usage of any month in the year).

Once you have your starting point, I.E. how much you need to produce, you can start working out how to power that need, e.g. solar, wind, waterwheel, etc.
Dissent is the highest form of Patriotism - Thomas Jefferson
Those who sacrifice freedom for security deserve neither - Benjamin Franklin
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29 July 2015, 11:12,
#2
RE: Power usage
Another useful thing to check is your "base load", i.e. the amount you're using when nobody in the house is really doing anything. We've done this by taking a mater reading when we go to bed, and another one when we get up, and dividing the kWh used by the hours between the readings. This will be things like fridge, freezer, items on "standby", internet router, clock on the microwave, etc.

Your energy consumption will be made up of this, 24 hours a day, plus all the waking things you use from time to time, such as the hoover, cooker, TV, kettle, shower, etc., etc.

No matter how frugal one is with things like (say) taking a shorter shower, that base load will constantly be leaching your energy away. That's the one to try to reduce, even if by only a small amount, because you get the benefit of the savings 24 hours a day, every day.
Find a resilient place and way to live, then sit back and watch a momentous period in history unfold.
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29 July 2015, 17:48,
#3
RE: Power usage
Base load has increased in the past decade due to the use of so many small appliances with clocks and LED lights.

I am made aware of this every night when I switch off the lights and still have 25 or 30 glowing red dots spaced through the house and 6-10 clocks lighting my path.

That is not counting the mobile device chargers and cordless tool chargers that are on 24/7.
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30 July 2015, 12:47,
#4
RE: Power usage
We have a power consumption meter on the kitchen worktop that our supplier gave us....very interesting to see what draws what....I played with it for the first few days comparing equipment....all lights are leds now....and a lot of stuff gets powered down now when not in use.
Nothing is fool proof for a sufficiently talented fool!!!!
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31 July 2015, 17:05,
#5
RE: Power usage
There is a false rumour being put around by the main stream media that things on standby and plugged in chargers are all consuming lots of energy in standby. The fact is this just isn’t so. Modern switched mode power supplies draw very little power in standby mode many drawing just a few pence of electricity a year.

Energy can’t be created or destroyed, if you put your hand on a charger and don’t feel it any warmer it’s drawing negligible power.

The big power consumers in my house are:
* Fridge / freezer (because it’s on all the time (the pump is running about 8 hours a day))
* Cooker
* Electric shower
* Incandescent lighting that I’ve not yet swapped out for LEDs (in places where the quality of the light is important to me, such as the kitchen).
Doctor Prepper: What's the worst that could happen?
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31 July 2015, 17:36,
#6
RE: Power usage
we have over 15 pieces of equipment that were permanently on standby sometimes un used for months....according to the meter it made a difference turning them all off.....leds too especially as I found the pound shop selling them for.....a pound....only 2w available but great for lamps and hall/stairs
Nothing is fool proof for a sufficiently talented fool!!!!
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31 July 2015, 19:51,
#7
RE: Power usage
For led lightbulbs (and for everything else for that matter), check out http://www.aliexpress.com. I kitted out my entire house including halogen replacements for about £55 in total iirc. These were the immediate light ultra bright led bulbs. They give the same output as old 60w bulbs I used to have in the house. Just look for lumen number of at least 650 for main light & 450 for lamp lights. Avoid the "corn" light bulbs as some have exposed live wiring. The ones I have are 800lm output & look like a lightbulb. It'll save a fortune compared to regular lightbulbs. Just check seller feedback & also free delivery option.

We also invested in a remote controlled kill switch type socket from amazon. Turns off the tv, digi box etc.. at night. We've cut out electricity use by over 1/3.
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7 August 2015, 15:27,
#8
RE: Power usage
Remember that the energy that incandescent lamps don't put out as light they put out as heat.
Since this is the UK most of the time we need heat inour homes.
Changing your incandescent lamps for LEDs will save you some electricity but you'll use a little more home heating oil (or whatever) keeping the house at the same temp.
This is also true for all those 'paracitic' things on standby. The energy isn't being lost it's just being turned into a little heat.
Doctor Prepper: What's the worst that could happen?
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7 August 2015, 20:49,
#9
RE: Power usage
its a pretty dear and innefective way of heating the space up near your ceiling!!!!! as a youth when I first left home I once had an iron as my only source of heating,we fiddled the slot meter and just had the iron upended in the middle of the bedsit...happy daysSmile
Nothing is fool proof for a sufficiently talented fool!!!!
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