I saw a headline yesterday saying that due to the Coronavirus, household utility bills could rise by £32 per month (source)
That sent panic alarms, buttons, palpitations and heaven knows what else through my head as our utility bill for heating and light is just £46 pm.
There is no way we could afford that kind of increase…………………..
I hope no-one reading the article has that many appliances plugged into a single socket as their picture suggests. It’s foolish as well as dangerous!
I relaxed a bit when I read it was based on people working from home and using more energy, which when you think about it does make sense for a family with working parents and children of school age who are usually out for most of the day.
However, it made me think about a conversation we had with a professional contractor who could not believe how little electricity we used on a daily basis when we were in the cottage. Bear in mind there was no gas in the village anyway and most domestic heating systems were oil based or economy 7.
Anyway, our usage then was on average 5 kwh a day. He checked his and it was 26!
He lived in a big house and had a young family. They had TVs in the lounge, kitchen, dining room and two bedrooms (all permanently on stand-by), a dishwasher, 2 freezers and a tumble dryer, on top of the basics most households have today like a microwave and automatic washing machine. Cooking like us was all electric.
So, with that in mind, if people usually out of the house all day are suddenly home, it is no wonder that there would be an increase in energy consumption.
However, that could be reduced by a bit of thought and reorganisation of the household.
For instance, rather than watch different TVs in different rooms, why not all watch the same thing as a family at the same time? Or simply switch the sets off properly, not by the little button on the remote control.
Being home every day gives you the opportunity to take advantage of sunny weather and get the laundry out on the line to dry rather than use a tumble dryer.
You would also have ‘the time’ to wash up the old fashioned way rather than use a dishwasher.
You could make up a flask to have at your improvised work station to save boiling the kettle every hour. As a point of interest apparently it costs 35p per hour to boil our kettle which actually does the job in a couple of minutes, so the cost is very little.
Bet you’re wondering what our energy usage here is every day.
Believe it or not, it’s 3 kwh, so about 50p a day, and that includes cooking. This hasn’t changed since the lockdown, though it might go up a bit if we cut the grass or bath the dog as we use the hairdryer on her for about twenty minutes.
Still, there are only the two of us, we were already home all day, and we have no TV, dishwasher or tumble dryer anyway.