Misleading title

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.

Soon mounts up though, doesn’t it.
Just a thought.


About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination and wacky sense of humour which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and am a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! In November 2020, we lost our beloved Maggie who adopted us as a 7 week old pup in March 2005. We decided to have a photo put on canvas as we had for her predecessor Barney. We now have three pictures of our fur babies on the wall as we found a snapshot of Kizzy, my GSD when Hubby and I first met so had hers done too. On February 24th 2022 we were blessed to find Maya, a 13 week old GSD pup who has made her own place in our hearts. You can follow our training methods, photos and her growth in my blog posts. From 2014 to 2017 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat where we made strong friendships both on and off the water. We were close to nature enjoying swan and duck families for neighbours, and it was a fascinating chapter in our lives. We now reside in a small bungalow on the Lincolnshire coast where we have forged new friendships and interests.
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14 Responses to Misleading title

  1. While so much as really changed, some of us have had little change. That should be encouraging. (Fun read)

  2. TheHiddenEdge says:

    Very little has changed for me, either. I generally work from home, but even so, my lack of petrol consumption has been a big bonus!

    • We started to walk up to the High Street for our basics rather than take the car last year, but now we shop further afield once a week to ten days and can get everything we want with little fuss and more choice. We only put about 25 litres in the car last month as we weren’t having so many field trips on a whim.

  3. Sadje says:

    It is logical that to many people at home all day may increase the consumption of utilities. But you’ve the sensible advice.

  4. murisopsis says:

    I’ve been very aware of the electrical usage of appliances – even when they are off. So I unplug the toaster and coffee pot when not in use. I unplug everything in the bathroom when we are done and the computers get turned off and unplugged too. The only things plugged in all the time are the refrigerator, freezer, and TV and the stereo (mostly because the outlet is behind the bookcase! It all adds up!

    • The only thing we have going all the time is the fridgefreezer. In the cottage, we calculated a baking session as 1 kwh, a shower 1kwh and a washload 1 kwh. If nothing else, it made us aware of how things mounted up. Here our shower is gravity fed and hot water runs through the combi boiler, which we are really surprised to find is extremely economical. Our stereo shares a socket with the screen we use to watch our DVDs so they are both unplugged unless in use.

  5. fransiweinstein says:

    I’m lucky. I rent an apartment and because I’m on an old lease I don’t pay for any utilities. People moving in now do. But even when I owned houses I never used a lot of electricity. The only time I’ve ever used the dishwasher is when I’ve had a lot of dinner guests and then I would run it over night. Rarely use the microwave. My stove is getting a good workout but my biggest extravagance is the use of the air conditioning when it’s very hot and humid, which is what our summers are like. I don’t pay for it now, but did when I owned my houses and my condo. But I’m one person and I don’t use much of anything.

    • It’s how it works isn’t it Fransi. We know what we use and how much. We don’t have air con in our property, but do have a stand alone fan and also a fan light fitting in the main bedroom. The latter doesn’t use a lot of power and is a godsend at night because I can’t sleep if I’m too hot and the dog tends to get ‘snuffly’

      • fransiweinstein says:

        Those fans are great, I love them. I’m the same as you, I can’t sleep when I’m too hot either. During the day Incan tolerate it, but not at night.

  6. I’m just waiting for the electricity bill for this month. It might be a bit higher but I don’t expect it to be alarming!

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