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Old 21st December 2012, 09:23 AM   #1
freax is offline freax  Australia
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Default The extremely low energy consumption hints/tips/projects thread.

LED lighting is here, and just in time too.

Electricity costs are about to increase by 160% within 2 years and 250% once the carbon tax takes effect in Australia and they are already 2x-5x more expensive than what they are in Canada.
POWER TRIP: Australian electricity price high, and to rise with carbon tax | News.com.au

Flourescent lighting can be easily converted over to 12 volt systems with the use of an inverter kit.

Computers have finally gone below the 100 watt mark and are dropping to as low as 40 watts total power consumption. RonE has mentioned the use of a laptop, I would agree completely if you can live comfortably on one then do so: The extremely low energy consumption hints/tips/projects thread.

Solar Power is actually becoming pretty realistic now.

A chest freezer instead of having an ordinary upright fridge will reduce your consumption by a great degree.

Having cold showers will cut your power bill in half.

LED backlit monitors are here and go even lower than 40 watts.

Use of a microwave to boil water for a cup of coffee or tea takes only 1 or 2 minutes and saves a significant amount of electricity. If your kettle is of the 2400 watt type that takes a minimum of 0.5Litre, there are however 0.15Litre units out there apparently, this is also not true if you are making more than 1 cup. Thanks to Elvee: The extremely low energy consumption hints/tips/projects thread.

Use a LED night light for your bathroom and for the rest of your house for illumination while walking around, it will save both your overhead lamps from unnecessary use and your power bill.

Turn off the electric hot water heater and have cold showers, for the dishes, boil hot water in the kettle for doing the dishes with and mix it with cold water from the tap to the temperature you prefer.

~~~~~~~~~
I have created this thread for the specific intention of reducing the costs of people's electricity bill and maybe even eliminate it entirely with the discussion of people's ideas and a formation of solutions to issues that are affecting us all.

I should hope that Australian users can put this thread to a good use even if they only read and not contribute.

Please leave political topics and religion out of this thread.

This is a purely engineering problem and a technical topic of discussion and should remain that way.
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Last edited by freax; 23rd December 2012 at 07:11 AM.
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Old 21st December 2012, 09:38 AM   #2
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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Wear appropriate clothes for your local climate and weather.

It may be too expensive to do this now, but some folk in the UK used to heat their homes so much that in the depths of winter they could walk about in shorts and a tee shirt. Meanwhile, other people wanted air-conditioned offices in the summer so they could still wear a full suit and tie. It is quite possible that the office in the summer was cooler than the home in the winter; clearly a waste of energy.
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Old 21st December 2012, 10:04 AM   #3
Enzo is offline Enzo  United States
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Oh dear. Here in the USA, public service announcements on TV tell us to lower our thermostats to 65 degrees to save energy. We already leave the thing at 50 degrees (in the winter) and wrap up under blankets. I wonder what they would sugest I lower THAT to?
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Old 21st December 2012, 03:50 PM   #4
Ron E is offline Ron E  United States
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Home Energy tips:
Weatherstrip, weatherstrip, weatherstrip.
Have a home energy audit with blower door test.
Cutting Air infiltration in a home is the best payback of any investment.

Use water in the shower only to get wet and to rinse - turn off otherwise.
Wash only full loads of laundry and dry them on a clothesline when possible.

Use a laptop for a home computer, most are optimized for low power consumption. Better yet, use a computer at a library

Compact fluorescent lights are still more efficient than LED's on a watts per lumen basis, but LED's still have their uses. I use a 3W LED fixture (IKEA Jansjo) at my computer desk and it lights up a several square foot area quite sufficiently to work by. JANSJÖ LED work lamp - black - IKEA These units (and many ikea lighting products) have really cheap switches that fail in a short time, but this one is cord mount and easily replaced.
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Old 21st December 2012, 05:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freax View Post
2x-5x more expensive than what they are in Canada.
Interesting as our electricity is done provincially so the cost varies. Here in BC we pay 6.8 cents per kW/h for the first 675 per month and then 10.2 cents per kW/h beyond that.

What is it you pay?
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Old 21st December 2012, 05:08 PM   #6
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Damn, not the right thread for classA amplifiers!
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Old 21st December 2012, 05:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freax View Post
Use of a microwave to boil water for a cup of coffee or tea takes only 1 or 2 minutes and saves a significant amount of electricity.
Actually an electric kettle is more efficient.
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Old 21st December 2012, 05:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron E View Post
Weatherstrip, weatherstrip, weatherstrip.
I like a house that breathes a little. All those examples of how to save a little money here and there, along with all the cleaners, disinfectants and sterilizers have given us a generation of sick and allergenic kids.

Energy savings have a dark side too.

Quote:
Cutting Air infiltration in a home is the best payback of any investment.
Hi Ron, I'm not sure I understand what you mean.
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Old 21st December 2012, 06:03 PM   #9
Elvee is offline Elvee  Belgium
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freax View Post
Use of a microwave to boil water for a cup of coffee or tea takes only 1 or 2 minutes and saves a significant amount of electricity.
As Cal said, that's a bad example: in a microwave, the efficiency from the wall outlet to target is 30 to 50%.

I have an ultra efficient electric kettle, accepting as little as 0.15l (a small cup) and as much as 1.8l, and the contents of cup is brought to boiling point in less than 30s, with very little heat lost in the surroundings.
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Old 21st December 2012, 06:16 PM   #10
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Install a fireplace (or maybe it's called stove?).
We have a big one at home downstairs and we make a fire in it every evening and keep it running for a couple of hours. It then stays warm for more than 24 hours and warms the entire bottom floor of the house.

We also have a heat pump which is good when it's warmer than -20c (if it's colder it's better to leave it off). Make sure the house is well insulated and at least double glass windows (preferably triple-glass windows).

Even if it's -30c outside it is generally warm enough inside to walk without socks and with only shorts and tshirt on.
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