How to save electricity — 18 Comments

  1. I think they should have built all those wind turbines underground. There wouldn’t have been as many objections and they could have built far more of them. Same with solar panels

  2. Face it, the only way to “save” electrickery is with a battery. Using it to pump water up hill is only for governments who have lots of spare, your, dosh.
    Just like saving money in a bank.
    You “invest” your little bit of surplus and then later you can make a withdrawal.
    However, you will find that what you withdraw is worth a lot less than what you invested. This is called prudent fiscal policy or Inflation
    Then you get taxed for
    (a) the cost of the battery and charging system.
    (b) actually having some spondulicks to extract from the bank.
    Either way your are Royally (can I even say this in the Republic) fecked.
    Best to invest in some stout or whiskey.

    • We have one of those “pumped storage” schemes just up the road. I did the grand tour when they were building it, seeing the pump/generator caverns all in the heart of a mountain. It was quite impressive. It never stopped us having power cuts though.

  3. Save electricity by retrofitting gas mantles. While your at it get a gas fridge and a gas radio (they are or rather ware a real thing).
    That will save you a fortune on the lecky!?

    • I know about gas fridges but gas radios? I hadn’t heard of them. A much cheaper option is a crystal radio. That doesn’t need any power at all.

  4. The gullible public will probably try out your suggestions!

    Also, there are ‘new’ ceramic room heaters being advertised for the dumbos – they are promoted as much more efficient, blah, blah.
    No they’re not: watts in equals watts out within a room, regardless of how it’s used for air movement or temperature. But the twits will believe it until the ‘leccy bills arrive.

    • The more expensive it is, the more thy believe they’ll get out of it. Whatever happened to Cold Fusion?

  5. The way I understand it, unlike gas and water which each arrive in single pipes, electricity has two cables, the first one (usually red) brings the stuff in, the second one takes it out again, even though you’ve paid for it. My economy tip is to block off that second channel, then at least you get to keep the damned expensive stuff.

  6. I liked your extension lead idea, so bought the longest one I could find on amazon and plugged it into my friends house in Canada. He pays 3p per unit and charges me 6p per unit so everyone is a winner.

  7. I’m installing three modest UPS units for when the power does go out. One will keep the heating and water going as we have our own filtration and softening plant. Another will be for the fridge and the third for the Interwebby connections and TV. If I’ve got my sums right, we should be okay. Failing that, it’s winter drawers on and set a fire in the old front room fireplace like everyone else.

    • I’m thinking that the best course of action with a power cut is a diesel generator that automatically kicks in via an auto transfer switch that backfeeds the consumer unit. A 7500 KVA gennie would run the entire house, with the possible exception of an all-electric cooker, through a 50A MCB. Advantages of a diesel generator is that it can be made to run on a variety of fuels like vegetable/cooking oils if fuel became scarce. The bigger gennies are also electric start which can be made automatic on the disappearance of mains voltage.

      Energy-wise I’ve tried to prep a bit already – had a wood burning stove installed in the living room and am setting up a wood storage and making briquettes from collected waste paper, cardboard and sawdust/shavings. I’m not looking to replace the central heating entirely but I can save a huge amount of my gas costs. Also LED lighting throughout.

      It seems that everyone and his dog is talking about wind and solar as if these are the only alternatives, without exploring other possibilities. How many here, for example, have ever heard of the Griggs Cavitation Heater?

      • I had a look at some domestic generators. The problem there is that anything that will power more than an electric kettle runs into four figures. On top of that there is some major rewiring required if it’s to feed the house system.

        I have gone the alternative route – gas heaters, gas camping stove and oil lamps. One of the advantages[?] of living in the wilds is that I’m quite used to power outages. They used to be very common but not so much these days. I have survived worse.

        • GD, I suppose that the cost of the generator would depend on how much it is intended to be used. A small generator suitable for a couple of lights and boiling a kettle (around 3kW output, the equivalent loading of one 13A socket) cost around £350 the last time I checked, though in my own case the generator would have other work as well, so I’d be looking at around 7-8kW and equipped with 12v outlets. These do stretch to 4 figure prices so I would be considering how long and how much work it would take for it to pay for itself.

          Wiring in is surprisingly simple. An automatic changeover switch fitted to the distribution board automatically switches over from the mains to the generator when the power goes out. Input to the switch is from mains and generator (the generator is plugged into a 50A outside socket). Output of the switch goes to a 50A MCB and feeds the consumer unit bus bar through that. There are more crude ways such as plugging the generator output into any wall socket but that is dangerous because if the mains is not turned off whilst the gennie is running, the current from it gets fed back through the grid transformers, creating high voltage on the power lines and risking electrocution for any repair workers working on it.

  8. Living in a flat with only an electricity supply may cause me problems about heat and light if the power goes out. A local camping shop has made a few bob by selling me a camping gas bottle (with regulator), a camping stove, a camping heater plus cartridges, plus some battery operated lights. I hope I won’t have to use them, but would rather have them and not need them, than need them and not have them. When, or if, we ever have warmer weather, I can use what’s left to take grandchildren camping. You may be able to hear their grumbling and howls of protest over lack of Wi-Fi where you are, and we’re in England!

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