Tuesday, 24 November 2009

End of year review

I can't believe we've got to the end of the Carbon Watchers pilot scheme already!

It's only been within the past 6 weeks we've really got a grasp of reducing our household electricity consumption and we've made a massive difference.

it's all since DH put in the tankless water heater. Our daily usage has reduced from 17 kwh per day back in February to 9 kwh for the past month. I'm over the moon with that reduction. It isn't solely because of the tankless water heater, it's because that one change increased my awareness about how we use electricity.

I started looking at how I cook and realised I was leaving things on the hob. I'd bring them to the boil, and leave them to simmer for ages because I would get side tracked. now I'm using a timer and I can't tell you how quickly 10 minutes disappears on this darn computer....

We're also turning everything off at night; all that is running is the fridges and freezer and one lightbulb for DD. The lightbulb is an LED, so that uses next to nothing.

I'm batch cooking more and using the residual heat from the oven to do things like roast onions for using in soups and curries later in the week. That means I don't need to use the hob to fry onions.

And now we have the woodburner going, I'm using it to cook on, keep things warm and pre heat water before boiling in the kettle - it's all making a difference.

I've just redone my carbon footprint. Back in January, when I started the plan; we used 4.72 tonnes, split up as follows:

Home 0.44
Appliances 2.53
Travel 1.75

In June, half way through I had 5.01 split up as follows:

Home 0.51
Appliances 2.75
Travel 1.75

Today, I had 3.9 tonnes as follows:

Home 0.45
Appliances 1.32
Travel 2.13

I'm not quite sure what's happened with the travel except that I might have under estimated the number of miles I do at the beginning of the year. I was surprised to see it's between 8 and 9000 per year; I thought it was around 6000. but DD was going to a club every day of the week at one point, so that involved a lot of driving around.

Plus, because we bought a car with better fuel consumption, we had three holidays away this year - normally we have just 1 holiday - a bit counter productive really, but there we are!
I'm really pleased with the appliances dropping lower and this must be down to the tankless water heater and replacing all the lightbulbs with LEDs.

We've also put in a couple of solar panels and had double glazing installed and we're currently STILL waiting for a more efficient wood burner to be installed.

All in all we've done loads when I look back over the year. I remember listing all our goals on the side of this blog and feeling they were well out of reach. It looks like we've completed about 80% of them, so I'm really pleased with that. There is always room for improvement, so we'll be contuntally monitoring things and seeing where we can reduce our carbon footprint further.

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