The cost of doing nothing

Get empowered to make smart decisions about  resource use!

This means measuring our usage, because, as the saying goes you should Measure before you can manage! In a way, the idea of supply and demand also applies in other ways.

Strategies — Owning  and reducing your impact on the Commons

  • managing cost (budget) of energy bills starts by knowing how much and when it’s being used (demand)
  • environmental cost (pollution) is also in a direct relation to power used (consumption) — the budget for pollution is something that is easy to fall to the ‘commons’ as it hard to ‘own’ your pollution!

I’m in the Jemena supply network in northern Melbourne, and so have activated our Outlook Portal on their website.  Your electricity distributor will have a similar portal – assuming that your place has a smartmeter fitted!

The accompanying shot of our annual consumption graph (at top) tells us a few things:

  • we use more power in summer and winter than spring and autumn
  • we use much less power than the suburb average (the circles)
  • on average we use around 280 kilowatt hours a month (~$75  in consumed power)

OK. So what?!  Well, drilling down, lets look at the daily consumption over a couple of months:

Graphical view of daily total power consumption
Daily power consumption June and July 2015, with baseline use when unoccupied in text bubble
  • We use more power on weekends (unlike our neighbours)
  • Averaged 9.7 kWh a day in June and 8.7 kWh in July
  • School holidays raised our midweek useage (June 27 – July 12)
  • The unoccupied house (July 25-27) used 3.8-4.2 kWh a day!

Hang on! We use nearly HALF of our power by doing NOTHING?!  That’s around $1.10 per day or just under $400 a year. Happy with that? No. Going to do something about it?  Absolutely!

Soon I’ll follow up with some attribution because I want to know how and why it’s this high.  In the mean time, leave me your comments on your experience or ask about how to do this for yourself.

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    A card-carrying science nerd — PhD in biological science. Successful creator of an award winning sustainable business. A lecturer, teacher, innovator and now builder of information tools for agriculture — I seek to provide informed approaches and making low resource consumption easy and understandable.

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