turn off that radiator !

April 4, 2011 in Efficiency

I was not “in touch” with how much electricity I was consuming (and paying for) until about 2 years ago… thanks to getting smacked in the face with a 400euro over-budget electricity bill (this was over the course of 6 months).

Basically, I learned (the hard way) that the large majority of the electricity we use in our homes is for heating and cooling.  I imagine we all come to this realization at some point or another.  Have you?

The first winter I spent in my 23m2 studio (~250ft2), I blasted my portable electric heater as well as my wall heater.  That’s 2000W + 2000W.

I pay about 0.12euros/kWh with EDF (which is relatively cheap on the European scale of electricity prices).  This means that – if I have my heaters on for just 5 hours / day (the time I’m home in the evenings – which is a quite conservative estimate), in one month during the winter, I would pay:

30 (days) *5 (hours/day)*4(kW)*.12(euros/kWh) = 72 euros / month !!!

That was double what EDF estimated for me – and just for heating alone!

And imagine I lived in Germany (0.22euros/kWh), I’d be paying 132 euros every month for heating alone!  And remember, … I live in a shoebox!

After that first winter, I definitely learned to use blankets and “bouillottes” (rubber  container that you fill with hot water and stays hot for hours!) more often.

Now I have two thoughts going through my head:

a) If people are explicitly aware of how much electricity they consume, they will change the way they consume electricity (for the better).

b) If people are aware AND they pay an expensive price for electricity, they will change the way they consume electricity even more (for the better).

So conclusion?  People should be more in touch with their electricity bills.  And … maybe expensive electricity is a good thing?

For more information, I would ask Mr. Electricity.  I admit- he seems a bit weird.  But the site has a lot of good information.

And here is a picture of a “bouillotte” !!! (English name anyone?  Hot water bottle?  Come on, is that the best we could come up with?)