The lighting pages in the electrical section have been updated with more information.Currently over 10% of home electricity use is by lighting and is an obvious area to make savings. How often have you left the room leaving the lights on or switched the light on in daylight because the curtains are drawn. The simplest way to save on lighting costs is to turn lights off when not needed. Although switching off lights and using energy saving bulbs is one way to reduce the cost lighting there are two other ways to reduce lighting costs – maximising natural light,and reducing the amount of light needed. A few simple ideas are listed below some of which can be done straight away at no cost plus others which cost money.
The electrical measurement tips have been updated in the miscellaneous section to give information on why the results you measure for electrical power consumption don’t always agree with the manufacturers quoted figures. The simplest way to measure the power used by plug in appliances is to use a plug in power meter which is used by plugging the power meter into the socket and the appliance into the power meter. This set up can be used to measure the power used under different conditions such as in use and standby. When measuring low powers e.g. standby consumption the accuracy is liable to be quite poor but should be consistent. You can purchase a simple plug in power meter from Maplin for only a few pounds. These plug in power meters will usually also measure voltage and current. You can work out the cost of appliances by measuring the power and then using EnCalcE an cost and cost comparison calculator which is free for personal non commercial use.
Setting up a computer to minimise energy use and how to set up a computer for optimum power saving have been updated in the electrical section. To achieve even greater control and save more energy install a shutdown utility such as AllOff or AllOff Lite which will power off or hibernate the computer due solely to lack of user input. It is quite normal for computers to carry out house keeping tasks such as disk de fragmenting when idle which can stop the computer going into standby for many hours. If you have more than two computers networked together a utility such as LANOff will help control energy use. The computer utilities referred to here are all from JSutils a site that specialises in energy saving shutdown utilities and calculation software.