The Energy Saving Trust produced an interesting report last year: “Powering the Nation: Household electricity-using habits revealed”. The report, based on a monitoring exercise, presented the electricity consumption of individual appliances within UK households, thus allowing an understanding of the make-up of electricity bills over the year, including the useful and the wasteful use of power.
One surprising aspect of the breakdown of usage is that the typical range of running costs of entertainment devices based in the living room reaches higher than the range of running costs for cooking and cooling costs from the kitchen:
Kitchen, cooking and cooling: £150 – £185 p.a.
Living room, entertainment: £70 – £300 p.a.
The also report states: ”Given that the average power bill for the average home in the study was approximately £530, we can see that standby power demand could account for 9–16 per cent of a household’s power bill…”.
This leads me to wonder if installers of electricity-generating renewables could be missing a trick. As part of the installation package, could an audit of appliances, combined with a short survey of usage patterns, put together in a nicely presented report, help to inform householders on how they can reduce their overall demand, thus getting even better value from their PV or wind turbine installation? I’m sure the same could be done for heat technologies as well. It’s a double-whammy – they commission an installer to come along and install a green technology and, as a result of their experience with the company, they save even more money than they expected. Net result: lots of brownie points and recommendations to friends for the installation company.