Green Year’s Resolutions February; Electrickery !

The beginning of the new month for me, means the start of a new green resolution.  I’ll be sticking to last month’s, but I’ll be focusing on a new one. As you may have guessed from the title, February’s resolution is all about electricity, and well… not using so much of it.
I think we’re already doing pretty well. We’re watching our energy usage, and our energycompany supplies only green energy. But there’s always room for improvement, isn’t there?
Bas and I are big fans of technology, so instead of a regular thermostat, we have a nifty little device called Toon in our livingroom. Our energycompany developed it, and we pay a small fee every month to keep it running, but so far it has definitely been worth it.
l_Eneco_toon_afstand_a_5113b74426deaThis high-tech tablet-like thermostat, measures your energy and gas usage and tells you if you’re using more or less then what you’re paying for, so you can avoid surprises when the bill comes. It also let’s you compare your usage to that of similar households and if you have friends with the save device, you can even compare it to theirs. (Creating some healthy competition between households).
When not in use it inverts the screen colors so it uses less power, and when you’ve set it to sleep/vacation/away, the screen will go to sleep automatically.

To determine if we’re actually going to be saving energy, we need to figure out how much energy we’re currently using. So I’ve taken a look at the pretty graphs in Toon, and came up with the following:
The energycompany estimated our usage for January (based on last year) at 407 Kwh (94 Euros).
In reality, we used only 296 Kwh (68 Euros).
So that’s already a great improvement over last year! However, as I said before, we can always do a little better. Having clear goals makes it easier to focus and measure your success. Therefor, I’m setting a new goal for the month.
By the end of February, I want to have reduced our weekly energy usage by 10%
I don’t know if this is a realistic goal, I really don’t. But there’s only one way to find out.
The average weekly energy usage in our household during the month of January was 67 Kwh (15,35 Euros). Reducing this by 10% means our new weekly usage should be no more than 60 Kwh. Sounds easy enough.

Stekker_ToonTo aid me further on my mission, I have yet an other nifty device (don’t you love the word nifty?). A while ago, my energycompany had a competition and I was one of the lucky winners. The prize was a Fibaro Wall Plug that you can link to the Toon-device. You put it between your power outlet and the plug of any appliance. Not only will the edge of the socket light up in a color representing the amount of energy the appliance is using (blue/green for low usage, purple/red for high usage), but when linked to Toon, it allows Toon to track how much energy it is using exactly and when you have the proper app installed, you can switch it of using your tablet. So this socket will help me figure out which appliances use more power than I thought, and to switch it of when not in use.
Did I mention I love technology?

I’ll be posting an update on how we’re doing about half way through the month and then of course share the final results with you at the end of the month. For now I’m off to save the planet… or at least make an effort not to ruin it.
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