Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Our Electricity Usage

One thing that I have become more and more aware of over the years is our usage of electricity.

I found that my two boys who are 12 and 9 loved their DVD's, computer games, DS, Internet usage and portable DVD player. I wanted to make them more aware of what it meant to go without. Plenty of people do.

So when we moved out here Russell and I decided that we were not going to get free TV installed. A man from Warwick wanted to charge $200 just for him to come out and test if we could get it... We are in a 'black spot' for reception so decided that the ABC Kids TV shows the boys were used to watching, they could well do without.

We do order 10 DVD's through BigPond for $20 per month and that is all we have.

I went another step further a couple of weeks ago. On a Wednesday, we now have 'Low Electricity Wednesday'. This means that other than the Fridge, deep freezer and phone we switch everything else off. The first time we did also have night lights on as this is a feeling of safety for the boys that they could not do without. I take a meter reading the day before, on the day and then the day after and see what we saved and used.

The first Wednesday we used 5kWh, the second was 3.3kWh. We are getting better. On the day I have a 20l container with a tap at the sink in the kitchen. We do no dishes that day and eat cold food out of the fridge. We have candles at night and play games outside or inside while they are not at school.

I must say that they are doing really well with all of this. I don't have my hubby home during the week so it is alot easier than if he were home. He is in IT at work and loves to do his thing in the shed. He makes his own boomerangs and turns his own pens. He is rather clever but chews through the electricity therefore.

From this week we also now have no DVD's, Computer, DS etc on a Monday as well. This is helping with them connecting with each other as well as getting them interested in the outdoors alot more.

They are telling me what I am trying to teach them. They are less stressed without the electrical stuff and learning slowly to get along better. My eldest has Asperger's Syndrome so for him it is even more of a challenge to let go of what he considers 'his time' to relax with the computer but he is getting there. I am very proud of both of them and in the process saving some money too. Can't complain about that. :)

Cheers Damaris

Update: We used 4.6kWh yesterday. This was up from last week as Russell came home in the evening... Also we have three chicks under the light at the moment. The boys also had their night light on again last night. Am looking into solar and will write about that when more concrete information is on hand.

Cheers Damaris

1 comment:

Ann said...

Hi Damaris, Thanks for leaving a comment on my 'fossicking family' post.
Just to let you know, the campsite is at the Mann River nature reserve which is about 48km from Glen Innes, off the Gwydir highway between Glen Innes and Grafton. We found it in the NSW national parks 2009 brochure which you can hopefully pick up from a tourist info centre. It is a popular site, being free must be an attraction as is the river but it's a bit of a steep descent for caravans, so it should mainly attract campers. It was one of the best camping places we have been to. Being so close to Glen Innes for the fossicking was good too. Next time we might try Inverell but we would return to that camp site that's for sure.
Enjoyed what you wrote about electricity usage. We need to bring down ours drastically. Our son has just started an online university degree, so curbing computer usage is not possible at the moment but at least he is doing something beneficial. He has little time for games these days... thank goodness!