Well the weather has really turned, as I write this it’s cold and wet. Just like most of the summer really! Apart from nipping down to water in the greenhouse, there’s not much happening on the plot. That’s not to say that there’s nothing to do, but there’s nothing urgent enough to do in the rain.
Freezer Running Costs
In a way, it’s not bad news. I’ve been having a busy time in the house. The power meter is in constant use, measuring electricity consumption of the freezers with and without the Savaplug. The results, so far, are surprising to say the least. One freezer that I thought would be quite efficient and low cost to run has turned out to be very expensive. In fact, it looks to be so expensive that I’m going to re-run the test.
Experience has shown me that data well outside the expected range may well be false and is worth double-checking. So the full article is yet to be written, pending a steward’s enquiry!
So far I can say with 100% certainty is that the Savaplug on our old tall freezer is saving us £46.00 a year. It’s running costs without the gadget are £111.00 a year but with the device running they fall to just £65.00 a year. That’s 41%, which is far higher than the claimed 20%.
Now this green energy saving lark isn’t just about saving the planet, it’s about saving the wallet as well. I cannot for the life of me understand how some people think. We watch the telly where surfboarding Howard from the Halifax sings of high interest rates on savings. Like 5% is high? I invested £25.00 in a plug that gives us 184% return on investment. A return that is unlikely to go down, unless you think the electricity companies are going to drop the prices they gouge from us.
Energy Saving Light Bulbs
I’ve seen energy saving light bulbs for just 99p in the shops. The savings there are crazy. If we have a 100watt bulb on for just 5 hours a day over a year, it will cost us £21.35 to run a year. The energy saving bulb, however, will only cost £4.27. Don’t believe me? Do the maths – the energy saving bulb uses just 20watts, a fifth of the energy. So divide the running cost of the conventional bulb by 5. Cost for the conventional bulb is 5 hours X 100watts = 500 watt hours or 0.5KWh (a KWh is a unit of electricity) Multiply 0.5 by 365 days in a year and we get 182.5 KWh per year. At 11.7 pence per unit (and rising) that is £21.35
So, here’s the deal – invest 99p in a light bulb and you can have your leccy bill cut by £17.08 a year. I sometimes think people don’t believe it because it sounds too good to be true but perhaps it’s down to them not seeing where the money goes. That’s where this power meter really focuses the mind. When you can see the figures (it not only tells you time and power consumption but the cost)
Whilst you can get low energy bulbs anywhere now, and even for free from some power companies, the Savaplug is like hen’s teeth to find. I rang Nigel’s Eco Store as they’ve been out of stock for a while and it seems there is a new model coming. Stocks have run out of the old and it looks like they won’t be available until next year. Frustrating to say the least.
What really bugs me is that this technology could be built in to freezers now rather than you having to buy a special plug. OK, they’d have to pay a licence fee and it would add a few bob to the manufacturing cost but when you look at savings as I am seeing, it makes so much sense.
Once I’ve finished the research into the freezers, the next item on the agenda is going to be those standby appliances. We’re actually quite good on those, everything we can physically switch off, gets switched off.
There used to be those public service announcements on the telly telling you to unplug the TV at night in case it caught fire, now it’s to stop the blessed thing sucking your wallet dry whilst you sleep.
I don’t even see that standby saves you any effort. It’s a choice between walking a few steps to the telly and pressing a button or spending half an hour searching around for the remote control and arguing over who changed the channel last.
I have also been looking for the Savaplug, and have found a number of them on Ebay at a price of £19.99 each + £1.95 P & P, which I don’t think is too extortionate. There are also some on a Auction so you could pick up a bigger bargain if you win.
Keep up the good work, I look at your site most nights. I am still on a number of waiting lists for an allotment where I live, in Redditch and found your article a few days ago most interesting.
Bye for now
Really hard to believe you con save that much money with a plug, must try and get one.
I was quite amazed by the results – I expected some savings but not the scale I’m seeing. I’ve also measured temperature over time to check it was holding and stable.
As I said, the study isn’t complete but I was moved to write about how it’s going so far.
I find all the info on the site really useful,so good that I recently got the book from you.I now read the diary daily to get up to date on thoughts and ideas.Please do keep up the excellent work, regards nigel (started allotment june 16th 2008)
I am just getting back into veggie gardening after a log absence. This has led on to the freezer not being big enough and looking at running costs of its replacement. Until I stumbled on this site looking for a recipe, I am well impressed and now you will be a weekly favorite. Thamks keep up the good work.