My apartment’s electricity provider sends the electricity bill annually. This provides the opportunity to track ones energy usage once a year, unless of course you are the kind who records electricity meter readings every month. Just for fun.
This year, there was barely any improvement in my energy usage as compared to last year. My life style has been the same and I haven’t introduced any new energy saving schemes in the last year, so the annual bill made perfect sense. If only one would find satisfaction in perfect sense, no?
Anyway, since I had nothing else better to do this evening I decided to audit my energy usage with the hope of finding hidden potential energy saving avenues. Was not disappointed. Time certainly well spent.
What did I find out?
Only the bedroom was LEDfied, and the lights in the other rooms (CFL and incandescent) caused 20% of my annual energy usage. If I were to switch completely to LEDs, then the illumination’s contribution would amount to just 6%
The desktop PC and the WiFi router together were a not so glaringly evident culprits. My desktop computer consumed about 20%, and the WiFi router about 10% of the annual energy.
I am not a complete doofus – I mean my computer isn’t running all the time. It is configured to go to sleep on weekdays between 8 am and 6 pm. If it could be configured to go to sleep also from 12 am up to 6 am, then it would contribute to only 11% of my annual energy budget. Easy-peasy saving. The only investment on my part would be the time to reconfigure the computer.
But what about the WiFi router? Well, the answer to it is quite simply a programable timer switch which will switch on and off exactly when the desktop computer also switches on and off. The premise here being that I would need the internet and the computer to be available when ever I am awake or at home. Switching the router on and off at the right times would shave 6% off the annual bill.
According to my calculations these three tiny investments could lead to significant (ballpark estimate of 30%) energy savings. Well, so there is really no argument against applying these measures, is there?
Investment #1 Switch completely to LED bulbs
Investment #2 Enable (more) sleep on the desktop computer
Investment #3 Programmable timer switch to control the WiFi router.