Good data saves money: smart meters

a light bulb

We’ve had a smart meter for over a year now and it has led to a 20% reduction in our electricity use.

We had thought we ran a pretty efficient household, at least on the electricity front. From analysing bills before we had the smart meter, I estimated we were using 5-6 units a day, which is well below the “average energy use” that you hear so much about. We always used less than those helpful energy providers predicted, anyway.

However, the smart meter gave us (a) more data and (b) more ways to look at that data. One thing that became clear fairly quickly was that we were using almost as much electricity when we were out of the house than when we were in it.

We became religious about switching things off at the wall, particularly when going away for a day or more. This is what has made the biggest impact, which surprised me, as I thought that all of our devices were energy efficient.

It also helped to pinpoint particular devices that use more power. It wasn’t surprising to see that the oven and the washing machine were power suckers, but the daylight lamp bulb was a nasty shock.

Having good data saves money, particularly if you know how to analyse it!

Photo by Christian Dubovan on Unsplash

Carbon accounting – what gets measured gets done

Photo by Karsten Würth on Unsplash

I hadn’t done much with carbon accounting in my professional life before 2020. It’s only mandatory for the largest companies and organisations so hasn’t been a requirement for me. But focussing on my personal carbon footprint this year has made me determined to bring carbon accounting into my professional life.

Continue reading “Carbon accounting – what gets measured gets done”