It was meter reading day on Saturday and thanks to the recent warm weather my usage for the past four weeks was only marginally up on the previous four. And way down on the same period last year. Which is good news. The electricity increase is expected as I need lights on more as the days shorten. Gas increase is due to a bit of carelessness with hot water I suspect, as I haven’t had the heating on at all.
Even with recent gas and electricity price increases I think I might just manage to save a little money on that expense over the whole year. Naturally that doesn’t begin to compensate for the rocketing cost of food and other essentials, but it’s still nice to make a small gain on something. It doesn’t take too much effort – mostly just remembering to turn appliances off when not in use and wearing more clothes rather than turning the heating on.
Other than that I’ve rather lost the plot lately when it comes to budgeting – too much stress on various fronts leaving me without time or energy to shop wisely. But things are improving slowly and I must get back to meal-planning, batch cooking and seeking out bargains instead of grabbing what’s quickest and easiest.
I don’t feel as though I’ve been making very strenuous efforts to conserve power over the last four weeks, but my consumption electricity is still down on the same period last year and 2009, so I guess my changed habits on that front have become fairly ingrained now. Gas is down on previous years, but not on last month, which reflects my lack of attention.
Although it hasn’t been particularly cold, especially compared to last February, it has been fairly relentlessly wet lately and that gets me down a bit. Bright, dry cold days somehow feel less chilly than grey wet ones. I can tolerate the cold quite well when I’m cheery and the sun is shining, it’s not so easy when it’s cloudy all day and the laundry won’t dry.
Figures below are rounded to the nearest whole unit. I live in a double-glazed, two bedroom inner terrace house and am at home most of the day. Gas is for heating and hot water only (combi boiler).
Feb 2009: Electricity 207 / Gas 74
Feb 2010: Electricity 199 / Gas 68
Feb 2011: Electricity 184 / Gas 43
(Jan 2011: Electricity 192 / Gas 43)
Thanks to the recent mild weather both gas and electricity meter readings are lower this month than in 2010 or 2009. When I first started taking regular readings I thought I was already fairly careful in my habits and didn’t make any additional effort to save power. Still, being aware that prices are rising fast it seemed sensible to see if I could reduce my usage.
Last January I was very pleased to achieve a drop in both gas and electricity consumption despite the very cold weather. I have gradually changed some of my habits, e.g. I wash up far more economically than I used to, use the microwave more and aim to keep myself warm rather than the house, and it’s good to see that my efforts are paying off.
I’m amazed by the drop in gas usage – I don’t feel as though I’ve stinted myself at all with the heating, so I have to attribute the reduction to the weather. It’s turned much colder over the last few days, so I’ve been having the heating on more, but it’s nice to feel that I’m ahead of myself at the moment.
If you are interested, here are the figures, rounded to the nearest whole unit. I live in a double-glazed, two bedroom inner terrace house and am at home most of the day. Gas is for heating and hot water only (combi boiler).
Jan 2009: Electricity 223 / Gas 85
Jan 2010: Electricity 199 / Gas 73
Jan 2011: Electricity 192 / Gas 43