How can I start saving power?
There are numerous ways you can save power without even spending any money. The best approach is to first understand where the power is been used. Most people are often surprised as to what uses the most electricity however generally people are becoming more aware.
What are some practical ways to save power?
First and foremost – turn things off! Apart from that, it is important to keep things maintained and be aware of new technology. For example, air conditioners will use more power if the filters aren’t cleaned regularly and old air conditioners will use far more power than a new inverter model.
Work with thermal energy – do you know where you are losing temperature in your home? It is often through large glass door or window, or through gaps around frames and in floor boards. Try pulling the blinds down to contain thermal energy, or close your downstairs garage if in a two story home. Remember that even living with 1 degree of difference off normal settings will make a significant difference to the amount of energy being used for heating or cooling.
Leaking hot water taps can also cause leaking energy issues when driven by resistive elements. Ensure that hot water systems are either on the full night tariff or driven by solar. Heat pumps are seemingly very expensive for the outcome, and gas systems use micro amounts of electricity.
As for lighting its best to change to LED as lamps blow. It’s currently still challenging to source quality replacements, but we suggest choosing minimum 7 and preferably 12-13W lamps for general applications. Pay attention to the color index, as that more than anything generally determines the quality of the lamp. LED lamps especially in the 13W range do not respond as claimed to temperature and can still get quite hot. Whilst this is highly unlikely to be a fire hazard, it does significantly reduce the life of the lamp. This means paying attention to segregation and spacing requirements.
How do I know where my power is being used?
Accurate measurement, logging, and trends can be achieved by a variety of means with the most cost effective method dependent upon the site and equipment on hand. In many cases, this will be via the inverter logging system or inverter communication modules.
There is of course a wealth of information available on the web to analyze and estimate your usage. For example, every appliance has an average running cost per hour in watts. These averages can either be found on the web or taken from the ‘appliance plate’ or sticker on the appliance itself. For example, a common toaster uses roughly 1000W per hour or 1kWhr.
If for turned it on for 2 hours it would consume 1000W x 2hrs giving 2kWhrs of consumption. Multiply that by a tariff rate of say 30c and you have the running cost. In this example, it would cost 60c to run the 1kW toaster for 2 hours.
ENERGY EFFICIENT APPLIANCES
The Mitsubishi Heavy Industries ZMXA range of hyper inverter air conditioners are some of the most efficient units on the market. These air conditioners will use some 60% less power than a standard air conditioner and up to 20% less than a standard inverter driven unit.
2/2.5kW will run off 350-450W
2.4/3.1 will run off 490-595W
3.5/4.3 will run off 840-960W
5/6.2 will run off 1300-1360W
6/6.2 will run off 1670-1860W
The MHI 2/2.5 will pull just 4.8kWh of energy if run for 12 hours ie all night long.
There is a handy calculator here which does an excellent job of comparing washing machines and showing total running costs; Washing Machine Calculator
Battery operated vacuum cleaners are the new trend and no one does it better than Dyson. The real advantage here is you can plan when it will draw power rather than placing an intermittent peak load onto the energy system.
Looking for more recommendations? The mother ship of information can be found here;