Archive for July, 2009

How much energy does your car use?

As part of our Energy Descent Plan we’re trying to progressively reduce our energy consumption – fuel for the car, electricity and gas in the house. This’ll save us significant money but also will reduce our carbon footprint and dependance on Fossil Fuels.

The first thing is to work out how much energy we’re using, and to that end we’ve started measuring it monthly. We’ve just finished the second month of monitoring our car usage, although they have been two crazy months (due to moving in to the eco-house) so the results may not be typical of our normal lifestyle. We’re converting all our energy use to kWh/day so that we can compare fuel/electricity/gas on an equal basis:

Month Miles MPG Litres Used kWh kWh/day
June 429 46 42.4 454 15.12
July 423 47.2 40.74 436 14.06

So we’ve already seen a significant drop in our daily energy consumption from the car 😀

I’d have to say that is a bit of a fluke – we haven’t tried particularly hard to reduce our consumption yet. It’ll be interesting to see how our consumption changes as we settle into our new routines here.

As it’s the first of the month I’ve just taken the first Gas and Electric readings in the eco-house so we can work out our standard consumption for those next month too – it’ll be interesting reading and will give us a base to measure our changes.

One of the first learning  points from this is that if we had a plug-in electric car we’d have to have at least 15 kWp of solar panels installed – that is a LOT of solar panels. It makes you realise how big an impact the car has on our energy consumption.

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Our Rainwater Harvesting system (v1)

Rainwater Harvesting system Current Capacity: about 2 litres, I think we can do better!

No, seriously, this is the only thing collecting water from the house at the moment. A single plastic jug under one of the downpipes. It’s a little below the 6,000l capacity I’ve been planning in my thoughts on Rainwater Tanks.

(The rocks were kindly donated by the littlies, who are currently filling it full of anything in the garden that sinks !)

OK, we’re in!

Finally, after several months of back-n-forth we are in our new house – expect some renewed action as we start to make some progress on all these wonderfull things we’ve been talking about – and the first figures for our Energy Descent plan are due at the end of the month.

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