Clean, sustainable energy is key to a technological future. Here at Green Cottage I have done my best to reduce my energy consumption as much as possible, and replace the energy I do need with clean and renewable energy sources.
The first step was to reduce my energy consumption as much as possible, and I have done this in a number of ways. The desktop computer has a ‘smart plug’ which turns off all of the accessories when the main computer is switched off. The desktop is used as a music computer, and when I need to use a computer I more often use a laptop as the energy consumption is much lower.
I don’t have a television – I use a laptop computer as the stereo, with the headphone socket connected to the hi-fi amplifier. So I don’t need all the different components of a multimedia system, the low-powered laptop does it all.
All over the house I use remote control sockets for things like the laptop/stereo set-up, and separately for the cable modem and wi-fi network. This ensures that absolutely nothing is switched on or on standby when it is not being used. I very often do not use the home network at all, preferring my smart ‘phone, which doesn’t require the cable modem or router to be switched on at all for internet access.
For lighting I generally don’t use the ‘big light’ on the ceiling – I use desk lamps with compact fluorescent lamps in them (commonly called low energy light bulbs), and under the kitchen units, in the stairwell and also in the bathroom I have extremely low powered LED lights which run on rechargeable batteries which I recharge with solar power.
The biggest consumer of electricity in the house is the kitchen, where I have a dishwasher, a washing machine, a hob, an oven and a fridge freezer which all use electricity. The fridge freezer, the washing machine and the dishwasher are all A rated for energy efficiency, and I use them on the economy setting to keep the electricity consumption down.
The hob and the oven are of course big users of electricity, but in addition to the standard hob I also have a single induction hob, which is much more efficient than the standard hob, and is very useful for bringing large pans to the boil quickly.
My grid electricity supplier is Good Energy, who source all of their electricity from renewable sources.
I don’t use gas at all, in fact I had the gas connection cut off when I installed the wood burning stove! So my electricity bill (and my bill for logs when I buy them) is my only energy bill.