Our Electric (I hope you are all appreciating the ingenious double meaning use of Electric this week, electric as in electricity, and electric as in cool, and exciting and fully charged with awesome-ness…) week for the Great Energy Race continues.
Yesterday, if you missed it, there was a long (some might say fairly dry and dull…) post with hints and tips for general electricity saving. Today, we are looking at the gadgets and gizomes (of which there are many) that can help us to reduce our electricity use. We e-mailed the very helpful chaps and chapesses at Nigel’s Eco Store, to see if they could advise us on the best things out there, and they very kindly replied. Below are some of their recommendations.
Are any of them going to win us the Great Energy Race..?!
These are supposed to be the bee’s knees. Just the very fact that you have one (and you plug it in and look at it) can apparently help you to cut electricity costs by up to 15% (I am assuming the costs of having plugged in are negligible..)
There are lots and lots of different ones out there, but never fear, there is a post to come on this very blog all about them very soon!
We all know that leaving things on standby is a Bad Thing.
As a nation, we spend £1.2 billion a year leaving things on standby. That is just plain wrong.
But there are some things that don’t actually have an ‘Off’ switch, and the plugs are often hard to reach.
Our DVD player was one such thing-there was no way to turn it off, except for at the wall. Until my mum and dad bought us a nifty thing one Christmas. I have to confess to not paying too much attention to it, hubby installed it, and now to turn the DVD properly off, we have to aim the remote at the plugs behind it, and it magically turns off. I now realise this must have been a Standby Saver.
There are lots of different sorts available, but I guess they all do a similar thing. There is a good range here on Nigel’s Eco Store
Energy Saving Motion Sensor
Whilst browsing Standby Savers (don’t say I don’t know how to have fun..) I saw this. And I am intrigued. In my head, it turns off all the lights and all the appliances in the room, when you have gone out and there is no longer any motion to detect in the room. If that is the case, I want one. In every room. What a fabulous idea.
But I can’t actually work out from the description if that is indeed what it does. And if it is actually what it does, how do you prevent it turning stuff off when you are sat quietly minding your own business watching the TV?
Has anyone tried one of these?
I mentioned the other day that hubby’s phone sounds an alarm when it is charged, prompting us to unplug it, but sometimes we are not around to hear it, and anyway most phones don’t have these alarms. Never fear! Here is a nifty device that cuts the power to the battery once it is full-genius!
Another ingenious invention. You connect this up to you PC, and then everytime you take a break/the phone rings/you go to get a cup of tea, you hit the button, and it puts your computer into the most economical sleep mode (who knew there were levels of sleep mode?!). Then when you come back, it instantly springs back into action precisely where you left off.
Sadly, this only works for Windows systems and not Macs, but it sounds pretty cool.
Solar and wind up radios
Since starting the Great Energy Race, I have obviously been looking fairly closely at the things we have plugged in. And as a result, I am more often than not, leaving the radio left turned off in the morning. Which is ok, but makes me feel a little sad. I quite like the background hum of Radio 2, and singing along, or on the odd occasion making the kids look at me like I am a loon if I start dancing.
So these radios could be the answer to my problem. They sound like a really great idea-but do they work in practice? Do we get enough sun in the UK to ensure one of these works for more than 2 minutes at a time? Any reviews?
On paper these sound like a great idea-there are even some that are able to store the solar energy in a battery, which sound pretty cool. But do they work? Would love some feedback if anyone has tried one.
Energy Saving Nightlights
If you have a little person who likes to sleep with a night light, or like to have one in hall in case you get caught short in the middle of the night, then one of these would be fabulous. It is low energy, and costs about 1p a week to have on!
As ever, this an inter-active process, and I would love to hear your experiences, and any other gadgets you have used to cut down on the ‘leccy.