General ramblings

Chop Chop!

March 26, 2014

When reviewing the gadgets and gizmos that were around to try and reduce our energy use in heating our homes, I briefly mentioned the Chop Cloc.
And here is lovely hubby, with his second guest post of the Great Energy Race (the first one is here), all about Chopping!

If you have ever seen Family Guy you’ll know that once you become a Dad you have an in built affinity with your central heating system. If your powers are stong enough you can even detect when someone over the road has touched their thermostat. To carry on this long tradition I am the custodian of the central heating in our house and I have always treated it as a challenge to see how little I can have it on without anyone complaining about being cold.

In the past I have fiddled with timings, tweaked individual radiator thermostats and turned down the main stat by a degree or two, just to try to be economical. One thing has always frustrated me though, if I walk past the thermostat (which is rather ridiculously placed in our hall. Because as we all know, the hall is where most families spend most of their time, and it is vital to control the temperature of the hall…) too quickly it will fire up the heating-it’s almost as though it’s mocking me. It will then seem to be perpetually cutting in and out
So I was delighted to discover Chop-Cloc when we were researching the Great Energy Race. It has so many things going for it it’s just not true!

First off it has been conceived by a Brit called Garry Stewart, before being designed and developed in the UK which for me is a real bonus.
Secondly, it is estimated that “Choppers” save an average of 16% off their energy bills.
And thirdly, the payback period is one of the shortest for all the heating saving devices out there.

speedchart

Here’s how it works.
The Chop-Cloc is installed between you boiler and your existing thermostat. It is stylish little dial with 7 incremental time settings.

Screen Shot 2014-03-23 at 16.56.22

What is does is so simple and it will save you money without you even realising.
When your heating initially fires up you can set the Chop-Cloc to allow the boiler to do its own thing for 60 or 90 minutes, however long it takes your house to warm up from cold. You also have the option of setting this time at zero minutes if you want to live right in the edge and save money from the word go.

Once this initial period has finished Chop-Cloc starts chopping. A Chop is defined as a period when Chop-Cloc will turn your boiler off completely and not allow the pesky stat to interfere. The  idea is that you will not even notice that you heating has gone off as the residual heat is still there. You can set Chops at 5 minute increments from 15 to 45 depending on how cold it is out side, meaning you boiler will be turned off for that amount of time in every hour.
The most frustrating thing about it, is having to wait until later on in the year to find out if it works! We only got it just as we were turning the heating off. And we all know that once the heating is off, it stays off until at least October….At least I can look forwards to being master of the chop and seeing how long I can make the chops without anyone noticing…….

Thanks to Garry-“The Architect of Chop”-for his interest in our participation in The Great Energy Race and for coming up with such a fantastically simple money, energy and resource saving device 🙂 We will report back next Winter!!

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No Comments

  • Reply Peter Ebenezer February 9, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    How did you find it in the long term?
    I’m considering one for my old victorian terrace house in coldest darkest Wales.

    Would love an update!

    • Reply Jen February 10, 2015 at 7:54 pm

      Hi Peter
      Still trying to work out how it’s affecting our bills. We complicated things by getting a log burner, which we are trying to use as much as poss in lieu of heating. We have had the heating on much less than in previous winters, and have been ‘chopping’ so will evaluate the bill when it comes…!

  • Reply Crossing the Line | My Make Do and Mend Year April 6, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    […] invested in a Chop-Cloc, which promises to help us to cut our bills and energy using without even noticing it-we will have […]

  • Reply sarahn March 27, 2014 at 12:15 am

    Cool! I work for a power company and we’ve tested sending signals (like we used to for hot water electrical storage heaters) to turn air con off for 20 mins in the hour, at different houses, to try to reduce the overall peak load on really hot days. It was only a trial, but an innovative idea, that would have a huge impact if rolled out widely!

    • Reply Jen March 27, 2014 at 5:07 pm

      Wow, that really would have a huge impact-would love to hear how the trial goes.

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