TIPS

What's the biggest impact changes I can make to my usage to help me hit my Power Move target?

What's the biggest impact changes I can make to my usage to help me hit my Power Move target?
Userlevel 7

Here’s how participants of our Power Move trial, which took place over the winter of 2022/23, got their peak usage levels down enough to hit their target.

 

What worked for you?


115 replies

I’ve changed to moving from the 4pm -7pm high usage to earlier in the morning and some after 7pm hope it works ?

Userlevel 4

Yesterday I tried to use as little electric as possible between 4 - 7 pm and at about 7.05 I put the kettle on, got dinner on, put tv on …and I can see in from my ovo account looking at daily usage there is a big spike (oven, kettle, Tv etc!) registered at 7pm. Does anyone know if the 7 pm reading is used in the calculation - do I really have to wait til 7.30 to start dinner?  

Userlevel 7

Good question this, @decroisic

 

We only count the half hourly (HH) slots that start from 4pm-6.30pm. Any electricity used in the 7pm half hourly slot will not be counted towards your 'peak' electricity consumption. For example, the 6.30pm HH slot measures your electricity consumption from 6.30-6.59pm.

 

I’d imagine that the 7pm bar on the online account bar chart displays usage for the HH slot from 7-7:29pm. If you minimise usage around the ‘peak’ period of 4pm-7pm, you’re onto a winner!

Userlevel 4

Thanks @Tim_OVO   - dinner on at 7.01 it is then - Yes! 

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

Make it 7:05PM, just to be safe! :)

We’ve been trying to go without electricity between 4-7pm as suggested. It’s very dark and very cold with it raining it feels very damp. I do washing in the morning prep lunch say home made soup for lunch and dinner in a slow cooker or via microwave?

can’t see much difference fir this on my smart meter??

still it’s a sacrifice for the better I hope!?

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

Slow Cooking is actually really good for electricity usage (it doesn’t use much!) and can bring out the flavour of some foods a lot more than any other methods can. You can literally buy cheaper cuts of meat, slow cook them and have them taste like really expensive meat!

Userlevel 2

I’m thinking the Sunday Roast will have to be a weekday roast, and all baking will have to be done during the week!!! It’s proving very difficult to reduce use to 12.5% without deliberately increasing use outside of the target hours. I feel less guilty around boiling the kettle for a hot water bottle though on a weekday night🤣

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Hi, I’m one of the forum volunteers - customers like you but trying to help out where we can. 
I’ve been testing a few things over the last month or so to try and see what can be reduce during peak times. I have a busy household and so it can be difficult but 

  1. moving cooking prep outside these hours so there less to use to finish the meal. 
  2. If you have high power use appliances, just thinking about when you use them
  3. make sure you lighting is LED if possible - these use less than 10% of their equivalent bulbs
  4. heating - I have been turning up the temperature just before the peak and then turning it down for peak hours. Overall the energy used should even out but be lower during the peak. 

A few careful considerations can make a difference. 

Userlevel 2

I’m on target too, but closer to the cut off than you! My shifts have been to move the afternoon cup of tea to 10 to 4 or 5 past 7, and to move use from weekends which don’t count, to the week - so tonight I have done a load of baking which I would normally do on a weekend (electric oven), so that pushes down the % of the 24 hour total used between 4-7pm. I didn’t think I was going to be on target from looking at my use via the website so that was good news for me today.

We are on track but only just, but pleased with it so far, using dishwasher and washing machine at appropriate times 

Glad our efforts are paying off. Having people round is hard when you want to cut light and heat. We warm the house up before and after if needed. Hot water bottles and blankets come in handy. Will be a test when it’s actually colder than it is. Shame there isn’t an overall reward scheme for cutting power usage. Certainly makes you think about when you use appliances. 

Pleased with ours at 9.1% and quite surprised as when I calculated this before November, we were using over 16% between 4 and 7. The family are quite motivated and have been looking into the most energy efficient way to cook rice (microwave apparently) and filling a thermos with water for hot drinks at about 3.30!

 

Changes we’ve made (couple with no kids, pure electricity household):

  • turning a bunch of appliances off at wall, including boiler, heated towel rail, TV, smaller fridge, oven, dishwasher, washing machine, chargers (basically everything except Wi-Fi router, fridge-freezer and screen for work monitor)
  • using high power appliances outside of peak times
  • waiting until 7pm to cook dinner
  • not having lights on and using pre-charged devices (phone, laptop) for entertainment, or going on evening walk

Email says we’re running at around 8% - it’s pretty fun for the challenge, but not possible for every evening depending on when we need to start food. 

Userlevel 4

I've basically just moved the things I would usually do at 5pm to after 7pm but I still use my microwave and my treadmill and still hit target showered after 7pm. This is the only time I have been happy to have storage heaters. 👍

Userlevel 4

I’m in so far with 10.99 %  - Yeah! - but I don't feel I have much wiggle room and feel it has been harder than expected. Between 4 and 7 I have 1 light on and either when working, the laptop running on a full battery charged before 4pm (so not using electricity) and if not working then its tv that's plugged in. Between 4 - 7 I do not use, oven, hob, kettle, washing machine, toaster, microwave etc - Nothing other than 1 light and perhaps TV.  I had a Tesco delivery and felt really bad as I didn't dare put the outside light on!  I needed an engineer for a boiler breakdown and was anxious that they might turn up around 4 pm! 

I feel the same we are just a couple as hearing to joy using washing machine, tumble drier or heating until after 7 and we’ve done it weekends too! Then realised it’s only Monday - Friday??

we’re not on target it says. I don’t charge my phone or iPads, turn my computer and printer off.

what else can I do!!

Userlevel 1

We are at 15.09%. Have always done cooking evening meal after 7.00pm and hoovering before 4.00pm

Will try turning off TV recorder and one or two other things except FridgeFreezer and router. Central heating is via gas so need to keep the pump going as the evenings are getting cooler.

Will see what the next half brings!!

Userlevel 2

Doing fine, hitting the stats by moving showers, washing, oven usage, etc. I did a Masters thesis on “Demand response”  back in 2004 which turned into a 2010 Journal paper “Supporting high penetrations of renewable generation via implementation of real-time electricity pricing and demand response” that now has >300 citations. I’ve been waiting 18 years to actually be able to join any form of time-of use pricing scheme for electricity myself. So I am “excited” to finally be able to do so, if that is the right word?!

 

However one of the frustrations is that you still can’t easily just download any csv-style data of usage from your Ovo account pages.

 

This thread below has been going for 3 years and OVO have been “promising” to provide a simple download system for that long, but its never appeared. It can’t technically be difficult so there must be some other reason its never been provided?
 

 

I have seen other posts about using multiple downloadable tools to accomplish this, but this restricts it to IT wizards.
 

I’ve managed to use a very basic “copy-paste” method from the OVO usage daily webpage, and hack it into a spreadsheet. But it’s very manual, needing to be done individually for every 24 hour period. It takes a long time, and I don’t know how many days I could be bothered to do it. However, it’s the only way to really see what’s really making a difference and what’s not.
 

Please - provide an easy usage download or analysis tool!

 

Perversely, one of the interventions we make is that between 4-7pm if anyone wants a cup of tea, we use a gas-hob kettle we still had stashed away in a cupboard, so we are using gas, but less gas than would be used to produce the electricity to boil the same size electric kettle. You can also have a gas-powered bath between 4-7pm, instead of an electric shower.  That’s sometimes popular!

 

Userlevel 2

I’ve just been going over some of the other posts. 

The obvious big hitters are the high wattage items.

For instance, a kettle for 1 minute is the same as a 50 W bulb for about an hour.

So, its not worth being too draconian with the lights, nor falling down the stairs in the dark in an attempt to save a tiny portion of a kWh. But it is worth turning off unnecessary lights if they might be on for long periods, turning on and off the lights depending on what room you’re in between 4-7.

The electric shower is the really big “mover” if you have one,

Every minute in the shower is the same as a 50 W bulb for about 2.5 hours.

5 minutes in an electric shower is a significant part of our daily consumption.

(8 kW*5/60 = 0.67 kWh).

Moving that 5 minute shower makes a huge difference. If anyone uses the electric shower for 10 minutes, the effect is doubled, or you can use a longer shower late at night to swing the stats a bit. If you were close to the 12.5% and not quite meeting it, you could swing the stats by having a slightly LONGER shower later at night, thereby using MORE electricity than usual, but reducing your 4-7pm proportion. Someone could do the calculation about how long extra you could afford to stay in the shower at 34 p/kWh, if it meant that you crossed over the threshold and got the £20, that otherwise you might not have done. Not really the “spirit” of the scheme, but the rules of the scheme are what they are,

We also have an electric towel rail. That’s now timed to only come on later in the evening, coinciding with when we are “allowed” to have an electric shower.

 

Out TV etc. uses almost 400W so its a large effect. We don’t really sit down until after 7 PM anyway, so that works in our favour for this scheme. We’d struggle a lot more as a family if it was 4PM-8PM or 9PM.

 

There are also some small interventions that can be made that also help.

 

I noticed that our gas boiler actually uses 140 W or more when its pumping. So far its not been very cold this November, and we are trying to reduce our use of the heating in general. However, it needs to be on a bit to purge the damp from the house. So, although its a gas appliance, if you set a timer so that it runs the heating only before 4 or after 7, that can make a small contribution difference. It all helps.

 

 

Not having my gadget loving kids at home so it's pretty easy for us to have

1 Nothing charging up or on standby. Lights off in unused rooms.

2 Much meal preparation done before 4, so either heating up or quick cooking. We're lucky to have microwave with oven.

3 Washing machine and/or dishwasher out of action or on delay 

4Husband wfh frequently finishes before 4. I wfh one day but finish later.

 

Userlevel 1

Me to to all of this. All LED bulbs, one light on, cooker, microwave, kettle unplugged, heating off, no hot water, no TV. I could go on and on, but still not reaching my target.

Maybe I have a Cheeky Gremlin in the works ?

Unfortunately I wasn't one of the ones who achieved it last month.  Although all lights and possible appliances were turned off, I work from home and don't finish work until at least half 4 when I start tea. Neither of us could wait until after 7, although we leave the washing up until then. I really would appreciate any tips to minimise our use.

Userlevel 4

We haven't used our dryer since February. We have a house full of smart plugs and bulbs. But what a lot of people forget is that even they use around 1w just to be on WiFi. It's not a lot, but if you've got a lot of them it mounts up. So we're using them as normal bulbs (on/off at the switch as needed) and just using them as smart if we're not at home.  The 2.1 surround system for the TV hasn't been used since March. That was a minimum of 40w in use, so almost 0.5kWh/day, more if the volume was up.

 

Our old fridge and freezer were using 3kWh/day between them. We bit the bullet and replaced them in March, and the new ones currently average about 0.6kWh/day between them.

I'm actually amazed that I didn't get the £20. I don't get home from work until 7pm and I was away for a week. Makes you wonder what you have to do!

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