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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?

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Userlevel 4

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!

You being away for the week probably actually hurt more than helped for that week. You'd be relying on your phantom load levels. Which, if no one is in, the 3 hours between 4 and 7pm is exactly 12.5% of the daily usage (regardless of how much your phantom loads are). And since the target was "less than 12.5%" according to the email I got, that week would class a fail. Literally having a couple of smart bulbs come on after 7pm for that week may have tipped that week into a pass from a fail. Admittedly if the other 3 weeks were also fails then it wouldn't have helped since they apparently take your average over the month. Mind me asking what your email said you did achieve?

 

As others have said, the ridiculousness of this whole idea is that if you already use very little electric then this target is harder to achieve than for someone who uses it like it's 2021 and just cuts back a bit for the 3 hours. Because we've been cutting back since March our usage between 4 and 7pm has to average under 200w/hr. That's so little I thought it would be unachievable, hence why I was shocked we hit 10.12%

That does make sense, but like you say, it's ridiculous that you fail when you use so little. My email told me my usage between 4 and 7pm was 13.25%.

Userlevel 4

That does make sense, but like you say, it's ridiculous that you fail when you use so little. My email told me my usage between 4 and 7pm was 13.25%.

13.25% isn't that much of a miss. Is there anything at all that could be causing a higher phantom load than you'd expect? Freezer needing defrosting? A computer on while you're out that doesn't need to be? Probably wouldn't take much of a drop to hit the target.

Thanks. I'll try defrosting the freezer. I've already switched off other stuff that doesn't need to be on.

Userlevel 4

Thanks. I'll try defrosting the freezer. I've already switched off other stuff that doesn't need to be on.

As daft, and counterintuitive, as it sounds maybe look at increasing your electric use slightly outside the 4-7pm window. Just an extra 0.3 to 0.5kWh might be enough to tip you under the 12.5%. And yes, I'm aware of the utter ridiculousness of the situation of spending an extra £3-5/month to get a £20 account credit.

 

Can't believe we've come to this in this day and age 😭

This is not intended to be patronising. If you have reduced the KWh you use during the peak period to a tolerable minimum you can change the percentage figure by utilising more electrical energy outside the period. For me this was fairly easy because I have a small workshop which I heat with a fan heater(outside the peak) when it is cold, thus rducing my peak percentage. For some people, especially working couples who are out all day it may be impossible to achieve the target.

Suggestions that might help are :-

  1. Time switch your freezer to switch off for the last couple of hours of the period. There is little risk to frozen food if you avoid opening the door/lid.
  2. Try to avoid doing heavy current jobs at the weekend. Shift all the high energy activity to the week day off peak. Not always convenient but worth a try..
  3. The pumps/boiler of a central heating system can consume a significant amount of electricity and it is worth changing the programme to run the heating system for an hour before the peak period then avoid switching it on duing the peak for as long as is tolerable.
Userlevel 1

Thanks Chris for your suggestions. Last month I tried very hard to turn pretty much everything off during the peak hours making sure that I used energy prior by cooking and heating etc. Still to no avail. This month, I shall turn everything off (Inc fridge freezer as I guess that 3 hours off shouldn't do any harm?) and see how I get on then....would be interesting to see the outcome.

Userlevel 7

I enjoyed those suggestions, @chris jonson - thank you for sharing!

 

Safe to assume one would need a smart plug to time switch the fridge/freezer off? Anything wrong with @Missbob’s manual approach other than inconvenience?

 

It makes me think, what if everyone was given a means of automating the turning off of the fridge/freezer for both the morning and evening peak times? On a large scale it might make a big different with no impact to household’s routine. 

As a couple of pensioners, it seems to have been easier than some to get our electricity usage down to 7.91%. between 4 and 7.  Large appliances - washing machine, tumble drier, electric oven and hob etc. only on in the morning, main meal switched to middle of the day and baking in the morning, dishwasher not put on until after 7pm. We try not to put the electric kettle on between 4 and 7 - filling a flask for teatime use and turn off all the vampire power users we can find - Oven, Hob and microwave (all have timers taking current in the background), clock radios, printer and IT devices (apart from router and wifi network equipment) all turned off. It’s been a bit challenging at times, but has become routine and easier than we anticipated. So - we’ve achieved the aim of moving our demand for electricity away from the 4 to 7 slot and has also helped us to achieve a small reduction in our usage. We still have the TV on, LED lighting and Gas heating when needed. It’ll be interesting to see if we can keep it going!

Userlevel 4

@Brizzles55 I have to admit, I'm impressed. We're not even home most weekdays 4-7pm and still only were at 10.12%. May I make a huge presumption and guess that your usage in general is relatively high? For this I'd say high would be subjective, but maybe above 8 or 10kWh a day? Getting to under 8% is a big achievement, but one that I'm noticing people who are generally lower users are struggling to get anywhere near.

I'd honestly say that, if you're managing to get that low, the flask thing is probably not really necessary. I don't think an extra kettle boil a day would push you over the threshold. Same with some of those vampire devices. You're probably saving maybe 5w an hour. Our washing machine for example pulls 0.4w when 'off', and the microwave 1.4w. Since the plugs are behind them, and a smart plug would use 1w just to stay connected to WiFi there's not really much point messing with them.

Well done though, I hope you keep hitting the target. 

If you can afford to,  have you considered getting a microwave with a built-in oven? They're v good fOr small batch of cooking....eg baked potato

 

 

 

 

 

Userlevel 2

I do baked potatoes in my microwave already. As for combination microwave ovens, I’ve read surveys which say the power savings aren’t enormous and it would take months to recoup outlay. Likewise the new in thing the air fryer! I have a 40 year old pressure cooker for casseroles. I really am trying my best!!

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

We have used an air fryer for baked potatoes and they’re quite good and a little less power than microwave. If you look at your ‘normal’ energy use I think the £20 might be worth it

We got an air fryer in early November. The savings in terms of time and energy use vs our usual range oven are huge. Highly recommend it

Userlevel 1

We only use the oven once or twice a week for under 30 mins a time. That's not going to reduce our spending significantly and would not repay the cost for ages. Also space is already at a premium.

Short of changing my internal clock to sleep between 4 and 7, thereby turning off the heating, lighting and not opening the fridge or freezer, there's not a much I can see incan do.  Washing machine and dryer and dishwashers already run over night.  Currently walking around in the dark, wearing multiple layers of clothes.  

Oh I could switch everything off and go to the pub....oh yah that costs too.

Really please tell me something I'm not already doing.  

This might work well for those who haven't spent years reducing their usage, but without other ideas I'm not sure hiw tondo this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I keep seeing people saying they are not using lights, kettles etc! I thought it was stuff like washer, dishwasher? I’m not going to not use lighting, kettle etc. Our main electricity usage is white goods, already using them away from peak times. Cook with air fryer, slow cooker etc. Used oven twice in last 6 months (new kitchen and double oven last year! 🙁) 

Impossible to reduce more, I’m sure and we are just 2 retired since April, prior to that working from home - laptops on etc. 

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I am cooking at lunchtime when we are at home. On the two days we are not we eat after 7 pm

The problem is partly due to the early morning hours from around midnight till 8pm the only thing on apart form fridge /freezer  is one led light that must increase the 4-7 pm percentage even if dish washer and clothes washer are set to use those early morning hours use of clothes dryer during sleeping hours could be dangerous and should be avoided 

Userlevel 4

One thing that I have learnt from Powermove is how much electricity an oven uses. Luckily we have a gas hob and an airfryer so have been able to use our oven much less and only ever out of the 4-7 period.

Traditional fridge ahd washing machine no deep freeze, dryer or dishwasher or ninja foody whatnot!

Nothing ever on standby except tinterweb.

Energy used nov2022 81.09kwh,  Dec 2022 81.60 kwh around £26 minus power move bonus of £20 leaves a bill of £6 for a months worth of lecky. Lovely Jubbly.

Not so sure we could do this if our two kids were still at home but there you go.

Bit of advice we don't have a deep freeze we use the one down the road at a place called Aldi full of really good stuff. Just take what you want, pay for it and they cover the electric.

The other thing is that we are really old bought up on council estates where you had to feed the meter with coins.

If you have to do this it does encourage you to be frugal.

If your cold put another jumper on

Userlevel 4

Traditional fridge ahd washing machine no deep freeze, dryer or dishwasher or ninja foody whatnot!

Nothing ever on standby except tinterweb.

Energy used nov2022 81.09kwh,  Dec 2022 81.60 kwh around £26 minus power move bonus of £20 leaves a bill of £6 for a months worth of lecky. Lovely Jubbly.

Not so sure we could do this if our two kids were still at home but there you go.

Bit of advice we don't have a deep freeze we use the one down the road at a place called Aldi full of really good stuff. Just take what you want, pay for it and they cover the electric.

The other thing is that we are really old bought up on council estates where you had to feed the meter with coins.

If you have to do this it does encourage you to be frugal.

If your cold put another jumper on

Glad you are achieving your bonus. So are we.

As far as a freezer goes unfortunately most of us work full time and don't have time to shop around for cheap food on a daily basis so a freezer to store food in is not a luxury but a necessity. Saying that we run 2 and they only cost a few pence a day to run and we definitely save by buying in bulk when on cheap or by bulk cooking.

Sorry mate I gave the wrong impression of how often we shop. We only go to Aldi once a week, but what we do is plan all our meals each week. What we don't do is turn out loads of food which is then dumped in a freezer.

We never have had a freezer, for us they are an answer to a non existant problem, but then I suppose that is the definition of Marketing.

All the best, keep trying!

Userlevel 4

Sorry mate I gave the wrong impression of how often we shop. We only go to Aldi once a week, but what we do is plan all our meals each week. What we don't do is turn out loads of food which is then dumped in a freezer.

We never have had a freezer, for us they are an answer to a non existant problem, but then I suppose that is the definition of Marketing.

All the best, keep trying!

Each to their own…

I was brought up in a family who grew their own food and preserved by any means necessary what we couldn't eat before it went off so a freezer always came in handy. Currently my freezer has bags of fruit and veg that we have grown by us or been given by family and friends.

Also by shopping monthly and buying food when it is on special offer and freezing or cooking in bulk we save hundreds a year much less than the cost of a freezer and the electricity used to run them. 

 

 

 

We are OAPs living in a 4 bed house gas central heating and hot water, gas hob

Rest of the house is electric. Our average usage last week was 2.61kwh

I don't think that is high but we don't have a deep freeze, microwave or ninja foody whatsit.

We use the electric oven twice a week to bake bread although sometimes this falls at the weekend and therefore doesn't help the power move calculation.

Food for us is fuel and all cooking is done on the gas hob

We have hit the power move target quite easily over the last few months, and we think it involves thinking back to how we used to live in the 1950's. Only heat the room you are sitting in, turn the lights off in rooms not being used put a jumper on if you are cold.

This isn't a sacrifice for us, but it's not going to happen unless change is not only made but embraced.

Hope this is of some use?

Userlevel 4

We are OAPs living in a 4 bed house gas central heating and hot water, gas hob

Rest of the house is electric. Our average usage last week was 2.61kwh

I don't think that is high but we don't have a deep freeze, microwave or ninja foody whatsit.

We use the electric oven twice a week to bake bread although sometimes this falls at the weekend and therefore doesn't help the power move calculation.

Food for us is fuel and all cooking is done on the gas hob

We have hit the power move target quite easily over the last few months, and we think it involves thinking back to how we used to live in the 1950's. Only heat the room you are sitting in, turn the lights off in rooms not being used put a jumper on if you are cold.

This isn't a sacrifice for us, but it's not going to happen unless change is not only made but embraced.

Hope this is of some use?

 

Think back to the olden days and only use what is necessary. A airfryer uses such much less electricity than an oven and gas central heating is cheaper then electric heaters.

Buy and cook in bulk in the oven (during the day or at weekend) then freeze and reheat in a microwave when needed.

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