Green Power – Oct 2009

As you might have guessed by now, reducing our electricity usage is something the Mewes household, along with many others in the village, has been working on for some time. In many ways it is the easiest first step in leading a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. So, we do all the usual things like buying A-rated appliances, low-energy lightbulbs, avoiding buying unnecessary electronic gizmos and turning things off at the wall rather than just standby.

Approximately 95% of the electricity produced in the UK is unsustainable, from oil, coal, gas or nuclear. Those fuels are becoming more and more rare, even uranium, and the emissions many of them give off when processed and burnt have got us into the pickle we are in now.

However, not being a qualified electrician it can be hard to judge the amount of electricity used by a particular appliance; is the fridge using more than the kettle and how much power is taken from charging up the mobile phone? One tool which is incredibly helpful for this is an Eco-meter. This is a gadget which you plug simply to your main electricity cable and then read off the usage for the whole house. Great fun is then had dashing around the house and finding what has been left on and how much each appliance uses. Well I say fun, not such a laugh if your partner is trying to cook dinner or download something from the internet!

Wedmore Green Group has purchased a number of these devices for use by the community. If anyone wants to use one then please email or write to me at the address below. All we ask is £6 to pay for 14 days usage which goes towards covering the costs of purchasing them. After those two weeks you will know a lot more about how to reduce your energy usage which will help save the planet and do no harm to your wallet!