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Weekly meter reads can help manage consumption

October 6, 2011

Falling annual consumption of CO2 at my house

There’s a catch phrase that claims, “if you don’t measure, you can’t control!

My gas meter is easy to read and accessible

Well, I’ve taken this to heart and have dogedly recorded my gas and electric meters every week for the last 5 years! I can now prove that our household carbon dioxide output is actually reducing.

The purpose of the study was to provide some evidence that, as a family, we’ve been getting Greener and saving money. Moreover, it provides empirical evidence to refute the myth that ripping out original single glazed windows and fitting double glazing is the way to save the planet!

With regards single glazing, an RICS Residential Property Journal Jan-Feb 2010, page 17 states that the payback time for replacing single-glazed windows and doors with double glazed units is >100 years! Since they only ever last about 20-25 years double glazing isn’t the answer to our energy problems, managing consumption definitely is!

I therefore strongly recommend recording home energy consumption which enables a better understanding of energy demand, which in turn helps manage consumption.

Several reasons why the CO2 levels have gone down in my mid-terrace house (as indicated by the green line) may include:

1. The use of low energy light bulbs and better heating controls (2008)

2. Repairing my old windows to better quality SINGLE GLAZED windows (2007-2011)

3. Insulating the loft (2006)

Since the price of energy is set to rise sharply this autumn, now might be a good time to take regular meter reads and start taking control!

CO2 conversion for gas and electricity

To convert the gas meter units (cubic feet) to kWh, use the following formula…

kWh = (Gas consumption during the week X 2.83 X 1.02264 X 39.3)/3.6

You then have to convert your kWh readings into kgCO2. I use the following conversion rates but the rate for electricity does vary depending on how the electricity is generated.

Gas = 0.194 kgCO2/kW

Electricity = 0.442 kgCO2/kW

I hope this helps.

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