Friday, January 7, 2011

2010 10:10 Challenge Results

So 2010 came to a close. How did I do on my 10:10 challenge?

.                  2009 kWh  Demand %  2010 kWh  Demand % 
Electricity (grid)  4379      94.2%     3448      83.0%
Electricity (solar)  269       5.8%      705      17.0%
Total Demand        4648                4153

So, from 2009 to 2010, I reduced my total demand for electricity by 10.6%. This was due to better efficiency in use of power (turning things off at the wall to prevent standby power leeching, running a laptop as a server instead of a desktop PC, using the coldest setting on the washing machine, etc.).

Looking at grid power only, I reduced my consumption by over 21%, compared to 2009 levels. This was largely driven by steadily increasing solar power capacity over late 2009 and early 2010, as I bought more panels, bigger charge controllers and bigger batteries to capture and store more power.

But that's only half the story. We use gas to heat the house and provide hot water. In 2010, I started using spare solar power in the Summer to pre-heat the water with the immersion heater; reducing the need for gas in the evenings. But even with the additional wall and roof insulation, the record-breaking severe cold weather we had in early and late 2010 pushed the total demand for gas up by 16.8% (10,295kWh in 2009, to 12,025kWh in 2010). So there's still work to be done.

Our windows aren't very good. The old double glazing isn't very good quality (old types have thin air gaps) and there are three small port-hole windows in the upstairs landing and bathroom that are only single glazed. Our boiler is very old and should be upgraded to a condensing type. We could build a front door porch so that when we open the front door, there's an 'air lock' to prevent cold air blowing into the hall and through the house.

More projects for 2011...

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