Reflections on Earth Hour

TED5000 display showing 79 Watts and $0.02 per hour at 8:30pm on March 27, 2010 - Earth Hour

On Saturday we joined the world for Earth Hour by turning off all the lights in our house as well as most other things too.  Well almost all the lights, we left the LED night light on in the kids’ room for them.  We also kept the home network on so that our TED5000 home energy monitor could record electricity usage during Earth Hour.  We wanted to see how low we could go and pretty much turned it into a game.  I’m sure we would have had more fun if we hadn’t both been under the weather.

Our normal baseline electricity usage is about 275W, which is made up of our cable modem, wireless routers, DVR, refrigerator, chest freezer, cordless phone and baby monitors.  I ran around the house shutting down and unplugging everything that I could.  In short order I got it down to 79 Watts as you can see in the picture.  Then the refrigerator kicked on, so I went further and unplugged that as well as the chest freezer. That was the first thing that made Alicia concerned, because she was afraid I would forget to plug them back in afterward, but I didn’t forget.  In the end we got down to about 69 Watts.

rechargeable lantern illuminating the darkness during Earth Hour

We had our rechargeable lantern, which I charged from our small solar panel earlier in the day, a hand crank flashlight and an LED flashlight.  I had originally planned to do the dishes and clean the kitchen, but even with the lantern we didn’t have enough light for cleaning.  Instead, using a laptop which I had charged earlier in the day from solar power, and my iPhone which I also used a week’s worth of solar charging to run for the evening, I watched twitter coverage of Earth Hour and our power usage on our TED5000.

The hour passed by quickly and we kept everything off for an extra 30 minutes or so until we noticed that something had kicked in and was using about 300 W.  With a little investigative work, we determined it was the circulator pumps for our boiler.

Check out the graphs from our TED5000 and Google Power Meter.
Having a home energy monitoring system adds an extra dimension to events like Earth Hour.

TED5000 showing Earth Hour
TED5000 for Earth Hour showing boiler turning on after

TED5000 for Earth Hour - this bump is the refrigerator before it was unplugged
TED5000 for Earth Hour – this bump is the
refrigerator before it was unplugged
TED5000 showing 70W base load during Earth Hour
TED5000 showing 70W base load during Earth Hour

Google Power Meter showing Earth Hour
Google Power Meter showing Earth Hour

Google Power Meter showing Earth Hour from iPhone
Google Power Meter showing
Earth Hour from iPhone

Also, check out these other pictures and videos at the World Wildlife Federation at http://earthhour.panda.org/. Be sure to check out the Best Of Earth Hour 2010 and Landmarks categories.

Until next year, be sure to turn out the lights whenever you leave a room so you can make a difference all year long.

Happy Greening!
Jon



Speak Your Mind

*