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.
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.
refrigerator before it was unplugged
Earth Hour from iPhone
Until next year, be sure to turn out the lights whenever you leave a room so you can make a difference all year long.