Latest news from Westbury: Monitors, measures, and stuff


I am being very slack in keeping this blog upto date and I keep saying such things. The house progresses at its own rate (slowly) and research into such things as decking is happening.

 We have had some very bad luck this week. Our Mini foxy, Tessa who graces the front page of this blog, was run over and killed. She was a fantastic black and white character who gave a lot of love to many people. She travelled in our motorhome right around Australia and made many friends both human and dog. She will be much missed. It was a very quick end to a well lived life.

Tessa April 2009Tessa October 2010

 On other fronts we have had some interesting developments.

In January I borrowed a H.E.A.T kit from our local Council. This stands for Home Energy Audit Toolkit and most councils in Australia should have some to borrow.  Here is an example on Hobart City Council website.

  • It consists of an infrared thermometer which gives an instantaneous read out when you point it at things. Very useful to measure where you might have heat loss or how much ehat is coming from your hot water service or fridge etc.
  • A normal thermometer that is used to measure the temperature in your fridge or freezer. If you have your fridge turned down too cold you may be wasting precious dollars and electricity without knowing.
  • Powermate Lite. This device plugs between an electrical device such as washing machine, tv, fridge etc, and the wall. It gives a read out of wattage, cost per hour, day year etc and much more.
  • Lots of good information on how to use the kit.
  • A stopwatch
  • A compass so you know which way on the block your house is facing.

The results of my quick energy audit are as follws. Please note that there only two adults in the house and our electricity needs are low.

Home energy audit February 2011. 

  •          Fridge Temp                       10 C (needs to be colder) 
  •          Freezer Temp                    – 15 C 
  •          Fridge Power use 1.6kw/h over 24 hours. Hi 85 watts, Low 4.5 watts 15cents per hour 595kw/year, 67.9 watts per hour 
  •          TV power use 90watts 
  •         Laptop power use Standby 1.64 watts. On 35 – 40 watts 
  •         Laser  Printer power use. 14watts switch on, 875 – 1015 watts warm up, 11.5 – 15 watts stand by 
  •          HWS temp on skin. Base 20.5C, mid 21.9C, top 22C. 8.30 am warm day (18.5C). Wall temp behind HWS 19.6C
  •          Radio power use 16 watts 
  •          Led kitchen lights 16watts inc driver

In February we had the priviledge of hosting John Knox from Ride the Talk for a night. John who works for The Alternative Technology Association has ridden his bicycle around Australia to give talks to groups of people about the simple things we can do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our home and do our part for global warming.

We had a small but passionate turn out on what was his last night in Tasmania after a gruelling pedal up from the south of Tassie in high winds and heavy rain. His talk covered many different areas including lighting, hot water, curtains and pelmets, and draught proofing. All are things where a small outlay in time, thinking and materials can save electricity, money, and greenhouse gas emissions.

You can find out about Johns travels at his website Ride the Talk and it has lots of links to further your research into the ways we can help negate climate change.

Out of this talk I was introduced to a couple of new products that will help us in the TasGreenReno house. The Eco Switch and the LED Mitt.

The Eco Switch is another product that won a New Inventors award and is simply an extension lead with a switch that turns everything off. The switch has an illuminated rocker that when it is on it glows green and when off it is off. This is designed to plug in between the wall socket and the tangle of power boards that hide behind the TV or computer. You can bring the switch to the front and use that to ensure that all the appliances are well and truly turned OFF. More about Eco Switch here and purchase it from the Alternative Technology Association webshop for the tiny sum of $20.00.

2 thoughts on “Latest news from Westbury: Monitors, measures, and stuff

  1. Pingback: Latest news from Westbury: Monitors, measures, and stuff : Sanctuary Demo

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