A couple of weeks ago I wrote about my plans to get our home A rated on energy efficiency by 2020, and to see how near to zero carbon we can get. It will be a challenge, and I thought it might be good to describe our starting point as a benchmark. So here’s our current energy use.
I’ve averaged our gas and electricity consumption over the last four years. We use around 6250 kwh of gas and 1975 kwh of electricity.
Using OFGEM’s figures, we’re already considerably lower than the typical British household. On electricity we’re closer to the Chinese average than the European, and use less than a sixth of a typical US household.
That’s partly because we’ve done the basics to keep our energy use down. Back in 2010 my wife and I took on the challenge of reducing our emissions by 10% over the course of the year, and cut 30-40% off our energy use. Before we congratulate ourselves too much though, a big reason why our bills are lower is that we’re a mid-terrace house and we’re insulated very well on two sides by our neighbours. Mid-terrace houses use less energy than any other category of home:
One big step has been to install solar panels, which we did in the autumn. The next challenge is to tackle some of the harder forms of insulation, and reduce our heating needs as much as possible. Then we can look at alternative heat sources and electrification, for both space heating and hot water. I’ll look at more practical experiments next time. For now, 6250 kwh of gas and 1975 kwh of electricity is my starting line, and it gives me something to come back to as I track progress.