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Coping with energy price increases

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default Coping with energy price increases

Post by Jaded Green on 18th July 2011, 2:39 pm

With energy priciest about to take a huge hike, I thought we could start exploring ways to reduce usage

I'm looking at ways to use the oven less and to use it more effectively when I do.

So what can we cook on top of the stove instead of in the oven?

I've only recently realised how easy (and healthy) it is to poach salmon. When I first started cooking salmon fillets I was following a recipe which baked them so have baked them for years. Then I followed the packaging which suggested shallow frying. Now that we are watching our cholesterol levels, I have taken to poaching the salmon in a lidded frying pan and am amazed how quickly it cooks.
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Post by polgara on 18th July 2011, 3:02 pm

A stove top steamer is a godsend.

Pots & root veg in the bottom

Fish in the middle, wrapped in foil.

Soft veg on the top.


During the war they cooked a steam pud in the bottom, & at the appropriate time put potatoes etc round the basin with the other veg in the other levels.

For small amounts it would be possible to steam fruit in a small basin or cup as well as the main meal.

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Post by MrsC on 19th July 2011, 8:45 am

I recently was lucky enough to win an OWL energy monitor and I'm finding that really helpful to realise just how much energy different things use. It's really quite scary and makes me think a lot more than I used to before switching anything on. I thought I was energy efficient before, but this has really changed how I think. When I get a mo I'll be doing a nice long blog post about it.

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Post by Dandelion on 19th July 2011, 9:45 pm

I like being energy conscious but I think I can be a bit of a pain where the rest of the family is concerned - I don't want to become like an old fashioned seaside landlady, painting a line on the bath to indicate how much hot water you're allowed (but actually, I'm sure I've got a tin of enamel paint somewhere....)
Maybe an energy monitor is the way to go so that the others can see how much electricity appliances use.
And if I get too self righteous, will someone please remind me that I left the curling tongs on last week??

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Post by MrsC on 19th July 2011, 10:04 pm

Have to say that I had wanted one of these monitors for ages, but was always too tight to buy one. Was so pleased to win one though and now we have it I think it is fantastic for making you really realise just how much something is using. This one we have also has the ability to download historical data to your computer, but it only works on a PC and we have Macs at home, so not even used that feature yet!

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Post by Compostwoman on 19th July 2011, 11:56 pm

Hate to say it, but we now do all our really energy consuming stuff during daylight, as we get the PV electrons then.

it really makes us think about consumption, though...as we try very hard to match generation and useage....

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Post by Kristy lee on 19th July 2011, 11:59 pm

I hv a big slow cooker, it's very energy efficient, do lots of meals in there. In winter that is.

In summer time, we just eat cold foods here. Salads and the like. If we cook anything we'll hv a BBQ. i know not fab for you but that's only about once a week or fortnight, so that kind of shows we don't cook much in summer. We often even just go to the beach up the road and hv picnics for dinner:oops:
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Post by Compostwoman on 20th July 2011, 12:20 am

We do cook outs in our wood in summer as well, or BBQ using local charcoal, but even so we still seem to use a lot of electric! We just try to use all the heavy consuming stuff during the day so we are using up our own generated electric.

Takes a different mindset but we are getting there.

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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 20th July 2011, 12:34 am

unfortunately most people go out to work in the day so even if they could afford PV it wouldn't help that much.

Cook and heat with gas rather than electric is lesson number one - costs a lot less.

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Post by Compostwoman on 20th July 2011, 12:37 am

Wilhelm Von Rhomboid wrote:unfortunately most people go out to work in the day so even if they could afford PV it wouldn't help that much.

Cook and heat with gas rather than electric is lesson number one - costs a lot less.

Most people on here? Don't think most, some maybe, a lot, maybe..but most?

Afford PV? well, that is a question of priorities perhaps as well as income...we have saved and scrimped to be able to afford what we have. and it gives a good return.

Gas may cost less, but at least electric can be supplied from a renewable source ( Good Energy, Ecotricity, etc if not from own PV)

Gas cannot ever be so.

But I guess it depends on what one classes as a price increase...we consider is it an increase to the pocket, or to the planet?

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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 20th July 2011, 1:12 am

Rolling Eyes You're in one of those moods, eh? Fine. It's nearly one in the morning and I have a good two hours work ahead of me before I can go to bed so, let's do this:

First off, I was not having a go at you. I was offering general advice.

Compostwoman wrote:
Wilhelm Von Rhomboid wrote:unfortunately most people go out to work in the day so even if they could afford PV it wouldn't help that much.

Cook and heat with gas rather than electric is lesson number one - costs a lot less.

Most people on here? Don't think most, some maybe, a lot, maybe..but most?

Most people go out out to work. Whether they are on this forum or not is relevant how?

Compostwoman wrote:Afford PV? well, that is a question of priorities perhaps as well as income...we have saved and scrimped to be able to afford what we have. and it gives a good return.

I dare say you have and I dare say it does, but the vast majority of people do not have £10-15k to chuck at putting solar panels on their roof, regardless of the return they get from it. More than 20% of the country was in fuel poverty before the 20% price hike, 14% of which, btw is entirely due to subsidising the Feed-In-Tarrifs for people who are getting a good return on their PV. And before you claim I am getting at you, I am not. This is a cold hard fact. I am not pointing the finger at you for having a huge PV array. If I had the money to hand I would do the same. But the point is the FITs are not being paid for out of the taxpayers purse, they are being added onto everyone else's bills. And given that a fifth of the country already has to choose between heating and eating in winter this will mean more hardship for the poor, and a huge amount more people in fuel poverty.


Compostwoman wrote:Gas may cost less, but at least electric can be supplied from a renewable source ( Good Energy, Ecotricity, etc if not from own PV)

Well, in theory. In practice the electricity running your electric oven simply come from the national grid and the vast majority of grid electricity comes from coal-fired power stations. Over the past 3 years electricity from renewable sources in the UK has dropped, not risen. Also some 80% of the money that goes to the 'Green Electricity supliers' does not go towards building new wind turbines and wave generation etc, it goes to... wait for it... paying for the Feed-In-Tariff. Do you see what the government did there? It's the ultimate greenwash. Hundreds of thousands of Daily mail readers who have £10-20k kicking around getting next to no interest in the building society can whack PV on their roof, get a 7-8% return guaranteed for 25 years, and it costs the government nothing, the entire cost is borne by Greenies on their eco-tariff and pensioners freezing to death in winter.

Compostwoman wrote:Gas cannot ever be so.
True, but the carbon index of using gas is significantly less than using electricity, even taking into account all the ecotricitys etc.

Compostwoman wrote:But I guess it depends on what one classes as a price increase...we consider is it an increase to the pocket, or to the planet?

Yes, absolutely. And I am sure that will be a great comfort to all the households that shiver or go hungry next winter.

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Post by bronze on 20th July 2011, 8:29 am

The other problem with pv is a lot of people don't own their own homes.

We also don't have gas available

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Post by Compostwoman on 20th July 2011, 9:08 am

Was not in any mood. I just said what I thought.

But will (again) take my thoughts elsewhere and leave you to it.

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Post by Jaded Green on 20th July 2011, 9:15 am

Ahem - although a very interesting late night discussion, this topic is about Coping with energy price increases.

I have a feeling that as a family if we cut our computer usage we could consume less electricity


(BTW, Mr JG and I are looking into fitting solar panels. Some neighbours round the corner, whose house faces south have done so and we are going to ask them how they are finding it. This wouldchange our usage of dishgwasher and washing machine, which instead of being timed to come on during the night would be timed to come on during daylight!)
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Post by bronze on 20th July 2011, 10:09 am

I know we could cut ours if we turned all things off at the plug everytime we weren't using them. getting t'others to do it though takes me more energy that we would save I suspect

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Post by Jaded Green on 20th July 2011, 10:22 am

I've got my washing machine plugged into a timer Embarassed It doesn't register on the energy meter, but must be using some!
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Post by Kristy lee on 20th July 2011, 12:59 pm

We turn everything off and unplug after each use. It takes a bit of getting Everyone used to it but over time they all adjust and it become a habit.
I left the stereo on today and when i picked the kids up from school DS was quite annoyed with me about it:lol: Laughing
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Post by bronze on 20th July 2011, 1:20 pm

the dcs are easier to train, the problem for me is dh

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Post by Dandelion on 20th July 2011, 7:48 pm

bronze wrote:I know we could cut ours if we turned all things off at the plug everytime we weren't using them. getting t'others to do it though takes me more energy that we would save I suspect

I was very dismayed to discover that the new TV we bought last year has to be kept on stand-by because it loses its settings if you turn it off.

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Post by polgara on 30th July 2011, 10:40 am

Making sure that the oven is full when you use it. I managed to cook 7 meals yesterday, all of which will just need defrosting & heated in the microwave. Got to save some money. Also helps to keep the freezers running efficiantly as they are nearly full. I feel very pleased with that.



Have also started the flask by the kettle thing. Even OH has done well on that one.

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So take care of yourself, be Happy, Love Deeply and enjoy life!


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default Keeping the heating costs down

Post by Jaded Green on 1st September 2011, 3:41 pm

Well September seems to have brought us some summer weather, but elsewhere the question has been posed whether or not anyone has turned on the heating/lit a fire or stove yet, so I thought I would look at ways of keeping warm without the thermostat up high.

Mr JG has said he'd like to see how long we can go before we turn the heat on (the answer is until the day my parents come to lunch) We all own "slankets"which are a nice cosy way of keeping warm - you can knit and watch TV using them!

We're currently in the process of having our windows draught proofed and are planning to put up some secondary glazing too. We have a curtain that goes over the front door.

Any other suggestions or experiences?
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Post by polgara on 1st September 2011, 3:49 pm

Slow cookers are really good, I have a large one which will cook enough for 2 meals, so I can have another frozen meal for keeping.

Extra layers of clothes, vests etc are good & thinner layers work better than 1 thick layer. I would also recommend long johns, they are wonderful & much more comfortable than wooly tights.


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] Enjoy every second of your life, because time races by so much quicker than you think...

So take care of yourself, be Happy, Love Deeply and enjoy life!


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Post by Dandelion on 1st September 2011, 11:09 pm

What's a slanket JG?

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Post by AngelinaJellyBeana on 2nd September 2011, 8:54 am

Got home last night to a letter about increases in fuel costs in a couple of months with my "predicted" costs for the next year. Electicity is going up by £2, which isn't anything to worry about but gas up by almost £100 Shocked
Let's just say I'll be leaving the heating off for as long as possible
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Post by Jaded Green on 2nd September 2011, 9:39 am

This is a slanket http://www.theslanket.com/

My girls first saw them on the "Big Bang Theory" and we bought them as presents the Christmas before last. Then last year Mr JG bought me one and got himself one while he was at it. They are very cosy!
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