Archive for July, 2008

Low-energy housing – a thing of the past?

Monday, July 7th, 2008

I was thinking the other day about how many electrical appliances run, even when they are not “directly” in use.

I don’t mean simple things like a television on standby, but things that in a sense need power, such as a video recorder or radio-alarm clock.

However much I attempt to reduce my power consumption (or “carbon footprint”), eg. by using bio-fuels or switching to renewable power sources, things still run on electricity.

Take the humble telephone.  In the old days they used power from the phone line.  These days I use a telephone exchange and cordless phones – all of which require power to run that is not supplied down the phone line.  And I can’t turn them off, in case someone rings!

Thinking back to my childhood in the 1970s, I worked out that our house used almost no energy at night whatsoever.  There was no video recorder waiting to record, no answerphone waiting for a call.  Heating was provided for by a coal-burning boiler, which went out at night and had to be re-lit in the morning.  My alarm clock had to be wound up before I went to sleep!

I am pretty sure that the only thing in the house consuming any power at night was the fridge!

Why can things not be so simple today?  Our modern society is so reliant on electricity, that instead of finding ways to consume less, we seem to be looking for better ways of producing it.

How about looking into ways of saving it instead?


By continuing to use this website, you agree to the use of cookies. [more information]

This website uses cookies to give you the best browsing experience possible. Cookies are small text files that are stored by the web browser on your computer. Most of the cookies that we use are so-called “Session cookies”. These are automatically deleted after your visit. The cookies do not damage your computer system or contain viruses. Please read our privacy information page for more details.