Now There’s a Happy Noise…

…I said to the other half yesterday as the kettle started whistling on the Rayburn. Yes, the time has finally come to get the Rayburn man in to degunk its innards and relight it for autumn (after which, of course, we’ve had nothing but glorious sunshine. Had I known it was that easy, I’d have had it relit weeks ago.) It’s been nice to have it back after almost four months without warm teatowels and whistling kettles and a plate-warming oven and somewhere cosy to park your bum when talking on the phone on a cold morning.

All of this may make it slightly strange that I have also finally signed up to 10:10. At the moment I’m not entirely sure how I’ll make the target, but I’m keeping track of our oil, electricity and petrol usage, in the hopes that ‘what gets measured gets managed’ miraculously kicks in with some savings. (‘so a bit like government targets then,’ the other half commented.) I’m also hoping that if we get all the air out of our central heating system (apparently it’s not supposed to sound like a bad attack of indigestion in pipes every time you switch it on) and sort out some of the draughts, then we’ll cut our heating costs – that and sitting very close to the Rayburn, of course. And today we both cycled in to Bigtown to run an errand the other half was going to use the car for, although the prospect of coffee and cakes might have been more of a motivator than the 16 miles worth of diesel saved. Other than that, I’m concentrating on switching things off, and we’ll just have to see how it goes.

Oh, and there’ll be a spreadsheet too, and, who knows, even some graphs. If that doesn’t do it, I don’t know what will.


14 Responses to Now There’s a Happy Noise…

  1. Well done! I’ve been comtemplating this but have two problems:

    1) We already do quite a lot to cut energy. Can we do 10% more? I’m sure we can!

    2) I’ve not really worked out how to track my 10%. 10:10 have teamed up with energy companies, so this is a start, but it’s not necessarily tracking all of the cuts that you could make. Less driving and flying, changing eating habits and so on aren’t tracked.

    I’ve done a bit of looking but can find nothing on the 10:10 site to help me evaluate my emissions and explain which methods make the biggest savings.

    The first point isn’t really an excuse – we should try no matter what! But the second is a bit of a show stopper.

    I’m aware of other carbon calculators, but am I missing something that 10:10 have done?


  2. disgruntled says:

    Yes, this is more or less what was holding me back & I’ve commented about the lack of tracking on the 10:10 site to the Guardian (can’t comment on the 10:10 site either, *sigh*) – although, in fairness, I think the whole project was set up in a bit of a hurry. I reckon it should be easy enough to track every time we fill the tank of the car and the oil tank, and our electricity meter. It leaves food and other purchases out of the equation, but it’s a start.

  3. Agreed – I’d rather people signed up and got started than did nothing because the 10:10 campaign is not quite there yet!

    Perhaps that’s a little job for the weekend (if I ever escape this blimmin office!!!)

  4. Autolycus says:

    I’ve reduced the hours on my hot water (it’s an electric boiler – we don’t have the option here, but thank goodness I had a timer put on it). I also bought one of those adaptor blocks for turning off completely all those things that would otherwise stay on standby, but can I get it to work properly? And when it does, it means the little time display flashes irritatingly when it comes on again. Harrumph – I may have to stick some tape over it or something.

  5. huttonian says:

    Get your landlord to install an efficient wood burning stove and you will be half way there already

  6. disgruntled says:

    Huttonian – I’m working on it!
    Autolycus – the main problem is, things are designed not to be switched off these days. Very annoying.
    Magicroundabout – go for it…

  7. “the main problem is, things are designed not to be switched off these days”

    Or maybe we’re buying the wrong things?

  8. I’m waiting for my electricity bill to come in. I’ve been religiously setting my washing machine and dishwasher to come on in the early hours of the morning. And now tumble-drying weather is looming… gulp.

  9. disgruntled says:

    Ah, well that’s where the Rayburn comes into its own – so I don’t think it’s quite the ecological disaster it’s made out to be…

  10. Dom says:

    I must confess that we’ve moved to an old school whistling kettle (although the closest I get to a Rayburn is popping into the Aga shop every few weeks to lust over ovens the size of my kitchen) now we’ve moved into our little new cottage.

  11. disgruntled says:

    If you’ve got a gas hob (or even an oil-fired one) they’re actually more efficient than an electric kettle.

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