Grid Electricity Usage

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This topic contains 9 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Trevor Larkum 7 years ago.

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    Trevor Larkum

    Looking at how much electricity our solar array has generated prompted me to look at how much electricity we’ve been using over the last few years. I [See the full post at: Grid Electricity Usage]



    Interesting 🙂

    I’d love to hear what further plans you have to reduce your carbon footprint. I’ve mentioned before that I am not a great fan of the FIT payments but there are lots of things you can spend the FIT payments on that will have a real impact on your carbon footprint. For me the focus is on gas usage which it sounds like you are starting to think about as well. Be careful about the immersion heater / timer idea though – if it is a cloudy day you could be using more on your 2Kw heater than generating with your solar.

    While I’m still keen on solar heating for hot water and central heating it could never really replace a gas boiler and as air-source and ground-source technologies have improved I have been considering them more. They work like the Zoe heat pump so use some electricity to ‘gather’ heat from your surroundings. With solar panels and/or a green energy provider they will have a 0 carbon footprint and are much more reliable and stable than solar heating .



    Here an interesting mobile battery:

    Also available in UK:

    Here the missing link solution for the bigger grid:


    Trevor Larkum

    @farblue – good points! I’ll be monitoring my combined 6.9kWp system over the next few weeks to see how well it would cope with the immersion heater load.

    @nosig – interesting links. I’m very keen on getting battery storage at home, as soon as it becomes affordable.



    First:Utility have smart meters: I get an online report of usage by hour of day, day of week, and month. I’m not convinced they’re terribly cheap though.


    Trevor Larkum

    I asked my supplier, eOn, about smart meters – they said I could have one except they don’t work with solar. Not so smart, then.



    Have a chat with Good Energy. Their product innovation manager (Will Vooght is in charge of the Smart Meter trial they are organising for this autumn (about november) and was keen for me to be on the trial when I mentioned buying a Zoe. He specifically asked if I was also considering or had solar. To my knowledge I am currently the only EV owner (well, owner-to-be) on the trial so he might be interested in you joining. He said he created a whole new category for me!

    I’d also recommend them as an electricity supplier as they are the only energy supplier who has only 100% renewable sources. They also won Which best energy supplier 3 years in a row for customer service and are extremely pro-solar 🙂


    Trevor Larkum

    I am certainly considering them, but I’m inclined more towards Ecotricity as they put more of their income towards creating new renewable energy systems (mostly wind). Both firms did very well in customer service and FIT payments, whereas my current supplier – eOn – were bottom!

    This is Ecotricity’s view – I haven’t found an independent assessment:

    There is one for supply info (most companies are abysmal):



    Ecotricity is another very good choice – it is really just a matter of personal preference 🙂

    I think the problem with Ecotricity’s investment info is that it only takes into account the money spent directly by the company on renewable projects it owns (and it is happy to shout about it because they’ve recently started a huge investment stage). Good Energy takes a different approach and provides funding to other projects that are working on energy saving, renewables etc.

    For instance, Good Energy has a thing called HotROCs which they came up with before the FIT and RHI schemes where invented. They pay you 4.3p/kwh of renewable heat you generate through solar and other systems – and that’s all funded from their profits.

    They also support renewable generation through FIT and ROC certificate management on behalf of projects and through all of their generation offerings (from home generation to large projects) currently support over 46,000 generators.

    They are also an ‘ethical investor’ and Green Energy Supply certified 🙂

    My personal concerns about Ecotricity revolve around some of its business practices with certificate trading and its historical fuel mix. I know the fuel mix is currently around 60% renewable but only a couple of years ago it was only 24%. They are also a supporter of nuclear which I disagree with 🙂

    Another good site to check out is:

    One definite plus for Ecotricity is the Nemesis electric vehicle 🙂 They also have about 8 service stations with fast chargers (you can sign up for a free rfid card):

    I used to be on Eon’s ‘Go Green’ tariff and Good Energy came out about the same price. Ecotricity was a little more expensive for me – they try to match British Gas rates.

    While I was unable to sign up for it, Ecotricity also offer a limited quantity of ‘green gas’ generated from waste which would be a great way to reduce the carbon footprint of your central heating 🙂


    Trevor Larkum

    Thanks for those comments, farblue – more food for thought for me.

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