You may remember from previous posts that over the last few months we’ve been making a bit of an effort to reduce our gas and electricity usage at home.

We’ve been keeping weekly meter readings – here’s a graph, courtesy of imeasure, showing our energy consumption since November last year (click on the graph to enlarge it):

Energy usage from November 2011 to August 2012

Energy use at home - November 2011 to August 2012

The graph shows a pretty clear decrease in consumption over the year. I think that’s pretty promising, although I’m not reading too much into it yet.

(In case you’re wondering, the zero figure for gas is when the central heating broke – and the zero figure for electricity is when we got a new meter)

With gas consumption, clearly most of us mainly use gas for central heating – so consumption is bound to drop significantly once winter is over. The pattern with the electricity usage is more interesting. Over the course of the year we’ve been replacing a lot of the bulbs in the house (most replacing spotlights – average 40W each – with LEDs – average 6W each). This will be reflected in the lower consumption levels. We’ve also made an effort to use the tumble drier less – which I’m sure will have had a big impact.

I think at the very least, we’ll soon have a year’s worth of data – which will give us a good baseline for comparing future consumption patterns. It also motivates me to do more in the house – to see if we can get energy use (in particular gas consumption) lower – by doing some of those jobs (like extra draft proofing and putting up thicker curtains) that could make a difference in the winter.

It’s heartening to see that some of the effort (and, of course, expense) we’ve put into reducing energy use seems to be paying off. I’m not pretending our one little household is going to make a big difference when it comes to slowing down climate change. However, I do believe that we need to do a lot more with regards to reducing domestic energy use. And I think our first few months suggest that if you make a bit of an effort, and keep an eye on the energy you’re using, you can make significant (at least at a micro-level) changes. And if more of us were to do this, then all those small reductions in consumption would start to add up.