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How Do I Cut Down On My Electricity Bills?

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Not a lot of people know this, well I guess if you live on the Isle of Man then you do actually, but our electricity is some of the most expensive you will find ANYWHERE. I really mean that, I’ve checked unit costs across lots of countries and it’s difficult to find anywhere that beats the Isle of Man in terms of consumer electricity costs. The current price of electricity on the Isle of Man is 14.62 pence per unit + 5% VAT – With a further 7% rise already agreed to come in to place in 2010 (that’s before we even get started with fuel prices)

Why Is Electricity So Expensive On The Isle of Man?

It’s a bit of a raw subject but the simple version is that the MEA (Manx Electricity Authority) took out some unauthorised loans in order to build a new power station (which by the way cost well over what a similar station in the UK would cost). The end result was a lot of brown stuff hitting the fan and the customers i.e. us, being saddled with a debt mountain to pay off. You combine that with a fuel monopoly and …well you get the picture. In my opinion it’s a shame, there can’t be many more windier places with such large tidal ranges and yet we are still entirely reliant on fossil fuels. Of which we have no natural resources.

The Cost Of Running Electrical Goods

The table below details the energy usage (KWh) and cost (in pence per hour) of running many common electrical goods on the Isle of Man. These are tests I’ve done myself using an Owl Energy Monitor.

Item Kw/H Pence Per Hour
Standard 100 w Lightbulb 0.0800 0.0117
Standard 60w Lightbulb 0.0480 0.0070
Energy Saving 60w
Alternative
0.0080 0.0012
Kitchen 4 Bulb Halogen
Set
0.1770 0.0259
Desktop PC Base Unit 0.0640 0.0094
Desktop PC Monitor 0.0320 0.0047
Laptop PC 0.0320 0.0047
23" Television (On) 0.0660 0.0096
47" Television
(Standby)
0.0320 0.0047
47" Television (On) 0.2730 0.0399
Sky Box (Standby) 0.0160 0.0023
Sky Box (On) 0.0320 0.0047
X-Box 360 (On) 0.1120 0.0164
PS3 (On) 0.0810 0.0118
Wii (On) 0.0160 0.0023
Central Heating Pump 0.0970 0.0142
37" Television (On) 0.1230 0.0180
Tumble Dryer 2.8000 0.4094
Oven (A Class) 2.1300 0.3114
Standard Kettle 2.9510 0.4314
Tefal Quick Cup Kettle 2.8400 0.4152
Tefal Actifry 1.2740 0.1863
Small Hob 1.2520 0.1830
Large Hob 1.9000 0.2778

Where Can I save Money?

The obvious answers are replace your standard light bulbs with energy saving bulbs and think of a better way of heating water than a standard kettle. We swapped out 7 standard bulbs for their energy saving alternatives and replaced our standard kettle with a Tefal Quick Cup Deluxe. In just under 2 months we saved the unit equivalent of £35 of our electricity bill! (A year on year comparison) You have to remember that where energy saving goods are advertised as saving X in the UK the extra cost of electricity in the Isle of Man actually increases the cost savings. It’s a no brainer.

The other place where savings can be made is with standby mode. Whilst measuring the amount of electricity used is quite hard (becuase of the small amounts) it does add up. Some real standby hogs include the Xbox 360 console, your Sky Box and any TV over 32 inches. If you look at the table you can see exactly how the cost of running a larger TV increases much more than you’d think for those few extra inches. When it comes to computing there is a real difference to be seen in running a laptop versus a traditional Base+Monitor setup. If you’re not a frequent computer user then you may be better off with a laptop.

Whilst these energy saving tips can apply to anywhere and everywhere the positive effects on your back balance are certainly magnified on the Isle of Man. You don’t have to see it as saving the planet, see it as saving your hard earned cash.

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