We’ve been taking regular meter readings for a year now. Not to charge guests – electricity is included – but to better understand our usage. I’ve blogged about some of the results before, but now I can look at a full annual cycle.
And that confirms that we’re doing pretty well, but there’s still room for improvement.
I’m taking an annual energy usage figure for the UK of 3,700 kWh electricity and 19,000 kWh gas for each household (from Climate Change Without the Hot Air). Turn that into a per night figure and you get 62.19 kWh. But our overall average usage figures per occupied night are 14.3 kWh, 17.1 kWh, and 16.4 kWh for Beech Lodge, Nuthatch Lodge and Honeysuckle Lodge respectively. Otter Cottage comes out at 32.1 kWh per night.
You might argue that we probably have more occupied nights in the summer, and this will tend to skew the average. But a glance at the plot shows pretty good coverage over the year in warm and colder months – we have a lot of out of season weekend breaks and we also had a couple of longer-term bookings in the winter season. So I think it’s a fair approximation.
It’ll certainly do as a baseline anyway.
Our next challenge will be to bring down the energy consumption in Otter Cottage, which is high compared to the super-insulated wooden lodges. Already we’ve added solar hot water (March 10), and the most recent readings are promising compared to this time last year. But we know that in the winter it’s space heating that eats up the energy, so solar won’t be the whole answer.
Hopefully there will be more good news in the months and years to come.