Interesting Products
One thing we have been meaning to do for a long time is to find, test and offer simple products which offer real savings. It has been harder to do this than was anticipated. There are plenty of products out there, however how much of an economic advantage they offer is often highly debatable. We will be assessing products, there effectiveness and we will start selling a selection of the more interesting ones. Other products we will make reference too but not sell, for example, one of the more effective money saving products is energy saving lighting, but there are so many options already on the high street that it is not sensible for us to offer these.

 

Android Electricity Cost Calculator

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android

A Free Android App to download, called:-
Electricity Cost Calculator from confusedaboutenergy.co.uk

Our energy app is now available in another format format. Take a look at the screen grabs. It it is and will remain free. I wrote it for me to do quick energy cost calculation for myself. The average rates for electricity in six territories, USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa are used and the app detects where you are so as to decide which rate to use. You may also override this and enter your own rate with ease and the app will remember rate rate you enter.

It is a purposely simple app to calculate intended to calculate the cost of running most electrical devices that have a more or less constant power demand. Some examples are light bulbs, your television, computers, game stations etc. The power demands of game stations and computers do vary a little with the type of game you play and whether the unit is idle or perhaps paused, but not that much.

Where the app is perhaps of little use is where power is is required intermittently in the operation of a device, for example a washing machine or a thermostatically controlled heater or an air conditioning unit.

If you go to the following link on your phone or tablet (copy, paste and email it to your phone, that's what I do.),

http://www.confusedaboutenergy.co.uk/apps/mobile2

Here is the direct link also http://www.confusedaboutenergy.co.uk/apps/mobile2.html

you will get a mobile webpage and it is dead easy just to down load it and install from there. I guarantee there is no malware in the app, I am not a good enough programmer to write any!!

There are a few screen shots below, to give you the idea.


android energy cost calculatorelectrical cost calculatorphone cost calculatorelectricity costs
 

Fridges and Humidity

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A products to reduce fridge humidity called:-
Polar Fresh, from the USA

At Confused About Energy we were approached by a company (The Ideas House Ltd, Manchester UK) with a very simple method to reduce humidity in fridges using a special blend of zeolites and activated charcoal to absorb the moisture. What has that got to do with energy we wondered. Well it turns our that the humidity levels in your fridge can have an effect on energy consumption, particularly if you have an older fridge or a fridge without any humidity control. A reduction in relative humidity within the fridge from 60% to 40% can for example reduce the energy consumption of the fridge by 5%. This amounts to a £4 or £5 pounds per year saving in electricity costs. It is a saving but not a great saving.

Buy one here. These are not widely available in the UK yet, so tell us what you think.



Product
PRD0001
Polar Fresh
Price/Unit
GBP 14.99
Qty
polar fresh

This is not very exciting we thought given that for a year’s use we could need between 2 & 4 cartridges (they last between 3 and 6 months) and at the moment cost £15 each.

We met with The Ideas House and it was immediately apparent that the true savings are with the preservation of food, saving both money on waste food and by reducing waste an so saving energy in food production and transport. But why is this the case? Simply because the moisture in the air, in the fridge is used by various types of bacteria in their growth, so food decays more quickly the higher the humidity, soft fruits grow mould, broccoli gets brown spots, lettuce becomes soggy etc. By getting the moisture out of the air more quickly, the food stays fresher for longer, reducing the amount that needs to be thrown away. In addition to creating a drier, colder environment in the fridge to save money on waste and energy, it also absorbs odours and removes ethylene gas emissions which are a normal part of the food ripening and decay process.

The product is called Polar Fresh (picture to the right). It is made from natural materials, and is based on technology which has been used in large commercial catering establishments in the USA for more than 20 years, but is not yet in large scale domestic use. The product uses a special blend of zeolites and activated charcoal to absorb the moisture. To use it, and we have, simply remove the protective shrink wrap, and put the box on the top shelf of the fridge. It needs a few days to process the humid environment on first use.

An estimate from existing users indicates that the average UK household could save about £4 per week by wasting less fresh food and by being able to buy more economically, or about £200 per annum. They also notice fewer moisture drips, so packaging on chilled foods keeps better, and there is less mopping up.

We tested them in our fridges and were impressed. As Polar Fresh is new to the UK and isn’t yet widely available, we have arranged to offer them here on a trail basis for £15 a piece, so that if you are interested you can see what you think and test them out yourselves. Views from users would of course be most welcome so please come back here and tell us what you think of them.

 

Sustainable Energy

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An interesting book called:-
Sustainable Energy - without the hot air - by David JC MacKay

No one has asked us to promote this book we just like it. It puts a lot of renewable energy issues into perspective and covers usefully energy efficiency idea. The section on solar power stations in the deserts is particularly interesting.

 
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