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The simplest thing to save lots of energy

published, Mar 6, 2011 3:20am
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We all love a hot shower, and a god many of our water heaters are of the bad old single element energy hog, and if you have one of these units, there is a very simple little adjustment that may save a lot of energy!

Typically these hot water systems are still set to the factory maximum. It's easy to work out if this is so - the water on full hot will be scalding.  Not only is this a waste of energy from heating it so high, but it's also a safety hazad for small children, and the elderly.

A long time ago we measured this little mod here which cut about a third from the hot water energy usage.  

What I'm going to show you is a simple adjustment, to turn it down and save energy.

Step 1.

Turn off the electricity at the switchboard.  While we aren't going to do anything really dangerous, it's a simple precaution.

Step 2.

Open up the cover with a Phillips head screw driver.  This will expose the heating element, wires and temperature controller gubbins.

created on: 03/06/11

Step 3.

This will reveal a temperature setting adjustment, which if turned to the full clockwise position will mean the hot hot water will be wasting far more energy than what is actually needed.

So, turn this to the coolest setting possible by adjusting it to the far anti-clockwise position, of around 60 degrees or so.  

created on: 03/06/11

And there you have it! A simple hack to save energy, save money and still have that warm shower.

If you have SEGmeter, it will tell you immediately your savings!  Otherwise in 3-6 months you will find out from your utility company. 



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Another similar tip - once summer is over, switch your Air Conditioner off at the meter box or external isolator. My split system uses 60W on standby - over 500kWh a year, or about $115 (at 22c a kWh) doing nothing.

This morning I thought of a simple test:

If you can't safely or comfortable shower with the hot water on full, then it's likely the water is being heated too hot!


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