Experiments with domestic load shedding in the UK

Screenshot of an email. It says "Hi Terence, You'll earn 1800 OctoPoints – that's £2.25 worth – for every unit of electricity you cut down between 5:00 PM and 6:00 PM on 15th November. Opt in now to save power and earn rewards in this Session. You'll go into a draw to win an extra 400,000 OctoPoints – that's £500 worth! – just for opting in. Important: you need to opt in before the Session starts if you want to earn rewards."

Electricity demand varies throughout the day. When demand is higher, electricity prices go up. Most UK consumers are insulated from this variability - we pay a fixed price per kWh no matter what the actual wholesale cost. But it doesn't need to be this way. Exposing users to the immense variability in pricing is probably […]

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No, you can't save £30 per year by switching off your "standby" devices

Chart from the report showing various bits of IT equipment and their power use.

Every few years, a dodgy stat does the rounds claiming you can save £££ if you switch off all your gadgets at the wall. The standby mode of your TV is bleeding you dry!!! A quick way to #saveenergy at home is to turn off tablets, laptops and consoles as soon as you stop using […]

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Gadget Review: SMT1500i UPS + Linux Instructions

Back of UPS with lots of ports.

I never get power cuts. But, we've had two in the last week. They've both been fixed quickly, but it takes an age for my cable modem to reboot - and then an age for my smarthome to reconnect to the WiFi. So it was time to invest in an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS). My […]

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1 year of @edent_solar. We are 100% offset!

A generation meter showing 4,165kWh.

Our domestic solar panels have generated more electricity in a year than we have consumed. We installed 5kW of solar panels on our roof in 2020. Half are East-facing, half West-facing. Over a full year, they've generated 4,165kWh. By comparison, the average UK household uses about 3,800kWh of electricity per year. But working out exactly […]

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Review: Moixa Solar Battery

A big white battery on a wall.

A few years ago, I took part in a local trial to install a solar battery in our home. The battery was excellent - and made a reasonable difference for our energy use. Sadly, last year, it died. It was prototype hardware, and these things happen. Moixa offered to replace it with an updated model […]

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How to take solar export readings on the Honeywell AS302P smartmeter

Honeywell Cumulative Export display.

I can't find these instructions anywhere online - so I hope these notes help! The AS302P SMETS2 has two buttons. I've labelled the top button A and the bottom button B. Press the A button once to bring up the menu. The display should light up. It should show "General". Press the B button. This […]

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Hacking your Smart Meter - Part 1 - Zigbee

Zigbee menu items.

I have a new Smart Meter to measure my electricity and gas usage. It's the Honeywell AS302P. It's a SMETS2 meter, which means it has a number of interesting features. ALCS (Auxiliary Load Control Switch) - this means that a car charger can be remotely started and stopped based on network demand. DCC connection - […]

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Some thoughts on selling electricity back to the grid

Email from Bulb saying they've set up an export payment.

I have solar panels! The UK mandates that my electricity supplier buys the surplus energy off me. They set a minimum price, known as the SEG (Smart Export Guarantee). My supplier - Bulb - pay me 5.38p for every kWh I export. I pay them about 13p for every kWh I import. You notice the […]

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How much should it cost to charge a car?

A large electrc charger with the Shell logo on it.

Back when nuclear power stations were first proposed, we were promised "energy which is too cheap to meter". That is, the cost of electricity would be so low, invoicing for its use would be prohibitively expensive. Well, that didn't exactly turn out that way! But as our electronics have become more efficient, the cost of […]

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Review: Shell Recharge

Colour screen showing battery charging.

Even when I had a petrol car, I boycotted Shell - refusing to use their petrol stations. I thought that would continue once I got an electric car - no dino-juice for me! My car has more than enough range for me, but on a recent journey I decided it would be prudent to do […]

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