Can we cut our energy bills with an eco Kettle?

eco kettle 2One of the most frequently used, high energy consuming household items must surely be the electric kettle. There are bigger energy consuming appliances, such as an  electric fire, arguably only used for 6 months a year. Then there is the electric shower, maybe used once or twice a day, and of course the electric oven, but again, probably only used once a day. There was a study done in the UK of around 90,000 people, that showed 95% of families boiled the kettle every day with almost half of them boiling water five times a day or more. We are at the top end of the average. Our electric kettle, I would estimate, is used to boil water up to 10 times a day, depending on which of my lovely daughters are in "residence"

It is difficult to save money on high energy consuming inductive workhorse devices. That includes anything with a heating element. To get high energy out, i.e. boiling water, we need to put high energy in. These type of appliances aren’t like electronic devices, such as TVs, laptops and phones etc., where clever circuit design can help to reduce electricity usage, battery drain and charging frequency. But the good news is, there are now a range of eco-friendly kettles that can help to reduce electricity consumption and energy bills in different ways. Instead of reducing the Kilowatts of electricity required to boil a litre of water, which as mentioned is not possible, they save energy by either reducing the amount of times that the kettle is boiled, due to heat conservation or reducing the total boiling time, due to less water. Oh and don’t be fooled when you see "rapid boil" feature mentioned. This just means you will get to drink your tea a little bit sooner, it is not an energy saving feature.

One such eco kettle made by Vektra, has a Thermos flask type feature, which keeps the water hot for 3 to 4 hours after its been boiled. This does not keep the temperature at, or close to boiling point, so its use, to my tea drinking way of thinking, is limited to coffee and hot chocolate, which are both hugely consumed by other members of our house. However it does mean when you come to re- heat the water, it does not take very long to reach boiling point. This is a real plus.

There is another eco friendly Kettle made by Wahl, recommended by the Energy Saving Trust, which has a different feature that enables you to just heat the exact amount of water that you will use. This has a capacity of 1.5 Litres and a dual chamber which allows you to transfer what you need for heating or boiling. Using a kettle in this way is claimed to save around 31% less energy than a normal kettle used as frequently withought water quantity monitoring. I like this kettle, but withought trying to sound too clever, I always only ever boil just what I will use wherever possible anyway. As long as there is enough water to cover the element everything is fine. But this type of kettle will undoubtedly make things easier for some.

Or we could just drink nice cold water, or better still beer.

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