Hi there!

I’m slowly working towards some simplicity within the home, but hey! It’s a lot of hard work!

I love having a go at growing my own veges and always use herbs fresh from my garden. I try to plant from seed whenever I can and have learnt to save and share my own seed for the following year. I make Award Winning preserves and pickles; and my husband brews Award Winning boutique beers as well. I love to stockpile and try to limit quick trips to the shops. I dabble in bread making and enjoy making my own stocks too.

I enjoy feeding my family good hearty meals, nothing like those tiny restaurant stacks you have to look for on the plate. My husband maintains our vehicles and machinery and we both enjoy fabricating on a small scale mostly relying on metal & timber recyclers for any materials needed.

While I don’t always have time to reply to comments, I love reading them. I hope you enjoy your stay and I hope you learn something new because I love sharing what I learn, and I'm always looking for another new skill myself.


Monday, August 22, 2011

We're finally 'on the grid' & No more 'standby'


Finally, although not with any warning, the men came the other day....to connect a new inverter to our system, as the original one was faulty.....I would never choose this company again...They stuffed me around so much....and until I told them I had a meeting scheduled with Consumer Affairs.....that work finally got done.....I'm still not happy though, as I wasn't aware that they were coming out to install it, and I wasn't home....a neighbour told me they had been.....so I have no idea how to read the inverter...and no idea what any of the data means......the company told me that someone would 'explain it all to me'.....Pfttttt!!

I do know though that I have started decreasing the amount of 'standby' all our appliances have.....
I, like many others are trying to reduce our electricity bills....
It seems that every time we find a way to cut our costs and usage....we here of another price increase in the use of our electricity....it's so frustrating......

A few months back, I bought a wind-up torch for early morning rises....(I wind it up during the day though) and night time snail hunting in the garden...amongst other uses.....I have also bought another wind-up torch with a built in radio....so now I can listen to the radio while I am out in the garden.....for free......which I like...Batteries are sooo expensive...and I prefer to use re-chargeable batteries too...but I only have a limited supply of them, and they are always being used, like in the smoke alarms, and wall clocks...even in the remotes....

I recently bought a device that allows me turn off multiple electrical items in one go.....the idea is, each power board that is being used....plug it into one of the adapters, then plug the adaptor into the wall socket....

Each night now I go to the computer, press A1 to turn off everything.....
I then go to the tv unit, press A2 to turn off everything......
I then go to the back lounge-room where the boys hang out.....press A3 and turn off everything.....

All with the one remote.....we now don't have anything left on standby...so less electricity...I'm sure it will be a huge savings....but will need to wait to find out....another great thing about this....I can use up to 20 different combinations....as they come in packs without the remote as well.....These ones are from Bunnings, and for the three switches and one remote...it cost me just under $30.

I have also been turning the dishwasher and the washing machine off at the wall for a few weeks too...as they also have a standby light on them......I just need to get a few more...as I want to plug one into the microwave....as we don't use it that often any more......

Another idea which I got from Rose......We have a night-light that is plugged into the bathroom socket, so we don't need to turn on the big light....I am thinking about sourcing a few solar lights...and placing one in the bathroom....thus removing another item being plugged into the wall.....We have a huge skylight in the bathroom, so I'm pretty certain that it would get charged through the night.....

I'm really pleased with these decision....does anyone else use something like this...If so, have you noticed a difference in your power bills?


  1. I like the sound of those power point remotes! It's a right pain trying to get behind the TV to turn off the power point, and the same for getting under the computer desk.

    Will have to check them out next time I'm at Bunnings.

    We use a little LED night-light for the kids - it only uses 1 watt of power, which is essentially nothing, and only turns on when it's dark. It'd take over 80 days of all-night use to reach 1 kWh, which is about 20 cents or so.

  2. We turn every power point off except for the fridges and the house phone. I am wanting to switch to a non rechargeable house phone. I have battery alarm clocks and radio. The batteries seem to last forever. We try not to have the TV on unless we are watching something. Microwave doesn't get used much, so is switched off most of the time. Oven is gas with electric start and that is turned off at power point too and turned on when I want to use. Bit of a pain because I have to take a drawer out to do this.

    Like Darren implies, LED lights are the way to go. Hubby is getting right into the LED lights. They are really bright and extremely efficient! He is experimenting with different ones at the moment and making LED camping lights and selling them, they are very popular.

    The power point remotes are interesting though. I haven't heard of them.

  3. I've been turning off at the power points every night for a while and on average we use about 10kw less a day. The microwave is also only turned on at the powerpoint when it is in use. If I need to leave the computer on but am not actually using it I turn the monitor off. You'd be surprised how much power it uses.
    We have solar, motion detector lights in and outside the stables as Hubby feeds horses in the early morning before he goes to work. The original kit with 2 lights only cost around $40 and we use an old tractor battery for energy storing.

  4. I have a power board that things can be plugged into and it also comes with a foot button, so when I go to bed I just pop thing off using that button, which sits out in front of the appliances while the power board is behind the tv cabinet.

  5. Darren: Behind the TV and under the PC is exactly the reason I looked into these...Thanks for explaining the LED lights to me...you just solved that problem, because the one you describe is the same as we use in the bathroom and hallway.

    Tania: Wow, I'm not that committed yet...Well done....I've thought about battery alarm clocks, but worry that one day an alarm would be missed due to being flat without warning...My oven is like yours, but it is wired in to the house. Well done to hubby for making those lights.

    Stitchin' Time: Hi Robyn, I can't wait to see the next bill to see if there is much difference...I also turn my monitor off when not in use....I love the motion detector lights, but ours are not solar....we have one for getting to the car at night...and one for mum to see going out our back door to her unit door...as soon as our back door opens, it comes on.

    DEB: I have seen these ones too...but opted for the one remote idea.

  6. Congratulations on finally getting connected. We also had horrific problems with the installer and the supplier and had to act the real ogre to get anywhere. We've been on the grid about 2 weeks and today we exported 7kw!!! We are very frugal with out power consumption. All down lights are LED and all others are florescent. All appliances are turned off at the switch when not in use, even the 3 watt LED. Before the low energy lights were installed and before we started 'switching off' we consumed about 7.5kw/day. Now we average about 5.5-6.5 kw/day. It feels good to have some control over how much we use and how much we pay for.


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