Energy Saving gone stupid?

Ecodesign Working Plan 2015-2017

So EU regulations are now going to limit vacuum cleaners to 1600W and give them energy efficiency ratings.   Not sure if this is a good move or not, but I can be sure it was a good waste of tax payer money dreaming it up.   How about getting people to read the instructions rather than just going by advertising hype.   Nothing to clog?   Hmm, sure Mr Dyson!   What about the filters you should be washing regularly and the amount of crud that gets stuck in the cyclones?

No bad thing making the motors, impellers, air filtering etc.. more efficient.   But now there is talk the EU is going to look at hair dryers, smart phones and kettles.   Yes, kettles!

OK, some simple physics here.   An electric kettle is probably about the most efficient way to heat water.   Electricity makes the element hot and its in the water which gets hot.   OK some heat is lost to the air and a little is lost to the noise of the boiling and the movement of the water.   But not much.   (Unless you had the stupid kettle I did a few years back with the constant blue LED!   Didn’t need to turn on the kitchen light when I made late night fridge trips, it was that bright)

Water needs a specific amount of energy to raise its temperature to boiling point.   As energy is wattage x time (1 watt is 1 joule per second) so more wattage = less time, less wattage = more time.

Hmm… so would a 1000W kettle save me 50% energy over a 2000W kettle?   No!   Oh… umm… darn!

Actually a 1000W kettle would probably use slightly more energy as the longer heatup time would allow for more energy loss to the air.   oops!

I do hope the consultants and committees for the EU have at least one sensible person between them.   Just wish I could get in on that action, probably pays quite well 🙂

So how do you save energy with a kettle?   Boil just the amount you need, but we’ve all known that for years!   Plus it has the added benefit of taking less time to make your morning cup of wake up.

Most people will by now have a kettle with a newer type element and a plastic outer shell.   Both of the real energy savers.   Especially if you live in a hard water area!   Death to kettles!

As for hair dryers and smart phones… never use the former but again its heating something so will be similar to the kettle.   And smart phones… I’ve tried to measure the standby current of their chargers but its below the resolution of my mains tester.   Maybe less blindingly bright LEDs telling you its on would save some energy.