MyHomeYourHome/Elements of the Home/Energy Usage

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  • how can we reduce consumption and increase awareness?
  • how can we organise electrical systems in the house? subsystems?

Re-Thinking the Electrical System

From the facebook discussion


One of the main things that Duane has been expressing in our class so far is the importance of killing "vampires" (electrical devices that are on standby that actually use 2-3x the amount of power that the devices do when they're actually in use). People are inherently lazy though. They don't want to have to go around turning off/unplugging their electronics every night when they go to bed (most of us have enough on our plates as it is). In order to combat this, you should instigate some sort of dual electrical system, a primary electrical system which takes care of things like the heating system and controlling the secondary electrical system which will be what all of the house's electronics and appliances are plugged into.

The primary system can then turn off/on the electrical system at designated times (like an alarm system, could also reduce the heat during the night when everyone is sleeping or during the day when everyone is out of the house) or, alternatively, there should be a master switch/remote control in one of the rooms (master bedroom maybe?).


One of the other thoughts we had for the electrical system was to decentralize as much as possible. By having things run on rechargeable batteries, human power, whatever, vampire power isn't even an issue. That's something that can apply, at least, to lighting. I love the idea of a dual system though, that's something we hadn't thought of.


I'd prefer the idea of many small and specialised subsystems over even two large systems. If we to increase the user's awareness of every actions consequences, then there needs to be a very strong cause and effect relationship throughout the house. I'd be very satisfied if the user would pick up on the different amounts of power required for each activity, and by extension, the relative importance of limiting one sort of activity over another. (ie. What's the difference between leaving a light on overnight and washing your clothes once.