Energy Saving - A View From My Chair

  • retrotecchie's Avatar
    Level 91
    On the subject of old fashioned pilot lights...

    Electrical pilot lights, otherwise known as neon indicators. You may have a few of these floating about. I have two, one in the bathroom on the shower pull switch and another on a fused spur out in my shed.

    In my last place...five in the kitchen, two in the utility/boiler room. But do you know just how much these little neon indicators use?

    So, a neon indicator produces a little orange glow, although they are usually covered in a red lens to make them look a bit more 'serous'. The tiny little glass bulb contains a couple of electrodes and a squirt of neon gas. When you put a big enough electrical charge across them, the neon ionises, begins to conduct and produces the characteristic neon glow.

    A neon bulb strikes at around 90v and draws a current of about one milli-Amp, or a thousandth of an Amp. Not a lot. But, because the mains voltage is 240v, they need a small series resistor to drop the voltage. The actual neon will consume about 90 or so milliwatts, which sounds like an insignificant amount, but if you factor in the resistor dropping the other 150v at 1mA, these indicators actually draw about a quarter of a Watt.

    That still doesn't sound like much, but when you realise some of these neon indicators on isolator switches are on all day every day, 365 days a year...each neon will consume...

    ...2.19kWh a year!

    At 35p a unit, that's almost 77p a year. Five of them in my old kitchen? £3.85.

    Now, I'm not saying you go out and replace neon switches with non-neon switches to save a few pence. If you are having any work done anyway, then consider non-neon switches and isolators. Some bathroom pull cords have a little mechanical flag rather than a neon to tell if they are on or off.

    But, if you have any pre-existing ones that you just leave on all the time...if they don't need to be on, turn them off. You won't save a fortune, but look after the pennies...

    This is getting into the realms of penny pinching, perhaps, but every tiny reduction is still a reduction. Cumulatively, they add up.

    Then when you go behind the TV and stereo, or the computer setup or anywhere else you needed some extra sockets and see how many of your power blocks have built-in neon indicators? They say don't sweat the small stuff, but when you do sit down and actually tot up 'the small stuff'...ya know?!
    Last edited by retrotecchie; 26-11-22 at 00:47.
    Don't shoot me, I'm only the piano player. I DON'T work for or on behalf of EON.Next, but am willing to try and help if I can. Not on mains gas, mobile network or mains drainage. House heated almost entirely by baby dragons.
  • JoeSoap's Avatar
    Level 91
    No probs , system boiler would need a rad used as bypass. It's surprising how many people don't realise TRV's react to air temp of the room and not the temp of the Htg system . I used to attend lots where the TRV had shut down because of curtains covering them not allowing air to "flow" over the actuator head".easy callout for me!
    I’ll bet the customer’s face was a picture when you lifted the curtain and said, ‘That’ll be £60 please’ 😂
    I'm an Eon Next dual fuel customer with no particular expertise but have some time on my hands that I am using to try and help out a bit.
  • JoeSoap's Avatar
    Level 91
    We slow-cook in our oven quite a lot. It’s a preferred thing that makes an air fryer not an option. I reckon on a normal week it’s on for at least 12-15 hours. The oven bulb blew recently so, as I like to have an oven bulb, I thought I’d replace it. Trouble is, LEDs can’t cope with the heat so are not an option. At 25w it consumed around 1.5kWh per month, so I didn’t replace it. That’s another £6 a year saved… plus the cost of replacing the bulb.

    I’m still a high energy consumer but lots of small (and some considerable) changes mean my consumption is way lower month on month than last year. I tend to post about my progress on the other Energy Saving thread. Here’s a link to my latest report…
    https://community.eonnext.com/thread...ll=1#post21380
  • meldrewreborn's Avatar
    Level 90
    @retrotecchie

    not quite with a pilot light, I’ve at least got spark ignition, but my potterton is 34 years old and still going strong. Spares easily available and it’s robust. It’s not the most efficient but the £3,000 cost of replacement, a figure inflated by unnecessary extras due to planning regulations, doesn’t mean I’m going to replace it anytime soon.
    And newer boilers don’t seem to last that long either - they’re very high tech to get the efficiency but not so simple and reliable as in the past. You pays your money and you makes your choice. At least I can justify my decision making, do nothing is always option 1.
    Current Eon Next and EDF customer, ex Zog and Symbio. Don't think dual fuel saves money and don't like smart meters. Chronologically Gifted. If I offend let me know by private message, but I’ll continue to express my opinions nonetheless.
  • Plantagenet's Avatar
    Level 18
    I’ll bet the customer’s face was a picture when you lifted the curtain and said, ‘That’ll be £60 please’ 😂

    Could be embarrassing at time’s especially when you asked them on the phone if the head was covered over, but they would insist it was faulty, which was true in some cases if the actuator had been left on a low setting over the summer and then the valve body parts would seize up .
  • JoeSoap's Avatar
    Level 91
    … if the actuator had been left on a low setting over the summer and then the valve body parts would seize up .
    Fixed by a pair of pliers and some WD40? 😂
  • Plantagenet's Avatar
    Level 18
    Fixed by a pair of pliers and some WD40? 😂
    Until the Pin pulled out……🙄
  • retrotecchie's Avatar
    Level 91
    I better stop doing that then 😮

    Yup, you don't want them old Danfoss grenades going off...
  • Plantagenet's Avatar
    Level 18
    Yup, you don't want them old Danfoss grenades going off...

    You know you’re alive when that happens😅