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Does the g-save reduce gas bills?

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 26 April 2011 at 11:26 am

I've been testing the g-save economiser since the end of November last year. As described previously, it is a widget that claims to save up to 30% on your gas bill - but does it work?

Well, I'm afraid that even after three and a half month's testing the jury is still out. I've got gas meter readings from the period 28 November to 13 March over the past three years. They are as follows (in cubic feet):

10/11: 343
09/10: 334
08/09: 314

So, even with the g-save, I've used more gas this year than in either of the past two winters. However, not much more than last year, and this most recent winter was much colder. I know we put the heating on more than normal, and left it on longer than normal, so it's not as simple as the headline figures indicate.

Looking at the imeasure graph of the period, gas use in December was significantly up on the same period last year. The question I can't answer though is, would it have been an even bigger spike if I hadn't had the g-save? Quite possibly.

During the period of mid February to mid March 2011, our gas use was significantly less than in the same period last year. Again I don't know if that was due to better weather or the g-save or a combination of both.

I'm afraid that this is all a bit inconclusive, but my gut instinct is that we used the heating a lot more than normal this year, and that without the g-save our gas bill would have been a lot worse than it was. But, as I say, that's a gut instinct, based on how much we pressed the override button, and not on solid statistics.

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Comments

3 comments - read them below or add one

Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 28 April 2011 at 8:34 am

Thank you Francis - that's really interesting. The key is "if the same temperature is being maintained inside the house throughout the period". I have a feeling that my put-another-jumper-on-and-grit-your-teeth attitude crumbled a bit this winter and I got to like the heating in December, and over-rode the timer more in January than I usually do - but it's difficult to be sure!

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FrancisMcN

FrancisMcNComment left on: 27 April 2011 at 7:44 pm

Cathy,

One measure of how cold it has been is the degree day.  According to the Vilnis Vesma site the total degree days for the period 1 December to 31 March (nearest match to your meter readings) for the South west of UK were:

2008-9    1103

2009-10  1330

2010-11  1141

That suggests that your heating system did not see any saving from the device.  However, if you really want to check this out you should take monthly readings and compare those with the degree day data - a properly set up heating system should show a direct relationship between degree days and energy used if the same temperature is being maintained inside the house throughout the period.

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solar-clubs-tn31-6sh

Solar ClubsComment left on: 27 April 2011 at 9:21 am

Cathy, this is an interesting device thanks for the post. We have recently undergone an eco-retrofit in an attempt to reduce our horrific off-grid gas bills and I'd be interested to hear of more tests on this. 

Speaking of similar energy-saving ideas I also asked our electrician to look into the VPhase voltage reduction device - apparently there have been mixed reports -  the electrician came up with a list of exclusions from the VPhase website of household devices it would not affect or give reductions to. I concluded that given a) our relatively low electricity use b) fitting LEDS or low energy bulbs where possible, that the payback time was too long and I'd probably give it a miss. Interested to know if anyone else has different experiences though.

Best

Nick H

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