Thursday, December 16, 2010

Metering Mother

Mother has used a very scientific method of checking her power consumption in an effort to reduce her electric bill. She goes to the front door and sees how fast the meter wheel is spinning around. She has decided that the electric kettle is the culprit for her large electric bills and says that the wheel spins more slowly and the water heats more quickly if she heats water for her tea in a saucepan on the electric stove hotplate. She takes no notice of what other appliances are on when she checks, or whether the air conditioner compressor is running, or just the fan.

Ah well, harmless enough I thought, until I saw her carry the boiling water in the saucepan to her tea cup. Admittedly it is only one step, but I can see potential for disaster. I will have to get scientific and show her that the wheel is not spinning significantly faster when using the kettle. What she does need to do is get over her paranoia about the kettle boiling dry and so stop boiling a full kettle of water every time she wants a cup of tea.


  1. An alternative is to get her a thermos-type hot water container (we called them air pots back in the day, Carnegie shop has them for about $20) to fill with hot water and then to dispense hot water for cuppas throughout the day without having to reboil the kettle.
    Mother isn't walking with boiling water nor does she need to worry about using electrickery.

  2. Anonymous11:44 pm

    :( Disaster is right, and it is the culprit of many burns I see at work. She is not alone in resorting to these measures to boil water for a cuppa, just to ? save on power. But, oh my, I hate burns :(

  3. oh good lord!!!

  4. Anonymous9:26 am

    There's a good xmas pressie for your mum Andrew - buy her an electric urn or Jayne's suggestion the thermos water dispenser, but make sure you get her an old fashioned kettle to boil water on the stove instead of using a pot.

  5. Yes, if she thinks the stove is cheaper to run, then the stove kettle is the answer. Alternatively, she can boil a cup of water in the microwave - and only use one utensil! Isn't microwaving supposed to be the most efficient form of kitchen energy use??

    Happy travels!!

  6. Jayne, she does sometimes fill a Thermos.

    Cazzie, definitely have to discourage her. I can quote you.

    Fen, perhaps that is what I should say when she tells me such things.

    A kettle for the stove may well be a way to go Anon.

    Red, her microwave is so old, a match under a kettle would be quicker.....and opening the door hurts her shoulder.