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Energy Efficiency Blog

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The sneaky energy guzzler : my espresso machine

The nearest appliance to my fridge is the espresso machine – now this is absolutely an appliance that I could not live without. I don’t care if the sea has risen and is lapping at my ankles – I still need my hit every morning – so I really hope that it isn’t going to blow my kWh budget of less than 1000kwh per year per person.

(The machine is a Sunbeam EM5600 and it makes awesome coffee for a $300 machine!)

the trusty EM5600 coffee machine

the trusty EM5600 coffee machine


Before I got my funky new wireless power meter that interfaces to my PC, I was worried about how much power this thing uses in stand-by. So I bought one of those cheapo energy-meters with an LCD display and tried to measure it. It told me that it was drawing zero Watts – so I decided it wasn’t worth diligently turning it off all the time.

I never quite believed that crappy little power meter though, so I kinda looked forward to sticking an accurate meter on the thing for 24 hours to see exactly how much power it drew.

Here’s the Watts consumed over 24 hours after I downloaded the data and graphed it on M$ Excel:

Power profile for the espresso machine

Power profile for the espresso machine

I only have one coffee a day – that’s where the concentrated power spikes are on the RHS. The rest of the time the machine was in standby. You can see that it normally draws less than 3 Watts, but every so often there’s a huge spike as it blasts the cup warmer with a jolt of resistive heat.

These spikes actually add up to a hell of a lot of power being used for one cup of coffee – the accumulator on the power meter measures it at 0.62kWh per day. That’s 230kWh per year! Nearly 25% of one person’s power budget!

Just goes to show that you can miss some sneaky power guzzlers if you don’t have the right tools.

The solution of course is to switch the machine off after the coffee is made – that will save 200kwh per year, and my coffee habit will only be costing me 30 kWh per year (3% of my budget) which I can easily live with.

The score so far in my DIY energy audit:

Fridge maintenance: saved 200kWh ($30) per year
Coffee Machine switching off: 200kWh ($30) per year

next: the dishwasher

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3 Responses to “The sneaky energy guzzler : my espresso machine”

  1. This is simply fantastic dude. I already have an old coffee machine and now i am planning to buy a new and modest one. This posting helps me to buy this one. Thank you for posting such an wonderful info.

  2. Jessica says:

    How do you work out how much energy your coffee machine is using?

  3. Hi Jessica,

    I use a Plogg (http://www.plogg.co.uk) to measure the power consumption of my Coffee machine and other appliances. It is super accurate, super easy to use and interfaces to my laptop with bluetooth.

    Cheers,

    Finn

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