We’ve finally got our shiny Eco Kettle up and running. We got it as a free gift from Ecoswitch.com when we changed our energy supplier to Ecotricity a few months ago; I’m not quite sure why it took three months to arrive but it’s here now and that’s the main thing.
It’s estimated that overfilling your kettle can waste as much power in a week as it’d take to light your house for a whole day. The way the Eco Kettle works is that it allows you to fill the entire kettle, then use a pump on the lid to release only the amount you need to boil into the boiling chamber. The kettle is therefore supposed to use 30% less energy than a standard kettle.
They could do with a few Eco Kettles at work, where the water-boiling situation is ridiculous. In my office building, there are two gigantic hot and cold water dispensing machines on every floor which no doubt cost a lot of money to run, but they’re pointless and damaging because:
1) the water only ever gets to 90-odd degrees after a lot of coaxing, and we all know you can’t make a good cuppa with anything shy of boiled water. So everyone uses a manky old normal kettle instead, while the water machine sits there keeping water semi-hot all day long, for that one strange person who can bear lukewarm tea and coffee.
2) London has some of the best tap water in the whole country so there’s no reason why we can’t drink our water straight from the tap over the sink
3) and stacked on top of the water machine is a pyramid of small plastic cups – about enough for three big mouthfuls – so people drinking a lot of water might get through a dozen cups day, and (despite clear signage) many find their way into the bin.
The water dispensers aren’t as bad as the industrial toasting machines that are on full blast non-stop for four hours every morning in the office cafe, but it still makes me mad.
We’re pretty happy with our new Eco Kettle at home because our previous kettle was knackered and we needed a new one anyway. It matches our silver toaster perfectly, and it has a neon blue light inside it which means making a late-night cup of Horlix feels a bit space-age (they retail at about £30 so you’d expect a few special features) .
But while I like a whizzy gadget as much as the next person, I think my Dad may have invented the original eco-kettle about six years ago…he measured two mugfuls of water (for him and my Mum) into the kettle and used a bit of Tippex to mark where it came up to…which seems to be the rather more straightforward (and free!) way to monitor how much you boil?