Saving Electricity: Hot Water Bottle Economics.

It seems that you either grow up in a hot-water bottle family, or you don’t. Mine wasn’t a hot-water bottle family and so I never used them. Not that I have anything in particular against them, it would just never occur to me. Janneke, on the other hand, is from a family of notable bottle-philes that approach any signs of cold weather armed with several heated hot-water bottles. In spite of this influence on me old habits die hard; I shunned the bottle. Until recently.

A couple of months ago I fell prey to a fairly nasty case of the ‘flu. In this weakened state, the magical abilities of comforting aches and shakes presented by the hot-water bottle that Janneke offered me proved irresistible. So much so that she gifted me a brand new hot-water bottle I could call my own.

Once I had recovered from the ‘flu the bottle found a resting place in a bottom drawer, forgotten for the moment. Winter approached, and so did cold evenings. While I very seldom use a heater during the day, I usually run my little fan heater in my bedroom about an hour or so before I go to bed. Helps to keep the bed-chills at bay. Not excessive, but like most South Africans post 2007, I’m always thinking of ways to reduce my electricity usage.

Then it struck me: if going to bed with a hot-water bottle avoids the need for the pre-warming of my bedroom, I would be exchanging an hour of heater running with the equivalent of about 2 minutes for boiling the kettle. Being of a somewhat empirical bent I decided to try it out. And voila! It worked like a charm!


So, if want to reduce your bedwarming electricity costs by a factor of thirty, try a hot-water bottle. Oh, and thanks for my hot-water bottle, Janneke!


  1. Le Roux
    May 29th, 2011 at 04:08PM

    How many watts is your heater? And your kettle?

    Don't you have one of those oil heaters that switch on and off?

    Come on. Work out how many kilowatt-hours each "solution" uses :)

  2. Neilen
    May 29th, 2011 at 04:23PM

    Quite simple really. Both are about 2kw, heater has not thermostat and runs full blast. So we go from 2 kwh to 1/30 kwh. Detailed enough? :)

Comments go here.

(will not be published)
Remember Me
Subscribe to Updates