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    • CommentTimeFeb 2nd, 2011 9:50am (Feb 2nd 2011) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    I recently borrowed an energy monitor to see if we could be more energy-conscious, and it worked out really well - it was pretty much what I already suspected, don't leave halogen lights on for long periods of time, energy-saving bulbs use hardly any electricity, the kettle uses lots of electricity, etc etc.

    What I was shocked at, was how expensive hencam is to run, and how high a proportion of our living costs are (wasted?) spent transmitting feeds of chickens over the Internet.

    It costs over £15 per month just to power the cameras, lighting and PC which handles the streaming. This is around a third of our household electricity costs.

    (These are true running costs, and don't count the hosting, bandwidth and broadband costs)

    So the moral of this story is, check what stuff you have plugged in and running all the time, it could well be costing you an arm and a leg!

    Don't worry as hencam isn't going anywhere just yet, but it does show that these things are not free to run, and that our advertising revenue (14 pence last month) doesn't exactly cover it! I've removed the google ads as they clearly aren't worth the hassle...

    There are some options I'm considering, mainly, having set broadcast times, eg: 9am-9pm, this would halve our electricity costs but would require manual intervention, eg: powering on/off PC, going to the shed to turn off the cams and lights etc. It would also mean our friends in the US/Australia would only see a black screen instead of sleeping hens...

    I might look into the possibility of getting an 'eco PC' which is less powerful and so uses less power than my current old workhorse, there are probably savings to be made there but then that needs offsetting against the cost of the new PC!

    If any eco-warriors have any great ideas (roof solar panels would be good, but they are prohibitively expensive), I'd be glad to hear them...
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeFeb 2nd, 2011 5:56pm (Feb 2nd 2011)
    Blimey. Do you get anything from Amazon?
    • CommentTimeFeb 2nd, 2011 10:50pm (Feb 2nd 2011)
    I deliberately bought lots of Xmas pressies from Amazon this year so that you'd get something, though I'm sure its still only a drop in the ocean. We do appreciate your efforts. You must be really eco-conscious in other areas - I'm sure we spend more than that on electricity and we're not running all the hencam extras!! (Damn you tumble dryer!)
    • CommentTimeFeb 3rd, 2011 10:05am (Feb 3rd 2011)

    Keeper of the hens

    I'd recommend (or not - might be best not to know!) getting an energy monitor - you can get an idea of the 'resting' cost of your house (eg: at night, or during the day, everything off except stuff you'd normally have on, eg: freezer, phones, fridge etc.

    Then you can see the increase that using the kettle or whatever makes.

    I've made as many changes as I can (stopped leaving all the lights on in the house + swapped for energy saving bulbs - which Helen hates as they're so dim when you first put them on!), and as our boiler isn't working we're saving a bit there too but I'm sure that will be more than swallowed up by the plumber's repair bill!

    Amazon is a bit hit-and-miss - they're very clever on how they track, so you can't for instance see something on amazon, then when you decide to buy it go via hencam, as they'll know the lead didn't come from us (even if you closed the browser and reopened it, even days later I think), so sometimes even though it's bought through hencam it wouldn't be credited to us.

    I'll give you some figures... This month we have... 0.00 - three items dispatched, but as they were all books costing 1p we get nothing. :face-smile:

    Last month was a good month, we sold £68.29 of amazon goods and earned £3.42 which is good, but they don't send a payment until you hit £25 so it can take a year or so! I really do appreciate everyone that orders through the amazon link though, it's free as in it doesn't cost anything to either of us, and does help - but it's never going to cover the running costs.

    Someone at work suggested contacting omlet (who make the eglu) and asking if they would like to buy advertising (eg: a banner on the forum or whatever), apparently you can earn £10 - £15 if you have the right kind of site / visitors etc. This would cover the electric and wouldn't be too obtrusive (better than the useless adsense adverts that used to be on the front page anyway!)

    I didn't realise that omlet had started selling bee-houses - very interesting as both me and Helen were thinking about keeping bees, but weren't sure how they'd get along with the hens!
    • CommentAuthorleevaux
    • CommentTimeFeb 3rd, 2011 4:07pm (Feb 3rd 2011)
    I to would like to keep Bee.s Neil but don,t no what the neighbors would think!!!!!!!!!!!
    • CommentAuthorollie in UK
    • CommentTimeFeb 3rd, 2011 7:48pm (Feb 3rd 2011)
    The neighbours should be delighted that you are providing flower pollenaters for them.

    A pal of mine sells her bees' honey and HAS to put a "Sell By" date on!!! Anybody seen mouldy honey? There was some found in an egyptian tomb that was perfect.
    • CommentAuthorleevaux
    • CommentTimeFeb 3rd, 2011 8:01pm (Feb 3rd 2011)
    thats True Ollie perhaps thats how i will put it to them !!! :face-smile:
    • CommentTimeFeb 3rd, 2011 9:28pm (Feb 3rd 2011)
    Hmm. I was thinking of buying a new vacuum via Amazon but I've already looked at it so would they exclude that? Perhaps I'll have to get hubby to order it instead!

    I don't think hens and bees would clash would they? There's a bee keepers web site that I found once - they would have loads of info about starting up.
    • CommentAuthorShobhna
    • CommentTimeFeb 11th, 2011 7:38am (Feb 11th 2011)
    I know someone who works for Omlet and can contact them if you want me to.
    • CommentTimeFeb 11th, 2011 11:40am (Feb 11th 2011)

    Keeper of the hens

    Really? That would be really nice of you, thank you!

    It would be very useful to hear if they would be interested, I do honestly think they'd get a fair amount of 'good' traffic from it, although they might not go in for stuff like that...

    Cheers Shobhna!

    Neil :face-smile:
    • CommentAuthorShobhna
    • CommentTimeFeb 15th, 2011 1:11pm (Feb 15th 2011)
    will be in touch soon as I get hold of someone.