Today I went downstairs and took the meter readings to submit to our electricity company. Out of curiosity, I also took down our neighbour's. Then I did some number crunching.
Last year we consumed an average of 282 units a month and that was with electric heating. Our neighbour (same size) uses 439 units! That's an average of 9.2 units per day for us, and 14.4 units per day for them! They were using 56% more electricity than us!
Our social life is about the same. He is a banker and regularly goes out to parties. I am a social wannabe and regularly goes out to parties. Granted they have a bigger telly (42" vs 32"), and also the same PS3 slim we have. But we do use ours more - at least based on our conversations (I have about twenty PS3 games, they have two). We have two laptops (sometimes three), they have one. Being social media freaks, we are always online - they are the opposite, preferring instead to be disconnected and private.
So where did we do right? Well all our flats are fitted with the same halogen lamp in the living area, but and here's the main difference - we don't bother turning ours on. Instead we use floor lamps with CFLs.
So there you have it. Energy saving bulbs do help. A lot. So next time you read a Daily Mail article hating on CFLs, remember this: they are wrong.