Electric Dreams - How a heated throw rug had me heating my words.


I’ve always found comedy in the excessive production of utterly useless electric appliances. The butterfly tin opener replaced by the electric can opener, ugg boots replaced by heated slippers, a trip to the pie shop replaced by a pie making machine and only a few years ago rug-crocheting grannies were trumped by the introduction of the heated electric throw blanket.

It's just like an electric blanket but instead of being restricted to your bed, you can use it anywhere there is a powerpoint! 

Oh, how I mocked the early adopters of that technology.  What would our pioneering grand-women make of such folly?

And surely at a time when we are trying to reduce our energy use, buying another electrical appliance is not going to help bring down our bills.

Well, I’ve had to eat some humble pie (made in afore mentioned pie maker) because when it comes to keeping warm in winter, sometimes it is warmer when you plug something in. In the case of the electric heated throw rug … it is one of the cheapest ways of getting warm without doing exercise.

It's a relevation. It's perfect for when you're sitting down reading, watching teli, working at the computer, doing the crocheting ... basically anytime you are not moving around.

They cost around $80 to buy, but ALDI have good ones for much less, come in plush material and at full power uses around 190 watts to keep you toasty warm. Get one with a timer that switches off automatically just in case you do leave it switched on. That's about $0.03/ hour in comparison to your standard oil-column heater which costs about $0.30/hour to run. AND you'll be warmer under it. Most other portable electric space heaters use at least 10 times the energy to get you feeling as warm.

Why heat up a whole room when you could just heat up yourself at a fraction of the cost. And you can even wash it.

So to stay warm without spending heaps, think about how you heat yourself and your home, use your heater wisely and do all you can to keep that precious, and expensive, heat in the house – draught-proof, zone, insulate, put up curtains and pelmets …you know what you have to do, and there are some great GIY Green It Yourself video's on it.

It’s not quite a 'snuggy' (thank goodness) and it’s not a hair shirt. It’s somewhere in between and I’m plugging it in proudly, turning off the heater and glowing with the knowledge of watt I’m saving. 

Just remember to look after it and store it well, don't squash the wires too much to make sure it lasts the test of time.