This Simple Kettle Could Save Millions in Energy Costs
Believe it or not, your wasteful tea habits put a real strain on the grid.
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Ever had one of those rare mornings where you boil exactly enough water for a cup of tea?
Probably not, but trust me: When you manage that perfect pour, you start the day feeling like some sort of measurement master. Not a single drop of water was wasted, and you’ve saved yourself time and electricity as well. Now imagine being able to replicate that experience every morning.
The KTTL kettle, designed by Anna Czaniecka and showcased at the Kingston University Undergraduate Degree Show 2014, aims to do just that. The kettle looks like a pair of mugs stacked on top of each other, making it easy to measure the right amount of water to boil. The wide lid makes it easier to pour water into the kettle, too.
It’s so simple, we wonder why no one thought of it before.
But wait, you might be thinking, I can just fill my favorite mug with water and pour it into any old kettle!
Well, many traditional kettles make doing so more difficult than it sounds, either because the lid is too small or because the handle gets in the way. And even kettles with built-in volume measurements aren’t always very helpful. (Do you know how many milliliters of liquid your mug holds?) These factors combine to make over- or under-filling practically unavoidable. The KTTL solves both problems.
Admittedly, those problems sound pretty marginal, but the truth is, it's a surprisingly big deal. Every time you put too much water in a kettle, it takes longer to boil the extra water you won’t be using, wasting time and adding to your electric bill. Those tiny expenditures really add up: According to a study conducted in 2013, three-quarters of British households overfill their kettles, with a total cost of £68 million (about $116 million in real money) each year.
Though it's still in development, Czaniecka hopes the KTTL will eventually offer everyday tea-drinkers a simple way to cut energy waste. The model shown at Kingston University was a 3D-printed prototype, but the idea certainly holds water.