Author Topic: 32 kwh used yesterday but barely used anything  (Read 1310 times)

kevj1085

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32 kwh used yesterday but barely used anything
« on: October 18, 2017, 06:45:50 AM »
So I'm fairly confused after reading Mr moneys article on electricity kwh used. I've been monitoring our usage and yesterday we used up 32kwh and barely used anything compared to what I perceive most to use. Only used AC for 2 hrs 4-6pm (Arizona still 95 degrees), cooked a quick gas stove dinner, used coffee maker morning and Vitamix for smoothie, watched a little news before work, watched maybe 1 hr of tv that evening, no laundry and i dry clothes outside. Our house is 1900 sq ft and as far as I know the only things constantly plugged in are the fridge, microwave, thermostat, and TV's but even they're off when gone. So how is this otherwise minimal usage up to over 900 kwh which according to Mr money is the average yearly? I consciously use less electricity, so what gives?

sokoloff

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Re: 32 kwh used yesterday but barely used anything
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2017, 07:06:09 AM »
So I'm fairly confused after reading Mr moneys article on electricity kwh used. I've been monitoring our usage and yesterday we used up 32kwh and barely used anything compared to what I perceive most to use. Only used AC for 2 hrs 4-6pm (Arizona still 95 degrees), cooked a quick gas stove dinner, used coffee maker morning and Vitamix for smoothie, watched a little news before work, watched maybe 1 hr of tv that evening, no laundry and i dry clothes outside. Our house is 1900 sq ft and as far as I know the only things constantly plugged in are the fridge, microwave, thermostat, and TV's but even they're off when gone. So how is this otherwise minimal usage up to over 900 kwh which according to Mr money is the average yearly? I consciously use less electricity, so what gives?
According to this, 920 kWh is the average monthly consumption

I don't know that running the AC for 2 hours in 95 F outside air temp in AZ is particularly minimal. (I get that you have to do it, but it's hard to argue that is minimalistic on a countrywide average basis.)

EngineeringFI

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Re: 32 kwh used yesterday but barely used anything
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2017, 07:24:34 AM »
920 kWh is about what I used last month for a 2000 sq ft house in Tucson. Like you I watch my usage pretty closely, but when that AC kicks on I hear a cash register opening in my head. If you're in Tucson, TEP (Tucson Electric Power) has an app that lets you look at your power usage in monthly, daily, and hourly increments. When my AC is off, I'm normally using about 300-400 Whrs per hour (if I'm home, about a third of that if I'm not), but with the AC on its normally 2-4 kWhr per hour.

A big step to lower your electricity bill is to move to time-of-day and/or peak time billing. TEP essentially charges half price per kWhr if you can move your usage off of peak times. Right now peak times are 6am to 9am and 6pm to 9 pm. Since it's still pretty warm, I have my AC come on to cool down the house from 5 to 6 pm and then it shuts off from 6 to 9 (peak time) and I use ceiling fans, dress appropriately, cold drinks, or just good-ole "not being home" to stay cool. The risk with these billing plans is that if you're not paying attention and your demand spikes during a peak time, the resulting demand charge can actually be more expensive than a traditional billing plan. So you have to actually think about your electricity usage, amazing concept to people I've told this to...

I also bought a plug-in power meter to track down vampire loads around my house and moved a lot of electronics to switched outlets in the house so I can completely shut them off. This was cheaper than buying "smart" power strips. Last month I had a local company blow in 8 inches of additional insulation in the attic, installed a new energy star ceiling fan, and modified 2 other ceiling fans to use LED lights instead of the original halogen bulbs (halogen bulb in an energy star ceiling fan is stupid...).

ixtap

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Re: 32 kwh used yesterday but barely used anything
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2017, 09:20:22 AM »
How much do the coffee maker and vitamix use?

Heroes821

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Re: 32 kwh used yesterday but barely used anything
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2017, 09:29:40 AM »
Isn't there a device called like "kill o watt" that can measure individual devices like your fridge so you can calculate what they use daily?

Cadman

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Re: 32 kwh used yesterday but barely used anything
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2017, 09:31:05 AM »
I don't think 32 kWh is too bad with a couple hours of AC use. I assume you've also got a fridge plugged in somewhere; might be time to clean the coils. Is your water heater gas?

An experiment you might want to try is to shut every intermittent device off (coffeemaker, TV, A/C) and head for your electric meter. Take a reading, then revisit in 10 minutes and take another reading. Multiply by 6 to get usage per hour. This should give you an idea of your quiescent consumption including phantom loads. Obviously a cycling fridge or freezer may come into play during that time so you might want to unplug it for the 10 minute reading. You can factor its usage in with an inexpensive kill-a-watt device measured over 24 hours.

You might be surprised by the phantom loads- doorbell transformers, furnace or AC thermostat transformers, electronically controlled ovens, dishwashers and washing machines, and other older wall-wart plugs are all drawing power and can really add up.

Heroes821

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Re: 32 kwh used yesterday but barely used anything
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2017, 09:58:19 AM »
Found it: https://www.amazon.com/P3-P4400-Electricity-Usage-Monitor/dp/B00009MDBU/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1508342239&sr=1-1&keywords=kill+a+watt

Possibly cheaper at lowes or home depot or off brand. But $20 bucks to let you check each device individually is pretty cool. 

EarthSurfer

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Re: 32 kwh used yesterday but barely used anything
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2017, 11:33:03 AM »
Check with your library for a loaner current / power monitor for items powered from a 120VAC wall outlet.  The Denver Public Library has a very nice unit which allows for monitoring over time so one can detect peak usage times.

As a point of comparison, I live in an 1980s highrise. My annual usage has been about 1,800 KWH / year over the past 3 years. I am all electric with a water source heat pump. Part of my heat & cool energy usage is "hidden" in the HOA fee which covers the boiler & chiller for the water used by my heat pump.

My biggest energy saver has been going to the Emerson SENSI WiFi connected thermostat. I had previously used an old-school programmable thermostat, but it couldn't easily adapt to my highly variable schedule.  The remote control capability of the SENSI thermostat has covered a multitude of sins on my part.