Author Topic: Tracking Energy Usage  (Read 2855 times)

asauer

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Tracking Energy Usage
« on: February 12, 2015, 01:22:06 PM »
Do you all have tips/ tricks/ apps to track energy usage?  More specifically, I'm trying to hack our electricity and gas bill.  Of course I look at the numbers monthly but I'd really like to see comparisons so that I know when/ where we're using the most and be able to cut down.  PS- I've looked and neither utility company has any tracking/ monitoring like some do.  Thanks all.

Debtless in Texas

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Re: Tracking Energy Usage
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2015, 01:25:56 PM »
I changed all of my bulbs to LED, all shower heads to low flow, and do my best to keep costs down. There are some wifi enabled plugs that allow you to both monitor usage and control whether it is on or off.

There are also products like the kill-a-watt you can plug into the outlet and then see how much is being drawn. As obsessive as I have become, I have not yet got to that level. I just leave everything unplugged when I am not using it. Between that and the LED bulbs, I have definitely seen a reduction in my electricity bill.

Good luck!

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Tracking Energy Usage
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2015, 01:32:21 PM »
I changed all of my bulbs to LED, all shower heads to low flow, and do my best to keep costs down. There are some wifi enabled plugs that allow you to both monitor usage and control whether it is on or off.

There are also products like the kill-a-watt you can plug into the outlet and then see how much is being drawn. As obsessive as I have become, I have not yet got to that level. I just leave everything unplugged when I am not using it. Between that and the LED bulbs, I have definitely seen a reduction in my electricity bill.

Good luck!

I have a hard time seeing how this wouldn't use more electricity than you could possibly save.

deborah

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Re: Tracking Energy Usage
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2015, 01:41:07 PM »
Kill-a-watts are probably available to borrow from your local library - in a discussion last year, many people found them there.

FarmerPete

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Re: Tracking Energy Usage
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2015, 02:46:42 PM »
I have a kill-a-watt, (got it for free from a vendor at work), and it's got its uses for sure.  What it wont do is measure the useage of all of those things that are hard wired in.  I recommend a whole house monitor.  They have simple ones that measure the wattage of the entire mains like this http://www.amazon.com/Efergy-Elite-Wireless-Electricity-Monitor/dp/B003XOXU02/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1423776915&sr=8-2&keywords=whole+house+energy+monitor

You can also get ones that hook up to each breaker to give you a more detailed usage.  http://www.egauge.net/ or http://www.theenergydetective.com/home

As you can imagine, costs are very different.  Installation is fairly simple, but you are potentially putting a clamp around a live electric cable.  If you aren't comfortable inside a circuit box, I recommend having an electrician do it.  I've never used any of these whole home solutions, but I've been very tempted to in the past.  I'd love to see real time data on my furnace/dryer/lights/etc.  These are things you just can't monitor with a Kill-a-watt.

ThatGuyFromCanada

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Re: Tracking Energy Usage
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2015, 03:07:40 PM »
I use a spreadsheet and manually enter my utility usage each month. It's a bit of a pain but it works really well.

I've always wondered if someone would use an online service that did this for them; would you? Especially if it could automatically read in your utility bill and there was no manual data entry.

brooklynguy

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Re: Tracking Energy Usage
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2015, 04:09:04 PM »
I've always wondered if someone would use an online service that did this for them; would you? Especially if it could automatically read in your utility bill and there was no manual data entry.

Myenergy.com is a service that lets you do this.  It's like the Mint.com of energy usage, pulling data from your various utility companies.  It also lets you see how your energy use compares to that of others.  It's owned by Nest (in turn now owned by Google).  But I tried it a while back and couldn't get it to work with some of my utilities, so I stopped using it.

I have less reservations about giving a third party access to my utility bills than my financial accounts, which I do with Mint.