Author Topic: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?  (Read 203639 times)

Anatidae V

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #250 on: December 20, 2013, 04:55:56 AM »
We moved from winter (gas heater and oils column delonghi heater) to summer (evaporative aircon). Usage dropped from 15 units/day to 8. My money's on the oil column heater as the culprit. Going to try switching stuff off at the wall too, see if we can drop it further.

VasyaPupkin

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #251 on: December 25, 2013, 06:36:18 PM »
1600 sf house, two people in Upstate NY- we average about 4500kwh a year about 12kwh a day). Heat is gas furnace, hot water is a tankless gas heater. Most lights are LEDs or CFLs, so I am not sure where it's all going! We do run AC in summer during hottest days.

adam

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #252 on: December 26, 2013, 10:39:22 AM »
I GOT A NEST FOR CHRISTMAS!

Sorry, I just had to tell someone.  I'm excited.

annaraven

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #253 on: December 28, 2013, 11:56:13 AM »
I GOT A NEST FOR CHRISTMAS!

Sorry, I just had to tell someone.  I'm excited.
Kewl!

robtown

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #254 on: December 29, 2013, 02:22:01 PM »
I finally got access to my local Electric supplier and checked our usage.  It is running between 1500 and 2200 kwh per month!   We have natural gas for our dryer, main house level furnace, cooktop, and water heater.  The electric big appliances are one new and one old refrigerator (in garage), freezer, dishwasher, double oven (lightly used), air conditioner, and heat pump.   The air conditioner and heat pumps are high efficiency newer units with multiple speeds.   

We use programmable thermostats.   I had insulated garage doors installed,  a foot of insulation blown in the attic, and a attic fan installed.    The windows are double paned but 20 years old, some seals are broken.  That would mostly affect the top floor heat pump.   We do keep the house 72F when occupied, and about 60F when not occupied.   I won't get any agreement from my spouse on lower temperatures.

I am beginning to suspect the heat pump may be incorrectly wired.  I just found my kill-a-watt units and found the fridge using 100w and the freezer 200w.  Even if the second refridgerator uses 100w  they would add up to about 240kwh per month,   That leaves 1260+ kwh for the rest of the house appliances.

Spork

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #255 on: December 29, 2013, 04:08:04 PM »
I am beginning to suspect the heat pump may be incorrectly wired.  I just found my kill-a-watt units and found the fridge using 100w and the freezer 200w.  Even if the second refridgerator uses 100w  they would add up to about 240kwh per month,   That leaves 1260+ kwh for the rest of the house appliances.

Did you measure your fridge and freezer over a long period of time (like a couple of days?)  Those types of devices cycle a lot and you can't just take a snapshot reading.  They spend a lot of time pulling 0 watts, too.  I only ask because you stated the measurement in watts and not watt-hours. 

Greg

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #256 on: December 29, 2013, 06:31:35 PM »
We do keep the house 72F when occupied, and about 60F when not occupied.   I won't get any agreement from my spouse on lower temperatures.

72F?  Holy crap, I'd be sitting around in a speedo at that temp.  Might this be the cause of some of the excess energy use?

robtown

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #257 on: December 29, 2013, 07:21:34 PM »
I am beginning to suspect the heat pump may be incorrectly wired.  I just found my kill-a-watt units and found the fridge using 100w and the freezer 200w.  Even if the second refridgerator uses 100w  they would add up to about 240kwh per month,   That leaves 1260+ kwh for the rest of the house appliances.

Did you measure your fridge and freezer over a long period of time (like a couple of days?)  Those types of devices cycle a lot and you can't just take a snapshot reading.  They spend a lot of time pulling 0 watts, too.  I only ask because you stated the measurement in watts and not watt-hours.
Not yet,  I just connected the kill-a-watt and will measure kwh after 24, and possibly 48 hours.   I have a few other devices I wish to measure so I might only test for one day.
I am considering measuring total household use for one day, then disconnecting the heat pump for the same period to get a rough idea of heat pump electricity usage.   I'll map normal usage over a number of days since the outside temperatures vary considerably.

Self-employed-swami

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #258 on: December 30, 2013, 04:44:32 PM »
I haven't been keeping up with this thread lately, but I thought I'd pop in, and post this news story:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/u-s-home-electricity-use-declines-for-3rd-straight-year-1.2479249

I think the title says what it needs to.  :)

daverobev

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #259 on: December 30, 2013, 05:27:42 PM »
I haven't been keeping up with this thread lately, but I thought I'd pop in, and post this news story:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/u-s-home-electricity-use-declines-for-3rd-straight-year-1.2479249

I think the title says what it needs to.  :)

Yes but - it ignores the 'embedded energy' in all the new gadgets - so if you replace a cell phone every year, the new one might use less energy to *charge*, but most of the energy is used in its creation.

All those coal power plants in China? Ugh :(

Self-employed-swami

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #260 on: December 30, 2013, 05:30:49 PM »
True :(

adam

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #261 on: January 02, 2014, 07:46:23 AM »
Month--------Avg Usage(kwh/d)--Total Usage-------Avg Temp---#d>90---#d>80
July ----------33.83kwh/day---------1016----------------83----------22--------29
August-------33.00------------------990-----------------82----------13--------30
September---32.52------------------1008----------------78-----------3--------30
October------25.17------------------755-----------------69-----------0--------17
November----21.00------------------588-----------------51-----------0---------3  -under 50* = 19
December----19.07------------------572-----------------56-----------0---------0 - under 50 = 21
January------23.68------------------805-----------------54-----------0---------1 - under 50 = 25
February-----19.38------------------562-----------------51-----------0---------0 - under 50 = 26, under 40 = 18
March--------22.79------------------638-----------------54-----------0---------1 - under 50 = 23, under 40 = 11
April---------18.55------------------612-----------------61-----------0---------7 - under 50 = 16,  under 40 = 5
May----------19.80------------------594-----------------71-----------0--------15 - under 50 = 2
June---------33.45------------------1037----------------78-----------3--------30
July----------31.81------------------986-----------------82-----------7--------31
August------40.28------------------1289----------------82-----------12-------30 - 32 billing days
September---29.97-------------------869----------------80----------12--------29 - 29 billing days
October------22.43------------------673-----------------71-----------0--------15 - under 50 = 0, 30 billing days
November----17.36------------------486-----------------60-----------0--------2  -  under 50 = 16
December----22.12------------------708-----------------56-----------0--------3 -   under 50 = 24, 32 billing days

I installed my nest on Thursday, 12/26.  It is still learning.  This morning it said that it just decided it can set 'auto away' because it thinks it has a handle on our schedule.  Except for yesterday (we both had off), it may be right.  In fact, I just looked and it says we are away right now (its right!).  The house is still 69 degrees though.  My energy history report says I've earned a 'leaf' for every day that its been installed (started reporting on Friday).  Since it is winter time, and my heat is gas, whatever savings the nest might bring will not show up in my electricity usage (but should show up in therms used and total cost).

I think the increase in electricity usage over last December is because we hosted Christmas, and only left the house for about 5 days to go visit my family just before the holiday. Edit: looked back in this thread, last December was only 30 billing days, and ended before company showed up.  So that's probably where the extra 130kwh came from.


I hope nobody minds that I more or less use this thread as my personal energy journal now.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2014, 08:08:57 AM by adam »

Random Hangers

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #262 on: January 02, 2014, 10:07:18 AM »
The two of us live in a 2-story townhouse in Florida. Everything is electric; no oil, gas or anything like that. Just took a look at a few of our bills and it looks like we average about 17kw/day. That's definitely an average, because in the "winter" we hardly ever turn on our heater but in the summer our a/c runs more than I'd prefer:

*Winter: heat turns on at 65 degrees; the rest of the time we just throw on sweatpants and a sweatshirt if need be.

*Summer: 80 degrees if we aren't home, turned down to 78 when we get home, turned down to 77 when we go to bed. We used to bump it up higher than 80 when we weren't home, but it felt like the a/c was running longer to get the temperature down when we got home.

*We just manually turn the a/c and/or heat up/down when we leave.

*I think our bill could be even lower, but we're never off on the same days (he's off Tuesday/Wednesday and I'm off Saturdays/Sundays), so someone is always home. When I'm home just watching movies, I bump it up to 80 degrees and just sit under a fan.

*We got a smart strip a few years ago and that seems to have helped a bit: we set it up so that when we turn off the TV, all the associated devices also get turned off (DVD/sound player, his game systems, etc). The exception to that is the DVR, which stays plugged in to record things. (Sidenote: I'm trying to wean us off cable/TV watching but so far my husband has been resistant; he grew up in a home where the TV is ALWAYS on. *sighs*)

*In October, we were lucky enough to get into the newly constructed community solar power program from our electric company, so now we pay $.13/kwh for the first 332 kwh (4 blocks of solar) and $.10/kwh for anything remaining, via regular electric. The solar cost is fixed for 25 years, or as long as we're customers, which is pretty cool, especially since we own a townhouse and the rest of our immediate community/HOA couldn't possibly care less about installing solar panels on our homes. Would love to have it someday though!

Cinder

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #263 on: January 05, 2014, 01:31:09 PM »
We do keep the house 72F when occupied, and about 60F when not occupied.   I won't get any agreement from my spouse on lower temperatures.

72F?  Holy crap, I'd be sitting around in a speedo at that temp.  Might this be the cause of some of the excess energy use?

We have 70 at night, 74 during the 'at home' time on our bedroom programable... we keep the house around 65~70 downstairs.  My wif is only 'not cold' when she's wearing multiple layers after we get back from snowboarding.  I walk around in my underwear..  Any colder temps in the bedroom means nothing happens that requires removal of clothing if you know what I mean!

BlueMR2

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #264 on: January 05, 2014, 06:21:39 PM »
We have 70 at night, 74 during the 'at home' time on our bedroom programable... we keep the house around 65~70 downstairs.  My wif is only 'not cold' when she's wearing multiple layers after we get back from snowboarding.  I walk around in my underwear..  Any colder temps in the bedroom means nothing happens that requires removal of clothing if you know what I mean!

I feel bad cranking ours up to 72 right now.  However, with -20 outside temps in our 24 hour forecast and us in an old house with pipes near the walls, sitting on a ventilated crawlspace, I'm afraid it's (relatively) cheap insurance to prevent the pipes from freezing.

Ozstache

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #265 on: January 06, 2014, 12:11:06 AM »
Bought and installed an Efergy energy monitor (http://efergy.com/au/products/energy-gateways/engagekit-hub) a couple of days ago to keep an eye on my electricity consumption, even when I am not at home. While the internet interface it provides could do with some polish, the information it provides is gold in knowing when and how much your electricity is being used.

The real time monitor provides updates every 6 seconds, so you can walk around the house turning on and off inbuilt appliances (air cond, oven, etc) and plugged in devices (fridge, microwave, TV, sound system, dishwasher, kitchen appliances computers) to find out what they use when running. The data is collected and posted to your internet account automatically and you can see graphs of it in minute (that day), daily and monthly as well as being able to download the data in CSV form down to minute detail for a given month.

With it, I have been able to know my daily consumption without having to read and calculate it from the meter box and know when devices have been used, even when I am not at home. This latter feature now has my adult children on alert for their electricity use as I can ping them for any power wasting activity they do eg. leaving the TV/computer on when they go out for a couple of hours ;-)

The result so far is that daily consumption has dropped about 20% without me or the wife really changing any of our habits. This alone will pay for the device in a couple of months!

purplish

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #266 on: January 06, 2014, 05:06:50 PM »
Figured we'd be using a crazy amount compared to you guys but actually it's not too bad... for 3 adults in a 1100 sq ft condo, last month we used 15.47 a day.  It's down from 17.68 the month before that, but honestly not sure what I did differently.   Mind you, this is with also having a lizard with lights on all day long, and fish tanks with lights on as well.  Interesting to compare though, the amount I used the first month we all moved in which was 26.33, that month I did not have energy efficient bulbs for the new place yet and had not gotten on everyone's case enough to use less electricity lol.  I'm actually thinking of getting new lighting for the dining room, something with only one bulb rather than a whole chandelier of lights.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2014, 05:28:13 PM by purplish »

b4u2

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #267 on: January 07, 2014, 05:39:45 AM »
Bought and installed an Efergy energy monitor (http://efergy.com/au/products/energy-gateways/engagekit-hub) a couple of days ago to keep an eye on my electricity consumption, even when I am not at home. While the internet interface it provides could do with some polish, the information it provides is gold in knowing when and how much your electricity is being used.

The real time monitor provides updates every 6 seconds, so you can walk around the house turning on and off inbuilt appliances (air cond, oven, etc) and plugged in devices (fridge, microwave, TV, sound system, dishwasher, kitchen appliances computers) to find out what they use when running. The data is collected and posted to your internet account automatically and you can see graphs of it in minute (that day), daily and monthly as well as being able to download the data in CSV form down to minute detail for a given month.

With it, I have been able to know my daily consumption without having to read and calculate it from the meter box and know when devices have been used, even when I am not at home. This latter feature now has my adult children on alert for their electricity use as I can ping them for any power wasting activity they do eg. leaving the TV/computer on when they go out for a couple of hours ;-)

The result so far is that daily consumption has dropped about 20% without me or the wife really changing any of our habits. This alone will pay for the device in a couple of months!

Sounds pretty cool. I wonder if this ever goes on sale?
I looked online at my bill and last month was 1,625KWH cost 172.41 good or bad?
« Last Edit: January 07, 2014, 06:44:45 AM by b4u2 »

rocksinmyhead

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #268 on: January 07, 2014, 07:05:25 AM »
Figured we'd be using a crazy amount compared to you guys but actually it's not too bad... for 3 adults in a 1100 sq ft condo, last month we used 15.47 a day.  It's down from 17.68 the month before that, but honestly not sure what I did differently.   Mind you, this is with also having a lizard with lights on all day long, and fish tanks with lights on as well.

Ahh I'm so jealous! This is where I don't understand what I'm doing wrong! Do you have non-electric heat though?

purplish

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #269 on: January 07, 2014, 05:40:42 PM »
Figured we'd be using a crazy amount compared to you guys but actually it's not too bad... for 3 adults in a 1100 sq ft condo, last month we used 15.47 a day.  It's down from 17.68 the month before that, but honestly not sure what I did differently.   Mind you, this is with also having a lizard with lights on all day long, and fish tanks with lights on as well.

Ahh I'm so jealous! This is where I don't understand what I'm doing wrong! Do you have non-electric heat though?

Correct, we use forced hot air which is cheaper.  Oddly enough there is an electric heat bar in the kitchen only though, when I first moved in I used it, but then found out it's more expensive so I just leave it off now.  I also after moving in had the electric company come and do an energy audit, where they replaced all our bulbs with energy efficient ones for free :)  Have you tried doing one of those?

Ozstache

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #270 on: January 07, 2014, 06:39:33 PM »
Sounds pretty cool. I wonder if this ever goes on sale?
I looked online at my bill and last month was 1,625KWH cost 172.41 good or bad?

If that's 1625kwh for just one month, that's a crazy 52kwh per day which is much higher than most here in this thread. Mine is currently around 10kwh a day, down from 13kwh daily average last bill. That's in a 2000 sqft house with gas heating, hot water and stove but everything else electric. I believe the average consumption in my state is 18kwh per month, for what that's worth.

b4u2

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #271 on: January 07, 2014, 07:34:35 PM »
I just looked at our paper bill and yes the average is 54.723kWh per day. Looks like I have something to work on now. Where to start??? We have 3 kids most of the time then my 2 a few weeks out of the year. We have a tankless hot water heater, electric dryer, Dishwasher, 2 directv dvrs. 2 story 4 bedroom house.

Ozstache

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #272 on: January 08, 2014, 02:36:56 AM »
I just looked at our paper bill and yes the average is 54.723kWh per day. Looks like I have something to work on now. Where to start??? We have 3 kids most of the time then my 2 a few weeks out of the year. We have a tankless hot water heater, electric dryer, Dishwasher, 2 directv dvrs. 2 story 4 bedroom house.

Wow, that's some serious power you're chewing through every day! My suggestion is that if it is not some really obvious power-hungry device you are using extensively (eg. dryer on high for 10 hours a day!), then you need to do real time measurements of power being used by appliances.

The simplest/cheapest option is one of those kill-a-watt devices, which can measure the power use of a time span of your choosing of any suspect appliance that plugs into the wall. The main disadvantage of this method is that it can take days to go through every suspect device in your house, and even then you can't measure built-in appliances (eg. oven, water heater).

The other option is a whole-of-house monitoring device like the Efergy unit I purchased. It will tell you how much in total is being used at any point in time, but it won't tell you specifically what. Fortunately most appliances leave an easy to detect power consumption signature when they are being used.

eg. below is a screen shot I just took of the power use in my house today. You can see between midnight and dawn the power use is pretty low with most things off or on standby and has a bump up every hour or so which is the fridge doing its thing. At 8am we get up, turn the TV on (consistent increase in baseline power), boil the electric kettle and fire up the toaster (glitches of 2000W). At 11am, the wife puts the dishwasher and it has two 2000W watt peaks where it heats water for the wash and rinse cycle respectively. At 6pm I put the oven on for dinner and you can clearly see the warm up phase (block of 2000W) followed by glitches of 2000W as the thermostat cycles on and off (there's another oven cycle at the very start of the graph at for dinner the previous night). Downloading a daily report by hour shows that we have used 9.35kw hours today so far. A bit nerdy I know, but it tells me exactly what I want to know to help reduce power consumption.


« Last Edit: January 08, 2014, 02:58:17 AM by Ozstache »

Spork

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #273 on: January 08, 2014, 07:19:15 AM »
I just looked at our paper bill and yes the average is 54.723kWh per day. Looks like I have something to work on now. Where to start??? We have 3 kids most of the time then my 2 a few weeks out of the year. We have a tankless hot water heater, electric dryer, Dishwasher, 2 directv dvrs. 2 story 4 bedroom house.

Is the tankless electric or gas?  Tankless electrics can be a serious draw.   

b4u2

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #274 on: January 08, 2014, 07:25:32 AM »
The tankless is electric. I forgot to mention I also have a dehumidfier running in basement as well as a small freezer. The freezer is almost always full. I buy meat in bulk and keep it stored. I might look into the Efergy. If I can cut my electric usage in half that would pay for it in less than 2 months.

rocksinmyhead

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #275 on: January 08, 2014, 07:27:23 AM »
Figured we'd be using a crazy amount compared to you guys but actually it's not too bad... for 3 adults in a 1100 sq ft condo, last month we used 15.47 a day.  It's down from 17.68 the month before that, but honestly not sure what I did differently.   Mind you, this is with also having a lizard with lights on all day long, and fish tanks with lights on as well.

Ahh I'm so jealous! This is where I don't understand what I'm doing wrong! Do you have non-electric heat though?

Correct, we use forced hot air which is cheaper.  Oddly enough there is an electric heat bar in the kitchen only though, when I first moved in I used it, but then found out it's more expensive so I just leave it off now.  I also after moving in had the electric company come and do an energy audit, where they replaced all our bulbs with energy efficient ones for free :)  Have you tried doing one of those?

you know, I haven't because I figured they would just give us a bunch of suggestions we couldn't do anything about because we rent. But I will look into it because I'm getting desperate! :)

I just looked at our paper bill and yes the average is 54.723kWh per day. Looks like I have something to work on now. Where to start??? We have 3 kids most of the time then my 2 a few weeks out of the year. We have a tankless hot water heater, electric dryer, Dishwasher, 2 directv dvrs. 2 story 4 bedroom house.


Wow, that's some serious power you're chewing through every day! My suggestion is that if it is not some really obvious power-hungry device you are using extensively (eg. dryer on high for 10 hours a day!), then you need to do real time measurements of power being used by appliances.

...

eg. below is a screen shot I just took of the power use in my house today. You can see between midnight and dawn the power use is pretty low with most things off or on standby and has a bump up every hour or so which is the fridge doing its thing. At 8am we get up, turn the TV on (consistent increase in baseline power), boil the electric kettle and fire up the toaster (glitches of 2000W). At 11am, the wife puts the dishwasher and it has two 2000W watt peaks where it heats water for the wash and rinse cycle respectively. At 6pm I put the oven on for dinner and you can clearly see the warm up phase (block of 2000W) followed by glitches of 2000W as the thermostat cycles on and off (there's another oven cycle at the very start of the graph at for dinner the previous night). Downloading a daily report by hour shows that we have used 9.35kw hours today so far. A bit nerdy I know, but it tells me exactly what I want to know to help reduce power consumption.

this is SO COOL! If only it were a bit cheaper :)

b4u2, do you have some kind of electric heat? I am wondering if that's part of the problem. Our usage is similar to yours, but it's even more ridiculous because we only have 2 adults in a 1 story, 2 bedroom house. It's driving me nuts!! I guess we do have "forced air heat" but the air is heated by an electric heat pump. This winter we've realized how ridiculous our electric bill is and reduced the temp to <65F around the clock, but it doesn't seem to have helped that much! Next step is to use the Kill A Watt to check out whatever appliances I can, I guess... the dehumidifier turned out to not use as much as I expected. I really wish I could test the dryer (we do use it more that we should, although always on low temp) and the dishwasher. I have a crappy little stove that I can slide out and plug the Kill A Watt in behind it, do you guys think that would be okay... or would the heat from cooking possibly damage it?

b4u2

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #276 on: January 08, 2014, 07:32:34 AM »
My furnace is gas and my heated garage is gas also.
The kill a watt may not work on the stove. The kill a watt only works for 120Vac plugs. The stove is problably 240Vac.

Spork

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #277 on: January 08, 2014, 07:36:57 AM »
The tankless is electric. I forgot to mention I also have a dehumidfier running in basement as well as a small freezer. The freezer is almost always full. I buy meat in bulk and keep it stored. I might look into the Efergy. If I can cut my electric usage in half that would pay for it in less than 2 months.

I did some very quick googling .... a FAQ I found said the average electric tankless was on a 120amp circuit.  Yes, that is amps, not volts. 

You'll probably need a clamp on ammeter (since it is probably 240v) to measure the draw, but if you look at the breaker and see something that size, I'm going to guess there is a significant power draw there.  That doesn't mean there aren't other low hanging fruit (line drying when feasible, insulation, etc)

You might also check the setting on your tankless.  When we first moved into our house we (stupidly) set our (gas) tankless to 140 degrees -- because historically that's what we'd set tanked heaters at.  We burned through $300 worth of propane in one month.  We now burn through the same amount in 6 months (though we've made other adjustments as well).

b4u2

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #278 on: January 08, 2014, 08:35:59 AM »
Maybe I should look more into a gas tankless. I installed this electric one about 5 years ago when my electric tank heater died. I just didn't want to mess with running a vent for the gas tankless, plus the electric one was cheaper at the time.

The electric tankless runs on 3-30 amp breakers. One for each heating element.

BlueMR2

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #279 on: January 08, 2014, 05:27:09 PM »
I did some very quick googling .... a FAQ I found said the average electric tankless was on a 120amp circuit.  Yes, that is amps, not volts. 

Ouch.  I've only got a 100 amp panel.  :-)

Spork

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #280 on: January 09, 2014, 03:42:01 PM »
I did some very quick googling .... a FAQ I found said the average electric tankless was on a 120amp circuit.  Yes, that is amps, not volts. 

Ouch.  I've only got a 100 amp panel.  :-)

My plumber friend said he used to suggest a 400amp panel if you wanted electric tankless.  (He said he tried to talk people out of them.)  Yes, I said 400.  That wasn't a typo.

b4u2

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #281 on: January 10, 2014, 06:23:14 AM »
With my electric bill so high I am undecided what to do. Buy a Kill-A-Watt ($20) or get the whole house monitor efergy U.S. version ($145). Any suggestions?
I do use a time of day meter and we run the dishwasher, washer, dryer on nights and weekends when electricity is cheaper but there is still something wrong with how high our usage is.

lithy

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #282 on: January 10, 2014, 07:55:07 AM »
8kWh per day average for January billing (mostly December usage), up slightly from December's bill, must using more lights during those long winter dark hours.

Spork

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #283 on: January 10, 2014, 09:32:12 AM »
With my electric bill so high I am undecided what to do. Buy a Kill-A-Watt ($20) or get the whole house monitor efergy U.S. version ($145). Any suggestions?
I do use a time of day meter and we run the dishwasher, washer, dryer on nights and weekends when electricity is cheaper but there is still something wrong with how high our usage is.

If I understand the efergy ... those two items are very different animals.

The Kill-a-watt gives you the power consumed by a specific device over time.  This is good for devices that cycle off and on (like a refrigerator) or things that pull differing amounts of power depending on use (like a computer).   You can get a ballpark feeling of "my refrigerator uses about 1.6kwh per day".  This lets you sort out how much electricity is being used by what device (and you can make intelligent choices about whether you need to use it less or replace it or ...)  Downside: they don't handle 240v appliances.

Efergy (and units like them) are basically little electric meters.  They give  you big picture, but not details.  I guess if you work hard, you could turn off everything in your house and run only one item for 24 hours to determine what it uses... but that isn't very practical.  This will let you see (for instance) the correlation between electric usage and temperature/time of day/etc.

For me... the Kill-a-watt makes more sense. 

As an aside: I actually have something very similar to the Efergy that I got for $0 from my electric company.  linky.  They're not giving them out currently... but you might check yours and see.  Mine is just a box that talks to the smart meter and collects data.   I hacked it a little and pull that data myself to create nifty graphs.  ...and while the graphs are nifty... I can't say they tell me a whole lot other than discovering trends like "my usage is creeping up" or "wahoo! I'm using less over time."

b4u2

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #284 on: January 10, 2014, 10:08:46 AM »
I could try a Kill-A-Watt meter, not terribly expensive, but I also want to see what my big appliances are doing. My hot water heater is a tankless electric and I want to know if I should keep it or try and switch to gas or come up with a way to preheat the water before it gets to the heater (solar?). Also my dryer is electric and my stove. I am willing to unplug/turn off everything in house to find what is burning up so much electricity.

Things I can think of that are in the house.
2 Xbox
2 Directv DVR
1 Directv non dvr
1 Wii
3 flat panel lcd
1 tube tv
2 projection tv
4 phone chargers? Possibly more?
1 Toaster oven
1 coffee pot
3 laptop chargers
1 pc (not sure it's even on but plugged in with lcd monitor)
1 fan on a timer (distribute garage heat)
1 fan ran at night
2 ceiling fans
1 Denon home theater receiver
4 dvd players
1 fridge
1 freezer
1 dishwasher
1 stove/oven
1 washer
1 dryer
2 ipod/ipad chargers
1 tablet chargers
1 Microwave
1 Blender
1 toaster
Most but not all of my lights are cfl
3 bathroom exhaust fans
1 wireless router
1 wireless repeater
 All I can think of right now.

Spork

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #285 on: January 10, 2014, 10:16:19 AM »
If you want an instant read of a large 240v device, a clamp on ammeter would do the trick.  You'd probably need a fancy one if you want to measure it over time (like an oven cycling on and off). 

I'm not recommending this one... just posting this as a reference to what I'm talking about:   (Maybe someone with a little more in depth electrical knowledge can recommend an actual make/model).
http://www.amazon.com/Uni-Trend-UT202A-Auto-ranging-Clamp-Meter/dp/B005FSSKJA/

Ozstache

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #286 on: January 10, 2014, 04:15:19 PM »
If you want an instant read of a large 240v device, a clamp on ammeter would do the trick.  You'd probably need a fancy one if you want to measure it over time (like an oven cycling on and off). 

I'm not recommending this one... just posting this as a reference to what I'm talking about:   (Maybe someone with a little more in depth electrical knowledge can recommend an actual make/model).
http://www.amazon.com/Uni-Trend-UT202A-Auto-ranging-Clamp-Meter/dp/B005FSSKJA/

You can also manually read instantaneous power consumption of your house by learning how to read dynamic power consumption from your power meter. Mine is a spinning disc variety and the method at the following link worked for me: http://users.tpg.com.au/users/robkemp/Power/ElectricityMeters.htm

b4u2

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #287 on: January 13, 2014, 07:27:12 AM »
I spend too much time researching. I think I just need to pull the plug and buy this http://efergy.com/us/products/energy-hubs/elite-true-power-meter-engage-hub For some reason these devices cost more in the USA. Not sure why. $184 but if I can cut my usage down to half (Average $180 right now) I would make ROI in 2-3 months.

Electric Residential Service Rate Code 407,408
 572 Onpeak kWh $48.97
Energy Cost 572 kWh X $.01934 $11.06
Regional Transmission Service 572 kWh $13.40
1,053 Offpeak kWh $36.46
Energy Cost 1,053 kWh X $.01934 $20.37
Regional Transmission Service 1,053 kWh $24.66
Time-of-Day Meter Charge $.11010 X 31 Days $3.41
Basic Service Charge $.34520 X 31 Days $10.70
City Franchise Fee $3.38
$172.41 X Tax State % .00
Current Charges This Meter $172.41
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Budget Billing Amount $180.00
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Current Account Balance $398.42 $179.00
___________________________________________________________
Billing Period Avg Temperature Electric Use Per Day
This Month 31 F 52.418 kWh
Last Month 46 F 50.285 kWh
Last Year 38 F 54.087 kWh

b4u2

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #288 on: January 13, 2014, 03:43:38 PM »

YellowCake982

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #289 on: January 13, 2014, 07:21:46 PM »
Long time lurker first time poster!

I have been trying to reduce my electrical usage for a couple years now, just never looked at the savings. Just went through my last 2 years of electricity costs.

2012 Total Usage 6305 kWh
2013 Total Usage 5021 kWh

Saved me about $100 for the year.

Single guy, 2200 Sq Ft (gas heat) townhouse in North Carolina.

Swapped out most of my frequently used incandescents with Cree LED bulbs (regular bulbs and can lights) from Home Depot.  Curious what the impact will be over the near term.

Also, started cooking more at home over the past month or so, so will see if the usage climbs a bit as I am using my stove (electric) lots as well as my slow cooker. 

Also, someone here also posted having PCs on 24x7, earlier this year I went through and turned on fairly aggressive power saving options for all my PCs.  My main PC i use the most now has a simple Wake-On-Lan program that allows me to remotely turn on my server if/when it is needed.  Very helpful!

FrugalSpendthrift

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #290 on: January 16, 2014, 08:47:38 PM »
Here is my electricity usage over the past few years.  We live in a ~1800 sq ft. townhouse, 2 adults, 1 baby.  The heat, hot water, dryer and stove are all natural gas, so the electricity is just refrigerators, air conditioning, lights and all of the little gadgets.  I'm a lot more conscious of it now, so I'm confident I will bring down the average this year.

b4u2

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #291 on: January 17, 2014, 06:05:03 AM »
I installed  2 smart power strips for the main entertainment areas. I discovered that my older projection tv draws more than 14 watts even when turned off. I am not sure what adverse consequences there are to shutting it down completely every time. The only devices not plugged into it are the master controller (A new LCD tv and an old tube tv) and 2 Directv receivers. I haven't used the Kill-A-Watt to see what those 2 areas were/are costing us. I did use it on my bedroom power strip and found laptop, tablet, cell, printer, external drive are costing .20 cents a day. Our bill averages about $6.40 per day so every penny counts. When I am not charging something I shut the main switch off.
My dehumidifier in the basement seems to have burned up so maybe that was drawing a lot as well? I put a humidity meter down there so I can see if/when I need to look into getting another. Hopefully the TED device gets here soon so I can look into more power cutting.

b4u2

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #292 on: January 19, 2014, 01:09:05 PM »
I got TED and hopefully set it up correctly. This should help me to start cutting my bill down and figuring out what is burning so much.

Mumintheburbs

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #293 on: January 19, 2014, 02:31:12 PM »
At my local library you can borrow a kill-o -watt type device. That might be worth investigating before you spend money on one.

b4u2

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #294 on: January 20, 2014, 05:56:22 AM »
I believe I set this up correctly. I had to install it on a breaker that said "lights" so hopefully that isn't messing up any readings. If the total resets at midnight....
My water heater (tankless electric) is about the only thing that would have been on before I took that reading. I will try and plug it in near my bedroom and see if I can get a reading before I take a shower.
Those of you that use 10k per day do you have a gas water heater? We have used 8k and barely 6 hours into the day.

rocksinmyhead

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #295 on: January 20, 2014, 06:46:02 AM »
I installed  2 smart power strips for the main entertainment areas. I discovered that my older projection tv draws more than 14 watts even when turned off. I am not sure what adverse consequences there are to shutting it down completely every time.

not to sound rude, but do you really use all your TVs or could you get rid of some?

b4u2

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #296 on: January 20, 2014, 06:48:24 AM »
I installed  2 smart power strips for the main entertainment areas. I discovered that my older projection tv draws more than 14 watts even when turned off. I am not sure what adverse consequences there are to shutting it down completely every time.

not to sound rude, but do you really use all your TVs or could you get rid of some?

5 kids we use them all but not all at the same time. The ages vary so they don't all watch play the same games. The power strips are working perfect though.

Ozstache

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #297 on: January 21, 2014, 02:22:54 AM »
Those of you that use 10k per day do you have a gas water heater?

Yes I do.

Half-Borg

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #298 on: January 21, 2014, 08:13:37 AM »
I used 1500 kWh in 2013.
Warm water and heat is gas. I'm single, live in 51 square meters and operate one fridge and one fish tank. I also use my PC and TV for 2-3 hours a day. Lights are CFL.

Ozstache

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #299 on: January 23, 2014, 02:23:08 PM »
Since installing an Efergy Engage power monitoring kit earlier this month, I have been keeping a close eye on watt's (pun intended!) been driving my power bill. Just through the observation effect alone of everyone in the house knowing I will grill them if they leave a power hungry device on longer they really need to use it, we shaved about 2 kWh a day off last bill's average of 13 kWh per day.

A couple of days ago, I noticed that our family room TV/entertainment system is on quite a bit during the day (5-10 hours), using a hungry 300 W with TV/receiver/speakers/standalone DVR/BD player all running, another 100 W when the desktop computer I was using for Netflix and big screen internet surfing fires up and a notable 40 W with everything on standby. I can understand my receiver/speakers using a bit of power as I bought them in the USA and they need to run through an inefficient step up transformer to work here in Australia, but my TV is a relatively new 55" LED unit that should be well behaved on the power consumption front.

After rummaging around the house, I found a USB hard drive and old sound blaster 4 point surround speaker system I was rarely using. I also realised that I could be using my ultrabook computer as my netflix/internet surfing PC with the entertainment system while it was on charge or not otherwise being used. A rejig of the cabling at the back of the entertainment system with these parts in hand and I now have a much simplified TV setup for normal use, with only the TV (+ DVR functionality using the USB HDD) and the sound blaster surround speakers fired up for about 70W consumption while on and < 1 W on standby. When adding the Netflix/internet ultrabook to the mix, it adds another 10W. Finally, when I decide to watch a movie with the full sound effect, I flick a separate wall switch to fire up the power hungry receiver/BD/speaker combination. I also turn the whole lot off at the wall when we go to bed.

The net result in just two days of monitoring this recent change is another 2 kWh has been shaved off our daily power bill with neglible impact to our daily entertainment system using routine. If this continues, that makes a 4 kWh per day (31%) reduction which, at 34.22 c/kWh is a $1.37 per day saving, which tickle my money mustache quite nicely. This will pay for the Efergy device within 3 months and I will continue to reap the savings after that, which I think is awesome!
« Last Edit: January 23, 2014, 02:25:57 PM by Ozstache »