Author Topic: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?  (Read 198769 times)

Greg

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #450 on: May 21, 2014, 11:34:47 AM »
Having lights on outside for security is a sad myth.  Here is some reading material about outdoor lighting:
Lighting and Crime
Outdoor Lighting Guidence

Thanks for posting those links.  Poorly aimed outdoor lighting (light pollution and glare) is a waste of energy and money and may create more hazard than it fixes.  As a residential designer I try to convey these concepts to my clients, some listen better than others. 

The worst lighting in my area are the large "yard buster" mercury vapor lights with diffusers.  They throw light about 1/4 mile sometimes.  And the glare is unbelievable.  I always tell my clients that if you can see the light source, the bulb, then it's a bad fixture.  Still, most front door lights in the USA are this way. *shakes head*

ohyonghao

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #451 on: May 21, 2014, 01:49:41 PM »
Thanks for posting those links.  Poorly aimed outdoor lighting (light pollution and glare) is a waste of energy and money and may create more hazard than it fixes.  As a residential designer I try to convey these concepts to my clients, some listen better than others. 

The worst lighting in my area are the large "yard buster" mercury vapor lights with diffusers.  They throw light about 1/4 mile sometimes.  And the glare is unbelievable.  I always tell my clients that if you can see the light source, the bulb, then it's a bad fixture.  Still, most front door lights in the USA are this way. *shakes head*
I'm going to try fighting my HOA (I know, might not be mustachian) on their policy for alley lights.  Right now they want every house to have their alley light on all night.  When the community was built all houses had a photosensor attached to automatically turn on the light.  Unfortunately these have all broken and 7 of the 10 houses in my alley have their lights on 24/7.  I want to replace mine with a Honeywell light switch which can have your lattitude set and then will turn the light on/off with the sunset AND you can program in the curfew time, such as 11pm, for when the light should be shut off.

Furthermore the issue is exacerbated now that it is getting warmer and I would like to have my window open for cross breeze at night but all the alley lights are on and shining in my window :-(.

My other issue is the street lamps which don't have caps to keep the light from going upwards and shine all night too.  As an amateur astronomer I would love to not have these light polluting things everywhere, or at least not have them shining into my yard.  I don't mind staying up till 2am to do some good viewing, but with all the lights on all night that doesn't help.
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oldtoyota

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #452 on: May 22, 2014, 07:12:08 AM »
Our latest bill - 9 kWh daily average in April, for two humans and two cats :)



It still gets me every time I look at my energy bill - look at the drop in December.  That's the month we turned our hot water heater down 5 degrees Celsius, somehow that equated to us saving a huge chunk of money. Guess we should have turned it down sooner!


This is inspirational! I just turned our water heater down. There are no specific numbers on the thermostat, so I just turned it down a bit. If we find that the temperature can be turned down more, we'll do it again until it feels right.

I'm excited to see by how much I can reduce our KWH.

aj_yooper

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #453 on: May 22, 2014, 07:20:57 AM »
Good job on turning down the hot water heater temperature!  There should also be a vacation mode too.
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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #454 on: May 22, 2014, 11:00:53 PM »
This is entering the tough time of year in the Southern US. Daily temps exceeding 95 degrees F and excessive humidity make it difficult to stay comfortable. Still, last month I managed to reduce our consumption significantly over the prior year and I am hoping my modified AC schedule and some other adjustments will cut it even further this month, despite the extra heat. I am looking at adding some more attic insulation... we are woefully underinsulated.

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #455 on: May 24, 2014, 07:43:26 AM »
We live in Malaysia.  It is hot.  Our electricity bill averages 55kWh/day because we run the air conditioner all night, and on and off during the day.  We just installed bedroom screens  (okay today I just taped screen fabric to our window casing because it would take too long to get around to installing properly) dand tonight we try sleeping with just a fan.  Motivation?  Our bill can range from 700 to 1300 ringgit (that is $220 to $400 USD per month).  Ridiculous.  My friends say they run 200 ringgit.  Yikes. 
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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #456 on: May 30, 2014, 08:54:23 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
January------22.25------------------712-----------------49-----------0--------1 -   under 50 = 28
February-----21.03------------------652-----------------50-----------0--------2 -   under 50 = 27
March--------18.03------------------523-----------------54-----------0--------1 -   under 50 = 21
April----------17.43------------------523-----------------64-----------0--------11 -  under 50 = 9
May-----------23.48------------------681----------------74-----------6---------22 - under 50 = 0


So it begins.  I definitely think the Nest helped us out with at least a few hundred KWH.  It seems like the AC is always running when we are at home.  The average local temp went up 10 degrees since last month.

Rural

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #457 on: May 30, 2014, 12:11:31 PM »
Ours will be going up. Indoor humidity was 92% when I got up this morning.

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #458 on: May 30, 2014, 01:07:36 PM »
I live in Ontario (Canada) and my bill is over $100 a month.  I don't know what our usage is... I'm going to check tonight.  We have "smart meters" and they are awful.  Our bill went up even though we only run the dishwasher and laundry during the "cheap" time.

daverobev

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #459 on: June 01, 2014, 12:50:01 PM »
I live in Ontario (Canada) and my bill is over $100 a month.  I don't know what our usage is... I'm going to check tonight.  We have "smart meters" and they are awful.  Our bill went up even though we only run the dishwasher and laundry during the "cheap" time.

You can create an account on the Hydro One (or whatever) site, and log in to view your hour-by-hour usage. Pretty cool. You can only view up to yesterday, though.

Prices have gone up since May 1st (which is when peak is 11am-5pm, rather than 7-11 am and 5-7pm). $100 isn't too bad depending on what you're running - electric oven, hot water?
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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #460 on: June 09, 2014, 04:07:56 PM »
8 kWh per day for February, down from 12 kWh per day from February 2013.

7 kWh per day for March, down from 9 kWh per day from March 2013.

8 kWh per day for April, down from 9 kWh per day from April 2013.

5 kWh per day for May, down from 7 kWh per day from May 2013.

6 kWh per day for June, down from 16 kWh per day from June 2013.

Really made moves since we have not turned the A/C on yet this year.  Woo.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2014, 04:15:57 PM by lithy »

aj_yooper

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #461 on: June 09, 2014, 04:44:15 PM »
So lithy, what did you do to decrease your consumption of electrons?
« Last Edit: June 10, 2014, 05:53:29 PM by aj_yooper »
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TexasBrit

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #462 on: June 10, 2014, 04:06:46 PM »
I got my electricity bill today (I live in Dallas) and it was $80, up from $40 in April (the best month yet). I keep my thermostat on 80 and turn it off when I'm traveling (I have Nest so I can turn it on when I'm heading home, love NEST!). I am so trying to keep my usage down but it's so bloody hot here already! I am striving to stay under $100 each month this summer, I'll be happy if I can do that.

karaishere

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #463 on: June 17, 2014, 12:28:18 PM »
Wow, this thread is enlightening. My husband and I have been living quite fancy with our electricity usage. O_O

We rent an 1100 square foot apartment (top floor) and everything runs on electricity. I work from home, so two laptops are running during the day, and two ceiling fans with lights are also on most of the day. We already have the a/c on too. I'm good about turning of the lights and electronics (TV, soundbar, PS4, etc.) when not using them. My husband not so much, but I notice and ask him to go turn them off. I'll admit that I do use the dryer more than I should; I hang dry workout clothes, bras, and pants/shorts (shrinkable things), but pretty much dry everything else. I do wash with cold water for everything except the one load of whites on hot. I know there's nothing we can do about the fridge (2006 model, not energy star) and the stove/oven. I have also lowered the hot water heater to it's lowest temp setting and switched the dish washer to air dry (but maybe I should hand wash more?). I'll admit, that we don't shut down the computers and just put them to sleep. We have a modem, router, and land line phone (for work) that are always on. A wireless printer too. Small electronics, like cell phones, are typically charged during the night. We don't keep small kitchen appliances plugged in (well, except the microwave).

MonthAverage kWh/dayComments
December35.45heat on, 70F day, 68F night
January39.32heat on, 70F day, 68F night
February36.73heat on, 70F day, 68F night
March28.59mix of heat & no heat
April28.31no heat, no a/c, CFL switch
May30.87a/c on, 76-77F with fans
June?lowered the water heater temp to "Hot" (lowest on the dial), bumped temp up to 78

I want to start hang drying more clothes and consistently opening windows and doors in the morning. I should look into the vampire electricity and get one of those Kill-A-Watt meters (it sounds cool and useful!). Are Smart Strips worth it for the TV area?

We have room to improve! Tips on what we can do next in our rental?
« Last Edit: June 24, 2014, 07:29:09 AM by karaishere »

daverobev

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #464 on: June 17, 2014, 04:23:50 PM »
Wow, this thread is enlightening. My husband and I have been living quite fancy with our electricity usage. O_O

We rent an 1100 square foot apartment (top floor) and everything runs on electricity. I work from home, so two laptops are running during the day, and two ceiling fans with lights are also on most of the day. We already have the a/c on too. I'm good about turning of the lights and electronics (TV, soundbar, PS4, etc.) when not using them. My husband not so much, but I notice and ask him to go turn them off. I'll admit that I do use the dryer more than I should; I hang dry workout clothes, bras, and pants/shorts (shrinkable things), but pretty much dry everything else. I do wash with cold water for everything except the one load of whites on hot. I know there's nothing we can do about the fridge (2006 model, not energy star) and the stove/oven. I have also lowered the hot water heater to it's lowest temp setting and switched the dish washer to air dry (but maybe I should hand wash more?). I'll admit, that we don't shut down the computers and just put them to sleep. We have a modem, router, and land line phone (for work) that are always on. A wireless printer too. Small electronics, like cell phones, are typically charged during the night. We don't keep small kitchen appliances plugged in (well, except the microwave).

MonthAverage kWh/dayComments
December35.45heat on, 70F day, 68F night
January39.32heat on, 70F day, 68F night
February36.73heat on, 70F day, 68F night
March28.59mix of heat & no heat
April28.31no heat, no a/c, CFL switch
May30.87a/c on, 76-77F with fans
June?lowered the water heater temp to "Hot" (lowest on the dial...)

I want to start hang drying more clothes and consistently opening windows and doors in the morning. I should look into the vampire electricity and get one of those Kill-A-Watt meters (it sounds cool and useful!). Are Smart Strips worth it for the TV area?

We have room to improve! Tips on what we can do next in our rental?

Well, the AC is likely the biggest culpret. If the fridge or freezer has much space in it, you can put jars or something in to stop the cold air 'falling out' when you open the door.

Laptops, printer probably don't use much. I mean, better to turn them off and turn off the PSUs but don't stress. Modem, router ditto. PS4 and tv probably use more on standby than a laptop does powered up, depending on what kind of tv.
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karaishere

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #465 on: June 18, 2014, 08:00:55 AM »
We have room to improve! Tips on what we can do next in our rental?

Well, the AC is likely the biggest culpret. If the fridge or freezer has much space in it, you can put jars or something in to stop the cold air 'falling out' when you open the door.

Laptops, printer probably don't use much. I mean, better to turn them off and turn off the PSUs but don't stress. Modem, router ditto. PS4 and tv probably use more on standby than a laptop does powered up, depending on what kind of tv.
I had a feeling that it's the air conditioning. I will start bumping the temp up and adjust to a warmer house. Thank you for the freezer tip - it is not particularly full, so I'll add some water jugs to freeze. PSU=power strips, right? I think I can handle turning them off...we only have 3. ;) Also, when you say the TV and Playstation are on standby, are you saying they're not really off when I turn them off? (Might have something to do with being able to turn them on with remotes, eh?) Thanks for the tips, daverobev!

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #466 on: June 18, 2014, 10:36:06 AM »
Woohoo! Tuesday we made it down to 14kwh/day. Granted the kids are away for the week so we don't have their drain. But still, considering everything is electric in our house (other than the bbq), I'm pretty proud I didn't think we'd ever manage to get it that low.
It's funny looking at our consumption over the day....I can tell when my husband gets home because the power usage spikes from .15 kwh to 2.5 kwh....I think that is all from the stove and the electrical kettle. Lunch and coffee cost us an extra $0.22/day.

daverobev

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #467 on: June 18, 2014, 11:26:59 AM »
We have room to improve! Tips on what we can do next in our rental?

Well, the AC is likely the biggest culpret. If the fridge or freezer has much space in it, you can put jars or something in to stop the cold air 'falling out' when you open the door.

Laptops, printer probably don't use much. I mean, better to turn them off and turn off the PSUs but don't stress. Modem, router ditto. PS4 and tv probably use more on standby than a laptop does powered up, depending on what kind of tv.
I had a feeling that it's the air conditioning. I will start bumping the temp up and adjust to a warmer house. Thank you for the freezer tip - it is not particularly full, so I'll add some water jugs to freeze. PSU=power strips, right? I think I can handle turning them off...we only have 3. ;) Also, when you say the TV and Playstation are on standby, are you saying they're not really off when I turn them off? (Might have something to do with being able to turn them on with remotes, eh?) Thanks for the tips, daverobev!

PSU = power supply (unit). IE, for a laptop, the brick. When you 'sleep' the laptop, the next morning before you wake it up, is the brick warm? Probably not. Most laptops only draw a watt or two when asleep. Mine is less than 30 watts when it's on. I'd guess... well, the PS4 probably isn't too bad, over the years the standby power has gone down a lot.

I think some cable boxes can be pretty bad, though.

Basically anything that is warm is wasting energy. You could install power strips everywhere and turn them off religiously, but it would make less difference than doing one fewer load of laundry a week.

That's not saying not to do it, but ac, washing, drying, cooking are all going to make the rest pale into insignificance.

If you're serious, get a shower timer, shower less often, wear clothes more than once (oh the benefits of working from home!!)
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TGod

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #468 on: June 18, 2014, 11:58:25 AM »
Quote
Laptops, printer probably don't use much. I mean, better to turn them off and turn off the PSUs but don't stress. Modem, router ditto. PS4 and tv probably use more on standby than a laptop does powered up, depending on what kind of tv.

I just bought a couple of power bars that switch off power to all secondary devices when the primary device is turned off. I have one plugged into my computer set up, so when I turn off the hard drive, all the monitors, printer, speakers everything powers off. I have the other one set up in the "entertainment" area, so that the tv is the primary set up and when it turns off the power is cut to the game systems.

I plugged these suckers in last Thursday, and see a trend of using ~ 5kwh/day less than I was before. Before I got them my passive (nobody home) energy use throughout the day was about 0.34 kw/hr, now it's dropped to about 0.18kw/hr. Not a huge money saver, but i'll be averaging about 17$/month savings which will pay for those power bars in a few months. I could probably do better if had tv set up to turn off rather than go to standby as the primary.
I know it's easy to just turn off a regular power bar, but I was forgetting more often than not on both set ups.

 

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #469 on: June 18, 2014, 01:11:34 PM »
Well... this has been enlightening.  I copied this off last month's electric bill.  The numbers are the average kwh per day.

May 2014 34
Apr 35
Mar 46
Feb 57
Jan 39
Dec 30
Nov 34
Oct 39
Sep 45
Aug 45
Jul 47
Jun 37
May 2013 34

Part of the problem is that we rent a piece of crap older mobile home that isn't well insulated.  Not sure what I can do about that. EVERYTHING in the house is electric - heat, a/c, kitchen, etc.  Can't change that.
 
I noticed last night that the thermostat was set to 74F.  I increased this to 79F.  I know who the culprit is who keeps changing it.

I already do most laundry loads on cold / cold.

I usually do dishes when the dishwasher gets full (twice a week on average) - and I start it in the morning and let it run while I'm at work.  I will have to see if there is a way to disable the hot dry.  Query: is it more cost effective to do dishes by hand?

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #470 on: June 18, 2014, 02:07:36 PM »
Quote
Laptops, printer probably don't use much. I mean, better to turn them off and turn off the PSUs but don't stress. Modem, router ditto. PS4 and tv probably use more on standby than a laptop does powered up, depending on what kind of tv.

I just bought a couple of power bars that switch off power to all secondary devices when the primary device is turned off. I have one plugged into my computer set up, so when I turn off the hard drive, all the monitors, printer, speakers everything powers off. I have the other one set up in the "entertainment" area, so that the tv is the primary set up and when it turns off the power is cut to the game systems.

I plugged these suckers in last Thursday, and see a trend of using ~ 5kwh/day less than I was before. Before I got them my passive (nobody home) energy use throughout the day was about 0.34 kw/hr, now it's dropped to about 0.18kw/hr. Not a huge money saver, but i'll be averaging about 17$/month savings which will pay for those power bars in a few months. I could probably do better if had tv set up to turn off rather than go to standby as the primary.
I know it's easy to just turn off a regular power bar, but I was forgetting more often than not on both set ups.

That sounds pretty neat, I use two power strips for my setup, the biggest culprit in it was my subwoofer, but I guess if I left the pi on along with it's hard drive it probably would have taken quite a bit.  The thing about the subwoofer is that it doesn't have a standby and uses energy just sitting there with no sound.  The reason I have two is partially because of where things are, but also because of usage.  Stereo + Sub + TV on one strip, Pi + hard drive on second strip.  Sometimes I watch TV without needing the Pi so I don't have to waste power having it idle while not in use.

The computer could possibly use one, right now the power strip is in an inconvenient location, but since monitors don't use remotes their standby power is pretty low and I generally turn them off.

I'm assuming that turning on the main device will reactivate the strip?
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TGod

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #471 on: June 18, 2014, 02:59:19 PM »
Quote
I'm assuming that turning on the main device will reactivate the strip?

Yes. For example, I've got the tv plugged into the primary device plug, there are then 5 "controlled" plugs which have our 3 game systems plugged in, and then 2 uncontrolled plugs (which I have my stereo plugged into).
When I turn the tv off, I hear an audible click and the game systems lose power but my stereo stays on. The TV still has power so when I turn it on with the remote, the power is turned back on for the game systems. It also has a switch to kill power to all the devices that are plugged in.  It's kind of a brainless tool. Mine is the Belkin Conserve Smart AV. They had another one that used a remote that you could attach to your wall, but I like this better because I don't even have to think about it when I'm running around in the morning getting ready for school and work.

karaishere

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #472 on: June 22, 2014, 09:17:22 AM »
PSU = power supply (unit). IE, for a laptop, the brick. When you 'sleep' the laptop, the next morning before you wake it up, is the brick warm? Probably not. Most laptops only draw a watt or two when asleep. Mine is less than 30 watts when it's on. I'd guess... well, the PS4 probably isn't too bad, over the years the standby power has gone down a lot.

I think some cable boxes can be pretty bad, though.

Basically anything that is warm is wasting energy. You could install power strips everywhere and turn them off religiously, but it would make less difference than doing one fewer load of laundry a week.

That's not saying not to do it, but ac, washing, drying, cooking are all going to make the rest pale into insignificance.

If you're serious, get a shower timer, shower less often, wear clothes more than once (oh the benefits of working from home!!)
Ah, yes, the PSUs are cool to the touch when I wake the laptops up. We don't have a cable box, so we have that going for us! And guess what! I'm doing my first load of clothes laundry after 2 weeks! Instead of two loads (colors, darks) each week, I pushed it back an extra week. :) As for re-wearing clothes, I do re-wear pants, shorts, pjs and bras many times. I don't typically wear shirts if I get sweaty and I always wear clean socks, undies, and workout clothes. I will look into buying a shower timer, or maybe just bring in the wind up kitchen timers. I do tend to skip showers more in the winter and on days where I don't workout. Thanks Dave!

Yes. For example, I've got the tv plugged into the primary device plug, there are then 5 "controlled" plugs which have our 3 game systems plugged in, and then 2 uncontrolled plugs (which I have my stereo plugged into).
When I turn the tv off, I hear an audible click and the game systems lose power but my stereo stays on. The TV still has power so when I turn it on with the remote, the power is turned back on for the game systems. It also has a switch to kill power to all the devices that are plugged in.  It's kind of a brainless tool. Mine is the Belkin Conserve Smart AV. They had another one that used a remote that you could attach to your wall, but I like this better because I don't even have to think about it when I'm running around in the morning getting ready for school and work.
Good info here. I've been wondering about those smart power strips.

That sounds pretty neat, I use two power strips for my setup, the biggest culprit in it was my subwoofer, but I guess if I left the pi on along with it's hard drive it probably would have taken quite a bit.  The thing about the subwoofer is that it doesn't have a standby and uses energy just sitting there with no sound.
I am so glad you mentioned this. We have a subwoofer behind the couch that is always plugged in. I think I'm going to unplug it and see if we miss it. :)

ohyonghao

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #473 on: June 23, 2014, 12:46:55 PM »
That sounds pretty neat, I use two power strips for my setup, the biggest culprit in it was my subwoofer, but I guess if I left the pi on along with it's hard drive it probably would have taken quite a bit.  The thing about the subwoofer is that it doesn't have a standby and uses energy just sitting there with no sound.
I am so glad you mentioned this. We have a subwoofer behind the couch that is always plugged in. I think I'm going to unplug it and see if we miss it. :)

On a surround sound system your other speakers are powered by the main receiver, i.e. your stereo, but the bass is assumed to have its own amplifier on it so it only receives the audio signal and needs an amplifier in it to boost the sound, this is why subwoofers have their own electrical plug and volume control, they have a built in amplifier.

I found that while watching a movie my setup uses about 300W, if I recall correctly 50W of that may have been the subwoofer, which draws that while it's pumping out music or just sitting there being quiet.  A kill-a-watt would tell you how much you are wasting having it sit there, but if I am correct about the 50W then that means 1.2kwh each day, or about 36kwh for a typical month, which is about $3.60 around here.  The subwoofer doesn't really matter where it is placed, mine is kept almost directly underneath the center speaker and this makes it easy to have everything on the same power strip.  I try to find a way to setup the power strips in such a way that I minimize the amount of items in standby during different activities.
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karaishere

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #474 on: June 24, 2014, 07:35:23 AM »
On a surround sound system your other speakers are powered by the main receiver, i.e. your stereo, but the bass is assumed to have its own amplifier on it so it only receives the audio signal and needs an amplifier in it to boost the sound, this is why subwoofers have their own electrical plug and volume control, they have a built in amplifier.

I found that while watching a movie my setup uses about 300W, if I recall correctly 50W of that may have been the subwoofer, which draws that while it's pumping out music or just sitting there being quiet.  A kill-a-watt would tell you how much you are wasting having it sit there, but if I am correct about the 50W then that means 1.2kwh each day, or about 36kwh for a typical month, which is about $3.60 around here.  The subwoofer doesn't really matter where it is placed, mine is kept almost directly underneath the center speaker and this makes it easy to have everything on the same power strip.  I try to find a way to setup the power strips in such a way that I minimize the amount of items in standby during different activities.
Oh, okay. Thank you for that information. I think I'll see if I can make some room up near the TV so that it can be plugged into that power strip for easy on/off.

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #475 on: July 02, 2014, 07:48:20 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
January------22.25------------------712-----------------49-----------0--------1 -   under 50 = 28
February-----21.03------------------652-----------------50-----------0--------2 -   under 50 = 27
March--------18.03------------------523-----------------54-----------0--------1 -   under 50 = 21
April----------17.43------------------523-----------------64-----------0--------11 -  under 50 = 9
May-----------23.48------------------681----------------74-----------6---------22 - under 50 = 0
June----------34.16----------------1093-----------------81----------19-------32


LOL :(

Its hot.  Compare to last June, this June had 19 days over 90 where last year there were only 3.

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #476 on: July 02, 2014, 08:16:25 AM »
Adam, are you satisfied with your usage?
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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #477 on: July 02, 2014, 09:31:29 AM »
My wife and I just moved into a new apartment, and I just got our first electric bill! $36.36, but only for 19 days, so $1.913 per day, 14.58 kW/day - that would be a hefty $57+, and dangerously close to "tier 2" pricing- after the first 500 kWh, the price doubles. We can fix this!

The challenge will be to lower that for July. It is an all concrete apartment building with good insulation, but decreasing it should be possible.. So, I have listed energy use areas, what I have done, and what I could do. If anyone sees anything amiss or missing, let me know!

1. Lighting: I replaced every lightbulb with LED or CFL about halfway through the billing cycle, they were incandescent before, and the kitchen/living room had 240 watts alone on one switch running quite a while each day.. (Now only 35 watts total!) - this should help for next month. (Bathroom went from 180W to 22, bedroom from 120 to 24)

2. Laundry: We just moved and do not have a way to hang dry much of anything :( BUT We are moving the rest of our things, like a bed and our drying rack, this weekend. This should also help. (Electric dryer) - We also just moved and did a LOT of laundry. (And were given sleeping bags to use while we do not have a bed. They smelled like dog and musty, requiring 3 washing / drying combos to not smell awful.  I think we ran at least 12 loads during those 19 days. Facepunch, I know. This will be very reduced in the future)

3. AC: We barely used it at all- if July gets worse this will kill our power savings. However, we used the whole apartment fan fairly often. I think I will pick up a window fan, which should cool the apartment down more overnight and therefore keep the apartment cooler throughout the day, with less fan use overall. (We are near the mountains, and the nights have been consistently cool thankfully, even when the days are in the 80's to 90's)-Should I look into building or buying a cheap used swamp cooler? (This is Colorado, and fairly dry)

4. Appliances: This is a big one- we are all electric, and cook a lot. I will try to stock the fridge and freezer more for efficiency, as it is fairly empty at the moment.

5. Computers & Tech: While job searching I have been on my laptop a LOT. This should be reduced soon, since I will be out of the house more. The modem/router get quite warm. I just bought a (used for $1) power strip, and will measure their consumption with a kill-a-watt. I may try switching them off at night, or at least programming the router to cut wifi connections after 11 PM or so. Other technology uses minimal power, two dumb-phones charged every couple of days, and a tablet used for recipes that we charge less than once a week, and a small speaker used occasionally. We have no televisions etc.

6. Transportation: We will be adding an electric draw to charge an electric bike soon, but since that replaces the need for a second car, it will be cost effective overall. (We bike already, but electric will be useful for avoiding sweat while coming in to work.)

7. Insulation? 3 of our walls are great, but the exterior wall has a large window, and a large sliding glass door- over 1/3 of the wall is glass! Maybe I could do something about this. The unfortunate thing is that to cool the house we need to be able to open them.. and ideally light the house with them in the daytime. Does anyone have any suggestions? I already use blinds to close off the unused (during the day) bedroom, and the blinds in the main room once it becomes exceedingly bright and hot or when we are out.

8. Hot water: Weirdly, our apartment complex locks the hot water heater behind a door on the balcony.. (wtf?) so of course I used a butterknife to easily unlock it. I just turned it down one notch (electric nonspecific controls), and will do another if water is still hotter than needed. Also, there is a constantly running electric resistance heater mounted to the wall in that closet?? I assume this is to prevent pipes from bursting, but wouldn't the hot water heater usually handle this? I turned that way down, but not off. (Since I am not supposed to be messing around in there anyway) - has anyone seen anything like this before? I will go in there before winter and kick it back up a ways. This seems like a fairly large power draw especially for the summer.

RyanHesson

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #478 on: July 07, 2014, 01:16:17 AM »
Got me beat. I think last month me and my roommate used collectively 680 kWh for the month. So about 22.66 kWh per day, or 11.33 per day per person.

We weren't really trying our best to cut it down I guess. We turn off lights and stuff, but we're not really doing it lean. I'll probably try to tackle that some time after I get my food under control. 

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #479 on: July 07, 2014, 10:59:54 AM »
I watch and or analyze 6 properties (rental units) we supply electric.  Our usage across the board is about 10kwh/day/property across the board give or take.  We do not have 1 unit with Electric heat.  And this doesn't include 1 property which is higher because of an electric water heater.  We are looking to replace it soon.  We have to monitor to make sure our Tenants don't kill our profits.

ohyonghao

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #480 on: July 07, 2014, 01:23:18 PM »
This last month our average usage went up by 0.2kwh/day to 7.12kwh/day, still not reaching our goal of under 200kwh per month.  I think it is a combination of an increased usage of the computer recently and the use of fans at night now to cool the house.  Still much lower than if we were to do what our neighbors do and just turn the AC on all day and night.  We get a couple free gallons of water a day for our garden from their compressor drain pipe.
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Captain and Mrs Slow

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #481 on: July 13, 2014, 04:13:28 AM »
Glad to see this thread continuing as I finally got my anual bill and I averaged 200 Kwh a month. Living in An appartment and in Germany means I pay sky high prices (25 Euro cents a Kwh)  but a low base fee, so it costs about 700 a year.

I did a ton of research on this end the three big killers are in order, Dryers, lights and A/C

Laptops, ipads and newer TVs make so little difference that I removed all the power bars and leave them plugged on and often on 7/24 (except for the TV) 

Light bulbs, I live in a larger 3 bedroom apartment and by my count I have a out 40 light bulbs and in the evening I leave about half on. I like a bright place!!!!

Last year was a warm year so we ran a free standing A/C unit.

The reason why our usage (2 adults) is so low is I replaced every bulb (except for the over the stove bulbs) with LEDs - note do your research it's hard to find ones bright enough to replace a 100 watt bulb. bulb.

Secondly no dryer, common in Europe, if it's damp out I use a fan.

As to A/C this year has been cool so don't think I'll run it at all

Rob

Edit: we have central hot water so no water heater so that makes difference
« Last Edit: July 13, 2014, 04:16:22 AM by Captain and Mrs Slow »
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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #482 on: July 13, 2014, 11:00:18 AM »
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adam

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #483 on: July 16, 2014, 01:45:25 PM »
Adam, are you satisfied with your usage?

I'm almost ok with our usage when we don't need AC.  Sometimes I wish the wife would do less laundry, or maybe air dry.  That might be something we can talk about, but I don't think there's much else we can do as far as usage patterns.  At this point its more about getting more efficient devices I think.

I definitely notice when we have guests staying with us for a weekend or two because it drives an additional 200kwh generally, as well as drive up my natural gas usage for hot water.

1093kwh was $163, just for electric (another $19 for gas in June).  That's a lot, but it is usually just 3 months.  March, at 523kwh, was $82.  So I guess anything that's less than $100 is my realistic goal.  681kwh was $102, so I feel good if my first number is a 5 or a 6 (as in 500-600kwh).
« Last Edit: July 16, 2014, 01:51:44 PM by adam »

innkeeper77

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #484 on: July 16, 2014, 06:43:09 PM »
Adam, are you satisfied with your usage?
Sometimes I wish the wife would do less laundry, or maybe air dry.

It may have been said elsewhere, but don't forget that a good argument for air drying is how it is easier on clothes, letting them last longer / be damaged less often. Buying a nice drying rack might make this easier- I bought a $40 rack off of amazon, but it is metal, solid, yet light and foldable- and it can dry so much more than the little standard wooden racks.. (making laundry much easier)

adam

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #485 on: July 17, 2014, 10:01:23 AM »
Adam, are you satisfied with your usage?
Sometimes I wish the wife would do less laundry, or maybe air dry.

It may have been said elsewhere, but don't forget that a good argument for air drying is how it is easier on clothes, letting them last longer / be damaged less often. Buying a nice drying rack might make this easier- I bought a $40 rack off of amazon, but it is metal, solid, yet light and foldable- and it can dry so much more than the little standard wooden racks.. (making laundry much easier)

Well she has a wooden rack and a plastic tree looking one, so I guess the only other thing to do it get some big lines outside or something.  It has to be some kind of compulsion, like when she used to have to wear scrubs every day and only had 3-4 sets, she'd do a load every 2-3 days instead of say, once a week.

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #486 on: July 22, 2014, 10:07:33 AM »
Just got our monthly electric bill.  Comparing this year to last year, temperature this year was average 2 degrees cooler and days billed the same.  Last year was 14kwh per day, this year we're down to 10kwh/day!

I've been telecommuting the first hour or so of the day, so I'm able to be home and use the whole house fan to pull in the nice cool morning air before I go to work.  We've also been able to bump the A/C temperature from 78F up to 80F after experimenting with different temperatures and ceiling fan usages.  A lot of days the A/C never runs at all when in past years it would have been chugging along by noon!

EarlyRetirementGuy

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #487 on: July 22, 2014, 11:58:17 AM »
Just got my first bill through since switching to a new supplier and setting all the boiler thermos etc.

Average daily usage
Gas this month
0.45 (7 kWh/day)

Electricity this month
0.68 (5 kWh/day)

Gas is a bit high considering its only heating the shower every morning and a bath every other evening. Might try turning the timers down so it only goes for 30mins preheating instead of the current hour.

LennStar

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #488 on: July 22, 2014, 01:24:45 PM »
Just got my first bill through since switching to a new supplier and setting all the boiler thermos etc.

Average daily usage
Gas this month
0.45 (7 kWh/day)

Electricity this month
0.68 (5 kWh/day)

Gas is a bit high considering its only heating the shower every morning and a bath every other evening. Might try turning the timers down so it only goes for 30mins preheating instead of the current hour.
Careful with that. Could give you a serious illness if germs dont die /grow too much. You should ask a professional (or look it up, whatever) before messing with water.

EarlyRetirementGuy

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #489 on: July 23, 2014, 02:44:59 AM »
Careful with that. Could give you a serious illness if germs dont die /grow too much. You should ask a professional (or look it up, whatever) before messing with water.

Thats a great point actually, thanks for the heads up.

FrugalSpendthrift

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #490 on: July 27, 2014, 07:30:05 AM »
I've made some exciting progress without feeling like we are depriving ourselves of comfort.

July 2011 - 1292 kWh
July 2012 - 1244 kWh
July 2013 - 1364 kWh
July 2014 -  608 kWh

aj_yooper

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #491 on: July 27, 2014, 11:37:55 AM »
Good progress, FrugalSpendthrift!  From 40 kWh to 20ish. 
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ohyonghao

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #492 on: July 30, 2014, 01:44:42 PM »
I've made some exciting progress without feeling like we are depriving ourselves of comfort.

July 2011 - 1292 kWh
July 2012 - 1244 kWh
July 2013 - 1364 kWh
July 2014 -  608 kWh

That is awesome! A 50% reduction is nothing to sneeze at.
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adam

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #493 on: July 31, 2014, 06:24:20 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
January------22.25------------------712-----------------49-----------0--------1 -   under 50 = 28
February-----21.03------------------652-----------------50-----------0--------2 -   under 50 = 27
March--------18.03------------------523-----------------54-----------0--------1 -   under 50 = 21
April----------17.43------------------523-----------------64-----------0--------11 -  under 50 = 9
May-----------23.48------------------681----------------74-----------6---------22 - under 50 = 0
June----------34.16----------------1093-----------------81----------19-------32
July-----------38.74----------------1201-----------------83----------19-------31

Ugh.  We went on vacation to Maine and my in laws stayed at my house.  So obviously I couldn't set the nest to away.  And of course it was super hot this month again.  Wife made me set the temp to one constant for her parents instead of the normal schedule, and you can see the difference ONE WEEK made compared to similar temps in June.

Rollin

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #494 on: August 25, 2014, 06:16:48 AM »
I was interested in this article, as not only does the local utility increase their rates as pointed out in the article, but they do that on a fairly regular basis that goes unnoticed by many.  The company's normal billing cycle is 28-31 days, but they often go to 35 days.  For those of you who aren't familiar with our rates, they charge more (fuel surcharge + then your taxes go on top of all that - 17%) for anything above 1,000 kwh.  That means that in the summer almost everyone gets above that 1,000 kwh number due to the extra load of air conditioning.  I've checked my bills and the time that they go to a 35 day cycle is in the middle of summer!

Anyway, in reading the article I was shocked by the quote from the lady on how much her bill was.  $500 a month!  Whoa....that's ridiculous!  I just got my highest bill at $258 and that was having 2 guests, with a total in the house of 7 (5 teenagers).  Add a pool and spa to that as well.
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BlueMR2

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #495 on: August 25, 2014, 10:05:06 AM »
I'm afraid to see what my bill will be next month.  We're using A/C a lot more. 2 of our ceiling fans broke this month.  One is simply coming loose from the bracket, but I have to pull the power to it to safely adjust (and the bedroom and both offices are on the same circuit, so it's a scheduling problem.  Need it to be light out to complete, but not when people need to be using the computers).  The other one is on the same circuit as the TV, so easier to kill power to it.  However, it's not fixable.  Motor is completely bound up.  Going to do a replacement, but having a real hard time finding the right one.  Need a low headroom (max it can safely hang down is 10.5") with the lighting above the blades.  Seems like that style has disappeared...  Everything these days has the low dangling lighting that I'll hit my head on in that room...  :-/

Rollin

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #496 on: August 25, 2014, 08:45:00 PM »
I was interested in this article, as not only does the local utility increase their rates as pointed out in the article, but they do that on a fairly regular basis that goes unnoticed by many.  The company's normal billing cycle is 28-31 days, but they often go to 35 days.  For those of you who aren't familiar with our rates, they charge more (fuel surcharge + then your taxes go on top of all that - 17%) for anything above 1,000 kwh.  That means that in the summer almost everyone gets above that 1,000 kwh number due to the extra load of air conditioning.  I've checked my bills and the time that they go to a 35 day cycle is in the middle of summer!

Anyway, in reading the article I was shocked by the quote from the lady on how much her bill was.  $500 a month!  Whoa....that's ridiculous!  I just got my highest bill at $258 and that was having 2 guests, with a total in the house of 7 (5 teenagers).  Add a pool and spa to that as well.

It would help if I included the article!

http://www.wfla.com/story/26349969/duke-billing-change-making-florida-consumers-hot
I love being outside.

Guardian

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #497 on: August 26, 2014, 06:16:52 PM »
I'm afraid to see what my bill will be next month.  We're using A/C a lot more. 2 of our ceiling fans broke this month.  One is simply coming loose from the bracket, but I have to pull the power to it to safely adjust (and the bedroom and both offices are on the same circuit, so it's a scheduling problem.  Need it to be light out to complete, but not when people need to be using the computers).  The other one is on the same circuit as the TV, so easier to kill power to it.  However, it's not fixable.  Motor is completely bound up.  Going to do a replacement, but having a real hard time finding the right one.  Need a low headroom (max it can safely hang down is 10.5") with the lighting above the blades.  Seems like that style has disappeared...  Everything these days has the low dangling lighting that I'll hit my head on in that room...  :-/

Here's a facepunch:

Tell others that their schedule has to bend to your repair schedule for a day or two (a few hours at a time, if they help it'll be less)

Use a mirror to reflect outside light in and make it brighter inside.

Get a fan that works WITHOUT lights and get a tall lamp with the money you save.

You don't want flickering lights behind fan blades anyways.

Go get 'em.

BlueMR2

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #498 on: August 27, 2014, 03:59:14 PM »
Get a fan that works WITHOUT lights and get a tall lamp with the money you save.

You don't want flickering lights behind fan blades anyways.

Yeah, probably going to have to go the lamp way, still can't find a top lit one.  The one my parent's had in their old house you didn't notice any flickering as the lighting came out the sides up above and gave the room a nice amount of light all around.

Now trying to see if I can get just a replacement motor for the current one.  If I can, the difference would pay for a whole month of A/C!  :-)  If not, we'll bite the bullet and buy a new one.

domustachesgrowinhouston

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #499 on: September 02, 2014, 11:34:31 PM »
Wow, a lot of the numbers here are impressively low. Based on the little report my electric company gives me, i thought i was doing really good at 10-12kwh per day. Guess i need to do another sweep for the power hogs.