Author Topic: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?  (Read 198763 times)

fidgiegirl

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #50 on: September 28, 2012, 06:02:13 PM »
Well, interesting.

I only have six months of bills handily available.  Most expensive month was July, which was hot here and we ran a little portable A/C in our bedroom with electricity.  That came out to 15.8 kwh/day.

Winter/spring was not as bad since our heat is hot water heat and uses gas.  Same with water heater.  8-11 was the range.

We do have an electric dryer.

I am kind of motivated to see what we can save now!

TLV

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #51 on: September 29, 2012, 10:50:58 AM »
We use about 14 kwH/day in spring/summer/fall (no AC), rising as high as 40 in the winter - all heating is electric. Based on a month-long "cold shower" challenge I did last year, at least half of our base usage is from hot showers. Perhaps it's time to do that challenge again...

Or perhaps it's time to think seriously about solar hot water?

I'll definitely look into it when we have our own place (though something tells me that in Seattle area it probably won't pan out), but I don't think that's an option when renting an apartment.

strider3700

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #52 on: September 30, 2012, 12:34:53 AM »
I'll definitely look into it when we have our own place (though something tells me that in Seattle area it probably won't pan out), but I don't think that's an option when renting an apartment.

I'm north of you.  The climate/sun/rain  is effectively the same in vancouver.  Solar hotwater can pay off here.  It depends on the cost of the system and the shading level at your house.   

Erica/NWEdible

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #53 on: October 03, 2012, 04:34:20 PM »
This has got to be our biggest area of suck-itude. We average about 41 kwh per day, something I really just have come face-to-face with. It's extra bad when you factor in gas, which powers a lot: heat, water, much of the cooking stuff. One electric oven, one electric drier, a hullova lotta lights and - wait for it - four full sized cooling boxes (fridges or freezers) make up the bulk of the consumption. We are looking at investment payoff timeframe for LED lights...and I may attempt an unplug your fridge challenge at some point. It's good to have a starting point.

Bakari

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #54 on: October 03, 2012, 04:52:22 PM »
Since you already have gas lines in the house, it wouldn't be too expensiveness or difficult to run lines for a gas dryer - although presumably you are only using it in winter, since the sun will dry your clothes for free the rest of the year.

Is this a single household?  Why do you have 2 refrigerators and 2 freezers?  If its 3 or 4 households, it would be fair to divide your numbers accordingly.

Better even the LED lights would be to only use lights when it in dark outside (again, sunlight = free), and spending 8-9 hours sleeping when it is dark out (rather than sleeping when the sun is up, and then needing more hours of lights on)
The payoff time frame for that is instant.
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Erica/NWEdible

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #55 on: October 04, 2012, 01:14:19 PM »
Since you already have gas lines in the house, it wouldn't be too expensiveness or difficult to run lines for a gas dryer - although presumably you are only using it in winter, since the sun will dry your clothes for free the rest of the year.

Is this a single household?  Why do you have 2 refrigerators and 2 freezers?  If its 3 or 4 households, it would be fair to divide your numbers accordingly.

Better even the LED lights would be to only use lights when it in dark outside (again, sunlight = free), and spending 8-9 hours sleeping when it is dark out (rather than sleeping when the sun is up, and then needing more hours of lights on)
The payoff time frame for that is instant.

We do line dry, and are getting better about doing more. Most of what gets machine dried is big fluffy towel-type things that we use instead of their paper equivalents. Ie, cloth kitchen rags instead of paper towels. I run through A LOT of cloth in the kitchen, having a rather fanatical anti cross-contamination obsession (years of professional cooking) and being, admittedly, a bit careless about grabbing a new cloth when an old one probably would still do.

The refrigeration and freezers are a dilemma for me. It's a single home. My entire lifestyle is kinda based around growing as much of my own food as possible and sourcing what I can't from local-ish farmers in bulk. So the freezers currently hold a ton of grass-fed beef, game, some pork and seafood plus frozen berries, veggies, etc. from my garden. One fridge is in our kitchen (like normal houses) and one is in the garage filled with lacto-fermented pickles and homebrew. :)

It would require more research than I have currently done to say what the marginal gain of this is over outsourcing more food production compared to increased food-storage costs. I think I'm still way ahead, since my electricity works out to be about $100 a month and we save far, far more than that on food since I've become more aggressive about DIY'ing our food preservation. The quality of the food in my freezer/fridge is something I am willing to pay a premium for. I just want to make that premium as small as possible without changing food quality. Hence the grow-your-own life thing. :)

Sleep: no doubt, brother, no doubt. : ) As soon as I can get 9 hours of sleep a night I will (It's a small kids thing). ;) I think we are pretty good about switching off lights but there is definitely room to improve. We have reduced our light usage over the last several years by not replacing light bulbs. It turns out we were dramatically over-lighting our house anyway. Currently about half the lights in the place our are burnt out and we aren't replacing any until we dial in the cost/benefit of LEDs. The vast majority of our lights are on a dimming system, which does add a tiny bit of complication and some cost to the LED route but it's workable.

Thanks for your suggestions...I suspect at the end of the day this is sort of a life-style trade-off situation where in order to reduce costs and increase quality in one area I may not be able to get other areas quite as low...I think that's what makes this a puzzler for me - trying to work out maximal optimization across various axes. Eventually we'd like to be producing more of our electricity on site anyway, but our current roofline and Pacific NW location is not ideal (we've had this bid out) and the payoff would be way, way, way in the future if it came at all so there's more to learn. Fun! :)
« Last Edit: October 04, 2012, 01:16:14 PM by Erica/NWEdible »

archie

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #56 on: October 04, 2012, 01:44:31 PM »
This is my breakdown :
1000sqft 2-story apartment
One adult living alone in the upper midwest
no one home during the day

Date   Usage (Kilowatt Hours)
10/1/2012   531 KWH
8/30/2012   439 KWH
8/1/2012   349 KWH
7/2/2012   371 KWH
5/31/2012365 KWH
5/2/2012   291 KWH
4/2/2012   420 KWH
3/2/2012   555 KWH
2/2/2012   559 KWH
1/4/2012   565 KWH
12/1/2011   321 KWH
10/31/2011   224 KWH
(same billing period previous year)   
9/30/2011   288 KWH
8/31/2011   305 KWH
8/3/2011   411 KWH
6/30/2011   336 KWH
6/1/2011   325 KWH
5/3/2011   360 KWH
4/1/2011   400 KWH
3/3/2011   621 KWH
2/2/2011   901 KWH
1/3/2011   802 KWH
11/30/2010   433 KWH
10/29/2010   288 KWH
10/1/2010   346 KWH
9/1/2010   354 KWH
8/3/2010   426 KWH
7/2/2010   410 KWH
6/3/2010   154 KWH
   
Date   Usage (Kilowatt Hours)
10/1/2012   531 KWH
8/30/2012   439 KWH
8/1/2012   349 KWH
7/2/2012   371 KWH
5/31/2012   365 KWH
5/2/2012   291 KWH
4/2/2012   420 KWH
3/2/2012   555 KWH
2/2/2012   559 KWH
1/4/2012   565 KWH
12/1/2011   321 KWH
10/31/2011   224 KWH
9/30/2011   288 KWH
8/31/2011   305 KWH
8/3/2011   411 KWH
6/30/2011   336 KWH
6/1/2011   325 KWH
5/3/2011   360 KWH
4/1/2011   400 KWH
3/3/2011   621 KWH
2/2/2011   901 KWH
1/3/2011   802 KWH
11/30/2010   433 KWH
10/29/2010   288 KWH
10/1/2010   346 KWH
9/1/2010   354 KWH
8/3/2010   426 KWH
7/2/2010   410 KWH
6/3/2010   154 KWH
Note: Chart shows a maximum of 36 months   

Debbie M

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #57 on: October 05, 2012, 09:34:02 PM »
First, how I do it:
Smallish house (980 square feet)
Weatherization
Energy Star fridge
Air-dry all laundry (no dryer, no dryer connection even)
Natural gas water heating, cooking, central heating
But use a toaster oven instead of the big oven whenever possible
AC/heat off all day on weekdays
Indoor temperature is as cold as I can stand it in the winter and as hot as he can stand it in the summer.
No south-facing windows, shade screens + tin foil on half the west-facing windows, and shade screens + sun film + curtains on other west-facing windows, ceiling fans
Mostly CFL lightbulbs
This year, we took our vacation during the most expensive month (August)

Sounds good, eh?  Not.  Or at least, not in the moustache zone.  30 kwh/day.  (About $90/mo US dollars.)  Even not counting the A/C (i.e., just looking at winter months), it's still about 18 kwh/day.

What's still wrong?
75-76 degrees inside in the summer
Freezer in the garage
Lots of computers, on most of the time (let's see: my laptop, his desktop, the media center desktop, and two laptops he's working on)
Shade trees dying
One small CFL on 24/7
Keep many things plugged in when not using them (such as the microwave, crockpot)
Accidentally leave lights on all day (I'm not the last one to leave--at least the A/C isn't accidentally left on all day anymore.)
Other stuff I don't realize, apparently

I noticed a big improvement with the first weatherization and a small improvement when replacing the A/C with a more efficient model plus doing a second weatherization.  I noticed no change when putting the freezer in the garage, (it surprised me that the change was too small to notice, though usage fluctuates a lot).  Noticed a huge change (for the worse) when we kept the house at 85 all day while at work instead of just turning the A/C off.

I should probably get one of those watt-checking thingies--our local library lets us check them out.

CG

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #58 on: October 06, 2012, 04:01:06 AM »
I've been living in this one-bedroom flat for 12 years, and am still using the incandescent light globes in the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom clamshell fittings that were here when I moved in. Of course, I intend to change them to compact fluorescent ones if they conk out, but that hasn't happened yet. And I'm disinclined to change them before I need to, as balancing on a step-ladder dismantling a clamshell fitting is not something I choose to do unless I have to.

The two globes in the ceiling fitting in the living-room did get changed to compact fluorescent when the original ones blew when I had a massive roof-leak that flooded down through the light fitting, and I've had to replace them again at least once since then, so I'm not especially impressed with their longevity, although they are on for many more hours than the ones in the other rooms.

Do compact fluorescent globes really use so much less electricity that it is worth replacing long-functioning incandescent globes even in rooms where the light is on only for very short periods? They seem to be still relatively expensive here in Australia, especially the ones that will fit in a sideways fitting of the clamshell type, and from my experience of them in my work environment they really don't seem to last as much longer as is claimed.

Bakari

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #59 on: October 06, 2012, 10:24:58 AM »

Do compact fluorescent globes really use so much less electricity that it is worth replacing long-functioning incandescent globes even in rooms where the light is on only for very short periods?

No, not really.
Well, depending on how short "very short" is.
A few minutes a day or less, probably not worth it.  Even if (like here) the utility company subsidizes the bulbs, its not worth the environmental cost: CFLs have mercury in them, incandescent don't.

Much better than changing bulbs is never using any light in the daytime, and never sleeping when the sun is up (wasting available free light, and then having to use more power at night to compensate).
A CFL or LED that is off uses exactly the same amount of power as an incandescent that is off.
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happy

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #60 on: October 06, 2012, 05:24:57 PM »
@Bakari,

I love your tip about utilising daylight...I'm so guilty of wasting it. Its so obvious but I never thought about it
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fnord

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #61 on: October 06, 2012, 08:27:49 PM »
You guys, fretting about 5kW/h days. LOL, have a look at this:
Reasons:
  • Big house (3400 square feet)
  • Gulf Coast location (Weather usually prevents opening windows under almost any circumstance)
  • Poorly insulated (it's on the list)
Last summer was worse. It was way hotter.

I also want to paint my roof white/reflective anyone got any practical numbers or experience on that?

bo_knows

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #62 on: October 11, 2012, 08:23:33 AM »
This thread got me to go check our usage (usually my wife takes care of the electric bill).

As of April, when our son was born, we've had someone at home 24/7 which seems to have increased our bill by 15% or so.

Looks like we're averaging 38kWh/day in our 1700sq/ft townhouse, running on all-electric appliances and heat, and with shitty 1970's single-pane windows with storm windows (does that make it double-pane? lol).

We've considered replacing the windows, but the math just didn't work out since we want to move in 3-5 years. Though, now that we're thinking of renting the place when we move, we might want to replace the windows come spring.

I need to turn down the temp on our water heater.. but it seems like we're not doing terrible considering the size of the house and 100% occupancy.  Probably could work on a few things though.

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jrhampt

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #63 on: October 24, 2012, 09:45:30 AM »
2200 sq ft house in CT, 2 adults, average consumption 10kwh per day over the last 12 mos (about $63 avg bill), 5.6kwh avg daily for month of September.  Traditionally we use the A/C set at 80-85 for a handful of days in July when it gets into the 90s, and I'm at home 2 days of the work week.  We do have a gas hot water heater, so that's not even included.  Our July and December bills tend to be the highest - this year we had family staying with us for 2 weeks in July upping the house total occupancy to 14 people, and they insisted on running the A/C.  Otherwise we wouldn't have used it as much and our bill would have been much lower.  Our average usage has trended downwards over the past four years, but only slightly.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2012, 10:31:39 AM by jrhampt »

happy

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #64 on: October 27, 2012, 03:04:02 AM »
How do you do 10kwh/ month? ie about .33kwh/day? or 5.6kwh for September?
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jrhampt

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #65 on: October 27, 2012, 07:46:58 AM »
agh, sorry, I meant per day, not per month.

Captain and Mrs Slow

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #66 on: October 27, 2012, 10:21:49 AM »
Wow, someone needs to go and tell MMM to hang his head in shame, according to what I've read here 10 Kwh/day (his average usage) is totally gluttonous!!! Even thought the bills don't lie I find this numbers hard to believe, how can you average 10 watts or less a day (MMM territory) running A/C. Am I missing something here?

Still trying to figure out my bill, it's all over the board, ranging from 9 Euros to as much as 400 euros, you never now what your bill is going to be till after it comes out of the account. The Spanish drive me crazy sometimes. But in general it is too high so I am working cutting it back. We're gone for about 4 months so when I get back I'll read the meter the day I get home and start tracking it myself.
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jrhampt

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #67 on: October 27, 2012, 10:34:41 AM »
I think most people don't run A/C very often, and that keeps the numbers low.

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #68 on: October 27, 2012, 10:45:49 AM »
We're at 11.5 KWH/day here.  We've got a larger house (1700 sq ft) but we've got new appliances, (except the deep freeze).  We cook with electric, and heat with natural gas.

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Captain and Mrs Slow

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #69 on: October 27, 2012, 12:30:47 PM »
We're at 11.5 KWH/day here.  We've got a larger house (1700 sq ft) but we've got new appliances, (except the deep freeze).  We cook with electric, and heat with natural gas.

Do you put much effort into using less?  At 11.5 watts a day you're a touch over 300 a month or according MMM 1/3 the average household use.

The reason why I keep coming back to this is the first poster said he is an electricity hog running stuff, 7/24 yet consumes only half the hydro that MMM uses who puts a huge effort to get his so low. Maybe I'm comparing apples to oranges but something doesn't make sense when an electricty hog consumes less than half the amount as a super efficient user. Maybe someone can enlighten me.



E
« Last Edit: October 27, 2012, 12:48:35 PM by Captain and Mrs Slow »
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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #70 on: October 27, 2012, 03:41:30 PM »
Its because those of us on the low end of the spectrum feel gluttonous, when we see what we use compared to what we could use.  We aren't comparing ourselves to "normal" or "average" we are comparing to our own personal expectations.
If you read the specifics of what the OP posted in the first post, it isn't that much (by 1st world standards) yet it obviously could be less (not running computers and internet 24/7).

When I first joined this thread, my most recent bill had said 194kWh for 31 days, or 6.25 per day.
I was VERY unhappy and disappointed about that.  It turns out that the meter reading is apparently delayed from the dates it lists, and the reading had my old fridge, just before I replaced it, jacking up the numbers, but before I learned that I tried to see what else I could change, started leaving entertainment center and computer power strips off more, and started unplugging the microwave when not in use...
Then the next bill came, which was after the fridge change, and it was only 76kwH for the month (2.5/day) which I was perfectly happy with - but I had already started those new habits, and a new one came today: 64.0 for the month, about 2 per day, for a total cost of $8.24
Moral is: never feel you are doing good enough just because you are doing better than "average".  There is always room for improvement.



Of course, climate, house size, household size, and more than anything, willingness to experience minor discomfort, are all huge variables too
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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #71 on: October 27, 2012, 04:24:51 PM »
We're at 11.5 KWH/day here.  We've got a larger house (1700 sq ft) but we've got new appliances, (except the deep freeze).  We cook with electric, and heat with natural gas.

Do you put much effort into using less?  At 11.5 watts a day you're a touch over 300 a month or according MMM 1/3 the average household use.

The reason why I keep coming back to this is the first poster said he is an electricity hog running stuff, 7/24 yet consumes only half the hydro that MMM uses who puts a huge effort to get his so low. Maybe I'm comparing apples to oranges but something doesn't make sense when an electricty hog consumes less than half the amount as a super efficient user. Maybe someone can enlighten me.



E

I don't put much effort into it, no.  I've never paid that much attention to it. I often use kitchen appliances, and crock pots.  I turn lights off, and I've got some low-usage bulbs, but that's about it.
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N

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #72 on: October 27, 2012, 09:54:52 PM »
holy moly.

the good news is, we have plenty of room for improvement.

up until now, I havent paid much attention to usage. At best, I know the bill is insanely high in july and august, and lower the rest of the year.

4 people living in an approx 1100 sq ft, 2 bedroom condo, with north and west facing window. 3 of us are home most of the day.
we have an in unit washer/dryer, dishwasher, and oven/stove (which uses gas, although it also must use elect, too, right?) our heat is radiator and the water and heat is included in our assessment. we dont get a direct bill for that, and I dont know about any of the settings for that. our a/c is wall units, and my husband likes it chilllly in the summer indoors.

looking at it now:
the yearly average is 25.56 kwh a day. yikes.

as of July 30th, 2012 the lowest month was 379 and our highest, July was 1669.

Im going to go unplug  everything that can be unplugged. and see if we cant get november to an all time low.

looks like Oct of last year thru may was all 500 or less a month, and then we have crazy high months, jun, july, aug and to a lesser extent, may and sept.  obviously, its the a/c. gotta work on that.

eta:
I only started on the mustachian path a month ago, but looks like my electric bill got the benefit of that!
this past billing cycle, we only used 303 kwh for the month- the lowest by almost 80 in the past year. awesome. (and lower by 40 for the past TWO YEARS.)
even better-my bill was under 50$, a quarter of julys bill. woot.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2012, 12:59:38 AM by startingfromthestart »

Captain and Mrs Slow

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #73 on: October 28, 2012, 01:13:44 AM »
@ Bakari thanks, that helps, one thing that has surprised me is how little effort my frugal friends put into saving electricity, I plan on asking them about that, I think most people simply don't think about that.
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TomTX

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #74 on: October 29, 2012, 07:51:26 AM »
Since you already have gas lines in the house, it wouldn't be too expensiveness or difficult to run lines for a gas dryer - although presumably you are only using it in winter, since the sun will dry your clothes for free the rest of the year.

Hm, when we (eventually) replace this dryer, I should look into the cost. The gas line will have to run through the attic, though.
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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #75 on: October 29, 2012, 08:17:32 AM »
Since you already have gas lines in the house, it wouldn't be too expensiveness or difficult to run lines for a gas dryer - although presumably you are only using it in winter, since the sun will dry your clothes for free the rest of the year.

Hm, when we (eventually) replace this dryer, I should look into the cost. The gas line will have to run through the attic, though.

You might also want to check local building codes, and make sure it is legal to have a gas dryer.  I know that in some places, they are against the rules (condos, co-ops and the like).
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Self-employed-swami

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #76 on: October 29, 2012, 08:26:15 AM »
We're at 11.5 KWH/day here.  We've got a larger house (1700 sq ft) but we've got new appliances, (except the deep freeze).  We cook with electric, and heat with natural gas.

Do you put much effort into using less?  At 11.5 watts a day you're a touch over 300 a month or according MMM 1/3 the average household use.

The reason why I keep coming back to this is the first poster said he is an electricity hog running stuff, 7/24 yet consumes only half the hydro that MMM uses who puts a huge effort to get his so low. Maybe I'm comparing apples to oranges but something doesn't make sense when an electricty hog consumes less than half the amount as a super efficient user. Maybe someone can enlighten me.



E

I just reread this.  At first, I thought you were chastising me for our usage LOL.  We've got some burned out bulbs around as well (the dining room is getting medieval in it's lighting level).  We have timers on our bathroom fans as of last spring as well, which might be helping.  I know DH and I used to leave the house right after a shower, and leave the bathroom fan running all day, because we forgot to turn it off.  They now shut off on their own, after 30 minutes.

I use a blowdryer some days for less than 5 minutes, and we use our dryer.   All of our appliances are new energy star rated ones, bought within the last 5 years.  We also have a wine cooler (18 bottles) that runs all the time, keeping the homebrew cold.

I'm also away from home quite a lot for work, so about 1/2 - 1/3 of the time, it's only him at home.

We don't have AC either.  I'm going to log into my energy company's website again, and see if there is a difference in the summer and the winter for our electricity use, I'm curious.

We also don't have any desktop computers, only laptops and tablets, so there aren't any computers running 24/7.
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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #77 on: October 29, 2012, 08:32:36 AM »
I just checked a few bills from last winter, and the usage is definitely higher in the winter.  More like 500kwh/month.  I think that must come from a combination of plugging in vehicles, and the electric fan running on the furnace.
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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #78 on: October 31, 2012, 05:36:09 PM »
This inspired me to look at ours.  Looks like we use about 12kwh per day during summer and in winter would be about 15kwh.  Have nat gas as heating source, but furnace needs electricity to run of course.  There is just two of us in a 1750 SF house, however once we get home we often both have our laptops going + TV + treadmill.  Also have a really crappy fridge from the early 90's which i'm sure is an energy hog.  We need to work on cutting back.

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #79 on: October 31, 2012, 08:24:37 PM »
I also want to paint my roof white/reflective anyone got any practical numbers or experience on that?

On the US Gulf Coast, painting your roof white with a good outdoor paint* should drop your summer roof temperature 30-40 degrees (in the sun) compared to a standard asphalt shingle roof. Shingles get up to 170-180 degrees here. This was from some paint industry research articles I read years ago. Roofing/shingle companies HATE this concept. Not only does it cool down your house, it makes your shingles last a LOT longer. The major failure mode for shingles is embrittlement, due largely to.... heat!

I successfully painted the roof on my previous house. Had no issues in the years I had after that until I sold the house. Attic was notably cooler. More properly phrased, the attic wasn't quite so boiling hot! Next house needed the roof replaced, so I just had an Energy Star rated white shingle roof installed. And the Feds gave me a $1,500 tax credit.

*It should be 100% acrylic resin. Behr brand consistently ranks quite high in Consumer Reports.
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swiper

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #80 on: October 31, 2012, 08:34:08 PM »
Alright, I'm going to steal this cake.

Avg last year: 125kWh/day
Worst last year: 254 kWh/day (jan-feb)

The beast is a 3200sq home in Ottawa Canada (cold winters), non-insulated basement (in the process of putting up 3" R15 foam).  Heat pump and electric forced-air heating. Luckily, Hydro Quebec rates are low, but still lots of work to do...


Lina

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #81 on: November 04, 2012, 03:21:56 AM »
I found an interesting documentary on youtube about the normal energy usage of an english family. As a part of an experiment the consumption was powered by 80 cyclists during 12 hours. It made me think about my use of electricity.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVK6w1Fldxw&feature=player_embedded

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #82 on: November 04, 2012, 07:49:13 AM »
Alright, I'm going to steal this cake.

Avg last year: 125kWh/day
Worst last year: 254 kWh/day (jan-feb)

The beast is a 3200sq home in Ottawa Canada (cold winters), non-insulated basement (in the process of putting up 3" R15 foam).  Heat pump and electric forced-air heating. Luckily, Hydro Quebec rates are low, but still lots of work to do...

How much is your bill??
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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #83 on: November 04, 2012, 02:22:52 PM »
I will definitely take a close look and post my numbers in the next week.  I know we are not frugal with usage at all - we have a freezer which literally has not been opened in six months but still plugged in.  I am not too bad, but my gf is terrible.  She leaves lights on and the worst is the electric blanket she has.  That thing surely is an energy hog and I often find it on while she is nowhere to be seen.  I have told her a million times about turning lights off, etc but it's not sinking in.  I am thinking of having the power bill put in her name and then she might get it.

swiper

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #84 on: November 04, 2012, 03:40:10 PM »
How much is your bill??

$320 a month averaged out

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #85 on: November 04, 2012, 03:45:15 PM »
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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #86 on: November 04, 2012, 04:03:49 PM »
I found an interesting documentary on youtube about the normal energy usage of an english family. As a part of an experiment the consumption was powered by 80 cyclists during 12 hours. It made me think about my use of electricity.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVK6w1Fldxw&feature=player_embedded

I am finding this fascinating - well worth watching!
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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #87 on: November 05, 2012, 01:08:24 PM »
I Embrace Frugality so I can have my Cake and Eat I Too

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #88 on: November 05, 2012, 01:20:30 PM »
We're at 11.5 KWH/day here.  We've got a larger house (1700 sq ft) but we've got new appliances, (except the deep freeze).  We cook with electric, and heat with natural gas.

Do you put much effort into using less?  At 11.5 watts a day you're a touch over 300 a month or according MMM 1/3 the average household use.

The reason why I keep coming back to this is the first poster said he is an electricity hog running stuff, 7/24 yet consumes only half the hydro that MMM uses who puts a huge effort to get his so low. Maybe I'm comparing apples to oranges but something doesn't make sense when an electricty hog consumes less than half the amount as a super efficient user. Maybe someone can enlighten me.



E

I just reread this.  At first, I thought you were chastising me for our usage LOL.

Yeah sorry if it came across that way, it's hard to get the tone right in a post, was more currious how you did it, like I said that's my next project.
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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #89 on: November 05, 2012, 01:29:45 PM »
I just reread this.  At first, I thought you were chastising me for our usage LOL.

Yeah sorry if it came across that way, it's hard to get the tone right in a post, was more currious how you did it, like I said that's my next project.

No worries :)
Tone and interpretation is often difficult on a message board.

Good luck on your quest!
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swiper

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #90 on: November 05, 2012, 05:48:14 PM »
How much is your bill??

$320 a month averaged out

But that includes heat right?

Yup, I'd estimate that heat is about $200 of that.

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #91 on: November 06, 2012, 04:47:00 AM »
Much better than changing bulbs is never using any light in the daytime, and never sleeping when the sun is up (wasting available free light, and then having to use more power at night to compensate).

I do this more than I used to. But I live somewhere much colder than you, so I'm actually better off having a few hours' delay in my sleeping patterns. My house retains heat for a while after sunset, and takes a while to warm up in the morning, and as my heat costs more than my lighting, I avoid getting up at dawn.
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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #92 on: November 06, 2012, 10:27:50 AM »
I only discovered MMM a few weeks ago, and until then, I, like other posters, hadn't paid attention to how much electricity I was actually using.  Sure, I noticed if I owed more than expected, but I *never* looked at the Kwh usage.  So I dug up my last bill (billing cycle ended Oct 11th) and looked at our Kwh history for all of 2012.  We just moved into our 2200 sq ft house in mid-January, but last month was the lowest Kwh usage ever, and was still 1146!!  Ouch!

In self defense, we do live in Virginia, which even MMM has said the American Southeast is awful in summer due to humidity, and this was a very hot year.  And EVERYTHING in my house is electric: water heater, oven, heat/air conditioning, etc. 

But we are now working on lowering the Kwh use.  We've swapped out almost all the lightbulbs to CFLs, we unplug appliances like the toaster and coffee machine when we're not using them, etc.  Next summer will be hard, since DH and my large dog love their air conditioning, but at least right now, we've got the heat set to 64.  It's been the Twilight Zone lately, since DH is complaining he's cold, whereas I'm fine - and I'm the type who will still wear a cardigan in the Caribbean in August.  Granted, a good portion of the few hours that i'm home and awake is spent cooking, so maybe if DH was standing in front of the stove, he'd warm up.  :)

We also have 2 HVAC units, one is new, the other should be replaced soon.  (I want it to die soon while it's still covered under the seller-paid home warranty).  Maybe replacing that will help lower the Kwh?

My next electric bill generates in a few days, and I'm REALLY eager to see what kind of impact our changes have made. 

N

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #93 on: November 08, 2012, 11:40:18 PM »
found this site:
http://michaelbluejay.com/electricity/howmuch.html

when looking for info on "vampire" usage of items left plugged in, but off.

lots of good info to be found on that site, thought it might be of interest on this thread.

N

Jack

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #94 on: November 09, 2012, 08:24:27 AM »
we have an in unit washer/dryer, dishwasher, and oven/stove (which uses gas, although it also must use elect, too, right?)

My (extremely cheap) freestanding gas range does not use electricity at all (it doesn't even plug in). It literally has no controls or features other than a set of valves to turn the burners and oven on and off, and it uses pilot lights instead of electric ignition.

Most gas ranges only use electricity to power the aforementioned electric ignition, clock, and thermometer display, although high-end ones might also have a fan ("convection oven") or an electric oven (called a "dual fuel" range).

I sometimes wonder whether it would be better overall to have a somewhat nicer range so that I wouldn't have to spend gas on the pilot lights and could bake more efficiently (I currently have to guess how far to turn the valve, wait for it to heat up, check the separate dial-type oven thermometer I have sitting inside, adjust the valve, wait for the temperature to stabilize, repeat, etc. -- as opposed to just setting a temperature on the electronic controls, like you can do with higher-end models). I also wonder if convection ovens are worth it in terms of efficiency/cost, since they're supposed to cook faster. Thoughts?

Since you already have gas lines in the house, it wouldn't be too expensiveness or difficult to run lines for a gas dryer - although presumably you are only using it in winter, since the sun will dry your clothes for free the rest of the year.

Are gas dryers really that much more efficient than electric ones? I have a gas line running to my laundry area already but I bought an electric dryer because I couldn't find a gas one at the outlet/scratch-and-dent stores and it would have cost an extra $300 retail (even on sale).

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #95 on: November 09, 2012, 04:19:18 PM »
So, my latest electric bill came in, and we used 344 kWh for the month in a family of 4. Is this a lot, a little, or about average (for mustachians)?

I feel like we've done all of the easy savings, but it's pretty stubborn:
-wash on cold, front-load washer, no dryer
-all lights CFL or LED
-gas heat & stove
-TV is on for less than 3 hours / month
-newer (2003) energy-efficient refrigerator

we DO run the dishwasher often, but run it on the "quick" (45 minute) cycle for most dishes, rather than the "normal" (1:40) cycle

Any thoughts?
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happy

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #96 on: November 15, 2012, 04:57:26 AM »
I reckon 11kw/day for 4 people is pretty good. Wish mine for 3 people was that good.
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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #97 on: November 15, 2012, 06:42:01 AM »
I've noticed something funny about all my frugal friends, other than installing those horribly dark and ugly CFL bulbs they make no real effort to reduce electricity usage. I don't think it's even occurred to them to unplug computers or turn TVs off of power save mode etc

For sure none of them have a clue on how many kilowatts they use a month

very interesting indeed.
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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #98 on: November 16, 2012, 07:37:59 PM »
So, my latest electric bill came in, and we used 344 kWh for the month in a family of 4. Is this a lot, a little, or about average (for mustachians)?

I feel like we've done all of the easy savings, but it's pretty stubborn:
-wash on cold, front-load washer, no dryer
-all lights CFL or LED
-gas heat & stove
-TV is on for less than 3 hours / month
-newer (2003) energy-efficient refrigerator

we DO run the dishwasher often, but run it on the "quick" (45 minute) cycle for most dishes, rather than the "normal" (1:40) cycle

Any thoughts?

I think that's pretty good. I have a big (shoot me) 3rd floor apartment with electric everything. Was running 471 kWH in the summer, now down to 184. The place is still so hot from all the people below heating their apartments that I actually need to open the window when it's 30 degrees outside! Probably can get it down to the low hundreds for the next few months. Replaced my old lights with some nice LED bulbs that look a lot better than CFLs and use less energy.  I cranked the temperature way down on my water heater and spend about $6 on insulation for the pipes around the water heater which has helped a bit.

JoshuaSpodek

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #99 on: November 19, 2012, 04:05:50 PM »
34 kwh per MONTH

Yes, 1.1 kwh per DAY.

500 square feet. One person.

Check out my bill and what happened when friends house sat in August and September.