Author Topic: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?  (Read 198772 times)

veloman

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #550 on: January 27, 2015, 04:05:49 PM »
we use about 11kwh/day during non ac months. All heating and cooking is gas. We have a housemate who leaves TV, fan on all day in his room. All night too I think. That's prob half of our consumption. We have ev motorcycle and scooter and bike so if its not sunny, I use a few pennies to charge them sometimes.

I wish we could get near 5kwh. But not when you have a housemate who uses so much. We get TX wind power, so at least its clean.

One of my past houses I lived in with 4 others, we used 120kwh/day in summer. Old house in TX summer. Plus an ac unit in the garage too! ugh, so much waste.

1967mama

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #551 on: January 28, 2015, 03:54:40 PM »
We use SOOOO much electricity :-(

I've worked hard to get it down, but we have a large family. So consume more than the average family, I think. We live in the relatively mild PNW, so we benefit with that.

I'm ashamed to say that on a GOOD day, I can get our daily consumption into the 60 kWh range <sigh>.

Big house, lots of users (we homeschool, so its busy here all day long).

I am going to see if our library has a kill-a-watt meter so I can do some sleuthing. I have 2 fridges and 2 deep freezers. Oven and range are electric. Also, a dishwasher, washer and dryer, all electric.

Following this post with interest to try and get our usage down.  50 kWh range would be a dream come true and 40 kWh range would be a real stretch goal for us, in this season of maximum home occupancy (full house!)

LennStar

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #552 on: January 29, 2015, 08:26:45 AM »

I'm ashamed to say that on a GOOD day, I can get our daily consumption into the 60 kWh range <sigh>.
OMG!
You use in a month what our 2 person household uses in a year - and that includes a 24/7 running computer.
You really need to see where that usage comes from.
If the fridges and freezers are old, tahts maybe the point. Especially see if you really need 2 freezers. I cant imagine why. Do you live 50 miles from the next supermarket?
If you are a so big family then you need to shop every (2nd) day anway, so I see no reason to store lots of frozen things.

homehandymum

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #553 on: January 29, 2015, 02:06:28 PM »

I'm ashamed to say that on a GOOD day, I can get our daily consumption into the 60 kWh range <sigh>.
OMG!
You use in a month what our 2 person household uses in a year - and that includes a 24/7 running computer.
You really need to see where that usage comes from.
If the fridges and freezers are old, tahts maybe the point. Especially see if you really need 2 freezers. I cant imagine why. Do you live 50 miles from the next supermarket?
If you are a so big family then you need to shop every (2nd) day anway, so I see no reason to store lots of frozen things.

Completely disagree :)  Stockpiling meat and other food when they are on sale is worth so much more money than the cost of running the freezers.  You clearly have not had to deal with the logistics of shopping for and feeding a large family on an ongoing basis.  Running to the store every day or two is going to cost you A LOT more than having a well stocked pantry and freezer and cooking from that.

1967mama, imho the chest freezers are unlikely to be huge power sucks.  An upright freezer with poor seals would be well worth investigating though, as would the fridges.

With people home all day (and we're in the same boat), it is likely things like lights, bathroom heaters and fans being left on, the dishwasher running twice a day with its heating/drying cycle, lots of phone and electronics chargers being left plugged in etc.  I was surprised at the amount of power our electric oven uses.  And of course, the tumble dryer is a massive massive user.  Do you use electricity for any heating at all?  Anything that generates heat or has moving parts (fans etc) is a good place to start with your investigations.  Then tracking down your phantom usage.

A kill-a-watt would be a great place to start.

Our winter usage is easily 50 to 60kwh per day, but we use electric heatpumps to heat our house.

We have our TV, DVD, Wii etc all plugged into the same power strip, which we only turn on when in use.  Our phone chargers and ipad etc are likewise all plugged in to a power strip which is only turned on if needed.

Good luck!
Parenting 4 kids while keeping costs under control.

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Ready2Go

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #554 on: January 29, 2015, 03:13:13 PM »
After seeing this thread I had to check on our usage:  Average 46.4 kw/day over last 2 years.  Looks like we are way out there with energy gluttony.  I am on the hunt for reduction of mindless expense so this goes on the list.   Some notes:
  • ~2800 sq. ft. old house with gas heat/water.
  • 1 garage fridge that I have been thinking about getting rid of for a long time. Was here when we bought the house and no idea how old.
  • Computers everywhere.
  • 2 electric cars that get charged every night  (no face punches please! its a whole different topic, and oddly enough there wasn't significant change in usage since these were acquired.)
Kill-A-Watt is what we need I guess.  I have no idea if these are at the local library around here.

1967mama

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #555 on: January 29, 2015, 08:27:03 PM »
Here's a bit of a breakdown on our appliances:

2 chest freezers - one is 9 years old, the other is about 15 years old. We buy a side of beef and 50 chickens a year. Also, I buy 3 or 4 turkeys when they go on sale seasonally. Two years ago, I bought 200 lb of blueberries and last year we picked and froze 100 lb of strawberries.  When I am not able to get bread made, I buy 15 loaves at a time at Winco for $1.29/loaf. I did 40 jars of raspberry freezer jam last year. Plus other random stuff that most people keep in freezers -- soup stock from bones, leftovers, etc. We have eaten down the freezers enough now, this year, to amalgamate into one, so I was hoping to move everything this weekend, and get one turned off till the fall.

1 32 cubic foot fridge, bought new a year ago - 1 10 year old fridge in the basement for milk, etc (we go through 5 gallons a week)

1 dishwasher, bought new 3 years ago - runs 2-3 times a day, and I hand wash A LOT too

Glass cooktop - came with house, so its 21 years old - hate it but waiting for it to break before we replace

Wall oven - came with house, again, 21 years old - also waiting for it to break

Washer/Dryer - bought new in 2006 - Whirlpool Duets - hang about 1/2 our laundry in the winter, and probably 2/3 in the summer outside

Heat - gas furnace, electric fan

A/C - electric, probably used a total of 25 days last summer

Multiple computers and kids charging phones

Summertime only - pool that we heat (we keep it low)

Water heated by gas

TV hardly ever on - no cable

As I mentioned in my original post, we are a large family and so this is one of the life choices we've made - no face punches for this please :-) Some people choose to travel, to remain child free, etc. We chose to have 8 children and I wouldn't have it any other way. And no, I'm not sending any of them back (wink)

OMG!
You use in a month what our 2 person household uses in a year - and that includes a 24/7 running computer.
You really need to see where that usage comes from. .

LennStar, yes, this is exactly what I'm trying to figure out by posting here :-)

Homehandymum, thanks for the encouragement! Much appreciated!





LennStar

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #556 on: January 30, 2015, 05:51:50 AM »
Completely disagree :)  Stockpiling meat and other food when they are on sale is worth so much more money than the cost of running the freezers. 

Maybe US, but not germany. If you save 1/kg on meat but the freezer eats 0,5/day on electricity (or a lot more if old, I have seen models with 3/day)...

Ah, i see 1967mama has a lot of uses I would never consider for freezing.

Quote
When I am not able to get bread made,
You ever considered a bread machine?
With so many peoples you need a loaf a day anyway, and with that machine its maybe 10 minutes making, 10 minutes after (put out to cool down, additional cleaning) for time.
And you can make different breads every day, which is probably harder when hand made and you have to learn/watch every single one. (ok, machine bread needs experimenting too, but if you know it once, it always works)

1967mama

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #557 on: January 30, 2015, 11:55:20 AM »
Lennstar,
Yes I do use a bread machine - one loaf feeds half my family. I also have a bread mixer which I use to make 5 loaves at a time (or 70 buns). But like most families, I also have times where I get sick, or am too busy with multiple things outside our home and so I like to have bread in the freezer for these times.

MrSal

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #558 on: January 30, 2015, 01:30:18 PM »
a chest freezer doesnt use that much electricity... especially when its full due to the thermal mass! a chest freezer is much more efficient than a regular fridge. so having it run and stock food you dont spend that much in electricity with that...

dopeysla69

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #559 on: February 10, 2015, 06:35:19 PM »
they use alot of energy all day long your fridge uses the most along with your washer and dryer you shoul check out this website electricsaver.com they say they have something that can save up to 20% on your electric bill is that true??

let me know what you think.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2015, 08:05:29 PM by dopeysla69 »

KBecks2

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #560 on: February 12, 2015, 05:32:14 AM »
I love this discussion!   In the past few months, we turned down our gas heat 2 degrees and I hung most of our laundry on hangers on the shower rod and a portable clothes rack, and it shows in our lower bills.  I have gotten tired of hanging so I skipped about 5 days but the last statement motivates me to get back to it.  I do one load a day to keep up with our family.   

I have thought about getting a small energy star chest freezer.

happyfeet

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #561 on: February 12, 2015, 08:46:28 AM »
Two people.  3000 sq foot condo.  Our usage is at 26.4 a day this past month and down 30% from last year.  I really  make an effort to keep unused appliance unplugged that have a battery pack.  We keep the house at 66 during the day and 62 at night.  Running two refrigerators.  No TV watching during the day. I wash and dry clothes in the washer and dryer. I cook everyday in the oven also.

I am really trying to make an effort to reduce electricity.  It is better than last year.

Gerard

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #562 on: February 12, 2015, 03:08:21 PM »
2 chest freezers - one is 9 years old, the other is about 15 years old. [...]
1 32 cubic foot fridge, bought new a year ago - 1 10 year old fridge in the basement for milk, etc

Wow, that's a lot of fridge! I wonder if it might not make sense to retire the basement fridge and replace it with the older chest freezer, which you macgyver into a top-loading fridge with a new thermostat (brewer supply places have them). That should reduce its energy use to almost nothing.

Then, of course, you may need to shell out for a second freezer, but they do seem to show up online for cheap fairly often, and a newer one will most likely be more energy efficient.

I guess a kill-a-watt will tell you whether your old fridge and freezer are real pigs or not...
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MrSal

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #563 on: February 12, 2015, 09:48:52 PM »
they use alot of energy all day long your fridge uses the most along with your washer and dryer you shoul check out this website electricsaver.com they say they have something that can save up to 20% on your electric bill is that true??

let me know what you think.

That's incorrect. Your washer barely spends much energy. A full cycle spend about 120 watts which isn't that big if a deal ...

Dryer that is another ballpark ... Easily 5000 wh per cycle. as for the gimmick .... No they don't work

gaja

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #564 on: February 13, 2015, 12:10:08 AM »
After seeing this thread I had to check on our usage:  Average 46.4 kw/day over last 2 years.  Looks like we are way out there with energy gluttony.  I am on the hunt for reduction of mindless expense so this goes on the list.   Some notes:
    ...
    • 2 electric cars that get charged every night  (no face punches please! its a whole different topic, and oddly enough there wasn't significant change in usage since these were acquired.)
    ...


You have probably reduced some other electricity use. A lot of ev owners get so used to driving economically that they also use less power at home. What do you charge at? 120v10a? 240v16a? 400v32a? If you charge two leaves from 0 to max every night, that would explain your whole energy bill. So I'm guessing no more than 50% on each/a day?
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Astatine

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #565 on: February 13, 2015, 03:35:59 AM »
We are at 10kWh per day (down from 12kWh per day for the previous 4 quarters). Pretty happy with that.

There's 2 of us plus cats in 800 sq ft (70 sq metres) with gas heating and everything else electric. We have a smallish 4 star fridge about 5 years old. No dryer. Wash dishes by hand. We only wash clothes in cold water.

We are gradually replacing our CFLs with
LEDs. We replaced 2 out of 3 of the halogen downlights (they are energy hogs). We turn stuff off at the switch as much as possible. We have the entertainment stuff all on a master slave switch to reduce standby power usage. We have a small somewhat ineffective a/c which only gets turned on in bad heat waves (ie days and days in the high 30s). Instead, we use ceiling fans.

We are still trying to gradually reduce our electricity usage, more for the environmental impact than anything else. Our electric storage hot water system is probably our biggest energy hog.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #566 on: February 13, 2015, 05:03:49 AM »
I got my last electricity bill the other day. Total amount of electricity use over 77 days, 221kWh, average of 2.88 kWh per day (apparently the average for a 1 bedroom place in my area is 708 kWh).

The bill was $130, of which approximately $80 was the daily service charge levied by the power company. They've recently increased rates to about 24.5c/kWh (including GST) and roughly $1.10 a day for the service charge.

I think I'll have to start shopping around for new electricity providers :)

By the way, I've got a 380L 2011 era fridge/freezer, a barely used (currently broken) electric oven (gas stove) and the remainder are small appliances (kettle, microwave, ADSL modem, WiFi router, amplifier, phone/laptop charger, clock radio, etc). I don't have aircon, and don't use the heater currently because it's summer.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2015, 05:16:43 AM by alsoknownasDean »

Gerard

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #567 on: February 13, 2015, 05:16:43 AM »
My last bill was just over 40 bucks, 6.5 kwh/day, down from about $65 average pre-MMM.

Now, I was away part of that time, but there's actually some strategic savings even in that: I now turn off my hot water heater whenever I go away for more than a couple of days. Other savings are from switching to navy showers and moving my computer-related power bar onto the actual desktop, so that I remember to shut it off before leaving the house. And definitely not using the dryer.
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PatStab

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #568 on: February 15, 2015, 10:35:46 PM »
Our electric is balance billing $240 a month, $20 is the outside light, about $20 is for taxes. Usage around 1800 kwhs in the winter. They are raising it annually, has raised the 2 years we have been here.  We are heavy electrical users.  But all our appliances are new except the washer.  All appliances are energy efficient even the freezers, they are only 2 years old.

We heat and cool 3600 sq ft, basement is heated, I like it 76 in the winter, we have a geothermal heating and AC system.

House has foam insulation is 10 years old, dual pane windows but 9 ft and 12 ft ceilings all over.  I cook with gas, don't like an electric stove. Have a 60 gallon water heater.  We have a huge bathtub in our bathroom and DD likes to take a bath in it so lots of hot water usage.

Do at least 1 load a day in the dishwasher, 2 loads in the w/dryer.  We always have a TV on, computer, and lights.  I have changed almost all our bulbs out to LED inside and out.  When my husband gets time we have a huge LED light for outside and that will get rid of the $20 month for that outside light.  We have something like 30 flood type lights in the open concept living/dining/kitchen area.  In the family room 6 floor to ceiling windows and a glass dual pane door, in the bedrooms 2 in one 3 in the other.  Over the last 2 years I added insulated drapes for the winter and honeycomb shades on all the rest.  Has made a huge difference in comfort. We could cut some but I don't think the bills are that high for what we use.

aj_yooper

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #569 on: February 16, 2015, 04:12:00 AM »
Usage around 1800 kwhs in the winter.


That 1800 Kwh per month means 60 per day!  That seems to be a record for winter. 

What helps keep me on track is knowing that in our state, electricity is produced primarily by coal, so electric conservation means less carbon dioxide, mercury, and sulfur in the air.
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bzzzt

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #570 on: February 16, 2015, 07:37:29 AM »
What helps keep me on track is knowing that in our state, electricity is produced primarily by coal, so electric conservation means less carbon dioxide, mercury, and sulfur in the air.

Not anymore after the IL EPA tightened air quality standards a few years back. A lot of coal plants have closed. Crawford, Fisk, and Stateline in the Chicago area for sure, not sure how many downstate.

http://www.eia.gov/state/?sid=IL

/hijack

Anyway, by being more energy conscious, I cut our electricity usage by 40% month-to-month with about the same average temperature (approx. 970kWh to 560kWh). Changed most of the remaining lamps to LED/CFL, didn't plug in my diesel truck (don't drive it much in winter), cut cable, unplug rarely used device wall worts (beard trimmer, extra phone chargers, etc), fixed short cycling furnace (extra blower run time).

I'm in process of air sealing/insulating the attic above the house (garage complete). This will help save natural gas but also the extra benefit of the furnace (75% eff.) and it's 6A draft/blower fans running less plus less electricity in the summer. Upgrading to a higher efficiency furnace would cut more usage (multi-speed blower, no draft inducer), but we'll do that when it dies (already 31 years old).

On the short list is to find a newer, used fridge on CL to replace the old almond, wood handled storage fridge in the garage that was left by the previous owner. That ought to cut another 10-15kWh/month.

aj_yooper

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #571 on: February 16, 2015, 09:52:12 AM »
What helps keep me on track is knowing that in our state, electricity is produced primarily by coal, so electric conservation means less carbon dioxide, mercury, and sulfur in the air.

Not anymore after the IL EPA tightened air quality standards a few years back. A lot of coal plants have closed. Crawford, Fisk, and Stateline in the Chicago area for sure, not sure how many downstate.

http://www.eia.gov/state/?sid=IL


Good news.  OK, about a third is coal, but IL was #5 in the country (as of 2012) in burning coal, c.f. http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Category:Existing_coal_plants_in_Illinois and this:  http://www.ucsusa.org/sites/default/files/legacy/assets/documents/clean_energy/Illinois-Coal-Imports-BCBC-Update-2014.pdf
« Last Edit: February 16, 2015, 10:21:40 AM by aj_yooper »
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''It's not so much what folks don't know that causes problems, it's what they do know that ain't so.''   Artemus Ward

bzzzt

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #572 on: February 16, 2015, 11:38:59 AM »
Anything on that map near Chicagoland is shut down, with the exception of Joliet 9 and 29 that are scheduled to be converted to NG.

That was part of the reason ComEd had a rate increase a couple years ago. Due to the plants shutting down, they had to make changes to the grid to compensate for lack of generating capacity (loss of var control) and the increase in var on the system (less incandescents [resistive load] and more CFLs [capacitive load] and cheap LEDs (bad power factor (PF) correction) in addition to other things.

If residential meters measured PF and billed accordingly, cheap CFLs and LEDs would be less of a bargain.

Not trying to start an argument, just noting that the "kill the coal burners!" mentality has more cost than just buying power at higher rates from other sources. Generating stations have more benefits than just generating power.

As far as the argument for importing coal, Illinois has plenty of coal downstate, but we can't use it because it's too "dirty".

FWIW, I've worked on coal and wind power generation facilities. I prefer wind.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2015, 11:44:52 AM by bzzzt »

aj_yooper

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #573 on: February 16, 2015, 12:08:07 PM »
Thanks for the information, bzzzt.  You added a lot of good information.

The constant lesson of history is the dominant role played by surprise. Just when we are most comfortable with an environment and come to believe we finally understand it, the ground shifts under our feet.  Peter Bernstein

''It's not so much what folks don't know that causes problems, it's what they do know that ain't so.''   Artemus Ward

LennStar

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #574 on: February 16, 2015, 01:42:01 PM »
That was part of the reason ComEd had a rate increase a couple years ago. Due to the plants shutting down, they had to make changes to the grid to compensate for lack of generating capacity (loss of var control) and the increase in var on the system (less incandescents [resistive load] and more CFLs [capacitive load] and cheap LEDs (bad power factor (PF) correction) in addition to other things.

I dont know about US but in germany, if I remember correctly, it was 2% of energy used for private lighting ~ incandescent. Rest lighting was street lamps and CFL tubes company light.
So the change from inc to LED should not make any noticable amount.
Also capacitative load is mostly used as a corrector, so it should be beneficial with CFLs.

Adventine

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #575 on: February 19, 2015, 09:43:06 AM »
Got my electricity bill in the mail today. What a pleasant surprise!

Usage has been slashed to 95kWh for the past month. That's 63% less than an all-time high of 260 kWh back in June 2014.

Total bill is 801.31 PHP (18 USD). Two-person household, 22 square meter studio apartment.

So pleased my energy-saving efforts are paying off!
« Last Edit: February 19, 2015, 09:44:40 AM by Adventine »

NonprofitER

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #576 on: February 19, 2015, 10:34:56 AM »
We're on budgeted (averaged) billing, but looking over the last year we're at:
Between 14 - 18 kw/day in the winter (gas heat)
and upwards of 50 - 60 kw/day in the Texas-105-degree-peak-Summer

We have ~2000 sq feet, all reasonably newer/efficient appliances sans 1 extra garage fridge we inherited for free from a friend (though we only keep jugs of water in the fridge and use the freezer).  Reasonable insulation - new (in 2011) windows on an otherwise 70's era home.  We have two separate HVAC systems (one upstairs, one down) and the downstairs one was replaced in October to a new, energy efficient model (can't recall the specs at the moment).  It was previously over-tonned for the space it was cooling and was ~14 years old.  So I'm curious to see if this Summer our peak usage is decreased from last year. 

Currently loving the Texas Feb - May/ early June when I can stop running most air and open up the windows when we're home.  Our lowest usage always seems to be March. 

Some of you are inspiring me to see if we can get our usage down that much further.

Connemara

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #577 on: February 19, 2015, 04:47:22 PM »
I just got the first electric bill for my new apartment: $220. Ouch! But the heat is electric baseboard, the refrigerator and stove are quite old, and it's not the most well-insulated space (old brick rowhouse).

But the neighborhood is nice, rent is pretty cheap, and my 45 mile round-trip car commute was reduced to a 7 minute walk.

Will have to look for ways to cut back...


bzzzt

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #578 on: February 22, 2015, 09:59:33 AM »
My local Menards is closing for re-building (knocking it down and building a two-story) and they're having a 20% off sale. I was finally able to pick up LED G25 bulbs for a good price as well as Cree 4' LED Tubes for the garage (man cave/workshop).

Watch out if you're thinking about replacing them, the Warm White tubes are so yellow that they look like Sodium Vapor lamps. The Cool White look like Warm White incandescents. I'll take the WW to another store and see if I can exchange for Cool White or Daylight to compare.

I just got the first electric bill for my new apartment: $220. Ouch! But the heat is electric baseboard, the refrigerator and stove are quite old, and it's not the most well-insulated space (old brick rowhouse).

The "shrink wrap" window films help cut down on drafts. Also, check the actual temp inside the fridge and freezer. I was able to turn my fridge thermostat down one level. LED and CFL lighting will help and they're easy to take with when you move. Good luck.

LennStar

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #579 on: February 22, 2015, 10:21:53 AM »
Watch out if you're thinking about replacing them, the Warm White tubes are so yellow that they look like Sodium Vapor lamps. The Cool White look like Warm White incandescents. I'll take the WW to another store and see if I can exchange for Cool White or Daylight to compare.
Thats not quite right, because the naming can be misleading and anyway you had different light color in the old incan bulbs anyway, depending on W usage.

Look at the Kelvin. 3000K is normal "warm white" like a sunny day (and mid range incandescant), 2700K is not really warm white but named so. Everything with less K is blue (often named cool white).

blue - yellow - red

For normal living 2700K or 3000K is appropriate. For evening light try to get the redder ones. "Blue" low Kelvin light is midday light and can disturb your sleep if you have it on before you go to bed. Never use blue LED for your "reading before sleeping" bedlamp. On the other hand, "morning get up bathroom light" could use them. 

MoneyCat

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #580 on: February 22, 2015, 11:05:03 AM »
I just checked my electric bill and I used 177 kWh fewer this past month than the year before.  That is significant savings.  It's amazing what a few small changes (unplugging appliances when they aren't being used, turning off lights, switching to CFLs, charging the laptop and phone at work) will do.

Dexterous

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #581 on: February 23, 2015, 02:43:45 AM »
Eeek I thought we did good on our usage.  My winter average is 27kwh per day, and summer usage is nearly half that.

We're in a 900 square ft apartment and everything uses electricity.  I think our problems are as follows:
- I take too long/hot of showers
- My wife likes the temperature at 20C or more in the winter
- Our windows are horrible
- Our apartment furnished appliances are extremely inefficient (fridge, oven, water heater)

grantmeaname

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #582 on: February 23, 2015, 01:49:38 PM »
Watch out if you're thinking about replacing them, the Warm White tubes are so yellow that they look like Sodium Vapor lamps. The Cool White look like Warm White incandescents. I'll take the WW to another store and see if I can exchange for Cool White or Daylight to compare.
Thats not quite right, because the naming can be misleading and anyway you had different light color in the old incan bulbs anyway, depending on W usage.

Look at the Kelvin. 3000K is normal "warm white" like a sunny day (and mid range incandescant), 2700K is not really warm white but named so. Everything with less K is blue (often named cool white).

blue - yellow - red

For normal living 2700K or 3000K is appropriate. For evening light try to get the redder ones. "Blue" low Kelvin light is midday light and can disturb your sleep if you have it on before you go to bed. Never use blue LED for your "reading before sleeping" bedlamp. On the other hand, "morning get up bathroom light" could use them.
I'm pretty sure you've got it backwards. Lower kelvin = more yellow/orange and higher kelvin = more blue. Think about candlelight vs. a gas lamp for example.

big_owl

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #583 on: February 23, 2015, 04:56:55 PM »
Here's my monthly kWH usage for the past ten years or so.  Our house is 3500sq-ft and up until about 4 months ago was all electric.  We converted our rangetop to propane so that has helped slightly.  We also installed a wood stove in the basement and the first month of its usage is reflected in my latest January 2015 number.  Quite a bit lower than last year even with the cold weather.  I think my max ever month averaged around 153kwh per day during the coldest winter months.  Once my water heater goes I plan to convert it to a heat pump water heater.  The resistance heater no doubt uses a ton of electricity.  No choice other than propane though - no natural gas in these parts.

bzzzt

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #584 on: February 23, 2015, 05:23:19 PM »
I think my max ever month averaged around 153kwh per day during the coldest winter months.  Once my water heater goes I plan to convert it to a heat pump water heater.  The resistance heater no doubt uses a ton of electricity.  No choice other than propane though - no natural gas in these parts.

HO. LY. SHIT! There are months your electric bill approaches my mortgage!

Ever looked into geothermal? Initial cost is high, but reoccurring costs are low.

big_owl

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #585 on: February 24, 2015, 10:07:40 AM »
I think my max ever month averaged around 153kwh per day during the coldest winter months.  Once my water heater goes I plan to convert it to a heat pump water heater.  The resistance heater no doubt uses a ton of electricity.  No choice other than propane though - no natural gas in these parts.

HO. LY. SHIT! There are months your electric bill approaches my mortgage!

Ever looked into geothermal? Initial cost is high, but reoccurring costs are low.

Not really, the topography of our property would require a number of vertical wells, and there's really not a good place for those.  The worst case was only really for one month every couple years where the temps are ridiculously cold, obviously it's not that bad every month.  And our electric bill is basically all of our utilities - you would have to compare it to a typical household's electric+gas+water bill and see how it was to shape up vs that.

The better solution is to just go grid-tied solar, which is on our radar, maybe in 2016. 

zephyr911

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #586 on: February 24, 2015, 11:42:09 AM »
Watch out if you're thinking about replacing them, the Warm White tubes are so yellow that they look like Sodium Vapor lamps. The Cool White look like Warm White incandescents. I'll take the WW to another store and see if I can exchange for Cool White or Daylight to compare.
Thats not quite right, because the naming can be misleading and anyway you had different light color in the old incan bulbs anyway, depending on W usage.

Look at the Kelvin. 3000K is normal "warm white" like a sunny day (and mid range incandescant), 2700K is not really warm white but named so. Everything with less K is blue (often named cool white).

blue - yellow - red

For normal living 2700K or 3000K is appropriate. For evening light try to get the redder ones. "Blue" low Kelvin light is midday light and can disturb your sleep if you have it on before you go to bed. Never use blue LED for your "reading before sleeping" bedlamp. On the other hand, "morning get up bathroom light" could use them.
Actually, "daylight white" is more like 6000K. It's much cooler in appearance than what people find attractive inside a home.
Somewhere above 6000k the light really does start to look blue in appearance.
The warmest bulbs available - too warm for most people, yellow in appearance - are in the 2200-2500K range.
Semi-FIREd December 2017, part-time entrepreneur, lover of puppies and saltwater.

Ozstache

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #587 on: February 24, 2015, 04:17:44 PM »
My solar system doesn't get installed until early next month. While I have been waiting, I have written a couple of webpages to show consumption and production information to help me utilise the system as best as possible. The consumption data input, which I have sourced from my existing Efergy monitor, is working well, so I just need production data to finalise these pages.

The first webpage is a combination of some php code I put together and my respective pvoutput page. The second will be displaying on an old smart phone I have and will give my family a quick visual reference to the state of net production and therefore indicate when are the best times to fire up power hungry appliances. Power is indicated in (edit) hundreds of Watts (/edit), to maximise text size on the small phone screen display.

They are both works in progress and hopefully will be useful. I've told my wife that if this technology is too hard to fathom, just use the principle of using power hungry appliances during the middle of sunny days whenever possible!
« Last Edit: April 13, 2015, 04:33:54 AM by Ozstache »

Cinder

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #588 on: February 25, 2015, 12:42:29 PM »
My solar system doesn't get installed until early next month.

This made me wonder what planet you were waiting moving to after solar system gets installed.. How many light years away?

Ozstache

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #589 on: February 25, 2015, 02:20:25 PM »
My solar system doesn't get installed until early next month.

This made me wonder what planet you were waiting moving to after solar system gets installed.. How many light years away?

lol. Good pickup!

LennStar

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #590 on: February 26, 2015, 05:26:16 AM »
My solar system doesn't get installed until early next month.

This made me wonder what planet you were waiting moving to after solar system gets installed.. How many light years away?
Arg. And I was trying SO HARD not to post something like this. I already had typed half a sentence.

MrSal

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #591 on: February 27, 2015, 12:31:47 AM »
Just received the gas bill this month...

102 dollars with a consumption of 95 therms. An improvement of 38% from last year and when not only this month was colder than last year ( 20 F on average vs last years 22 F) but also the commodity price was lower last year at 0,50 usd vs 0,57

I still think there's lot of improvement to make especially in the insulation category (sil plate, basement windows and attic insulation).

I'll tackle those projects in Spring or so because now its too damn cold to tackle them :D It will be interesting to see the difference next year.

I believe our attic doesnt have much of an ainsulation - fiberglass only maybe around 6-8 inches of it AT THE MOST.

No idea why we're paying 15% more for NG price this year vs last years ... especially when NG commodity prices are about -55% versus last year in the markets.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2015, 12:33:32 AM by MrSal »

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #592 on: February 27, 2015, 06:27:16 AM »
Electric water heater was working on biting the dust, so we got it replaced with a gas one. Expensive replacement, but it looks like it'll cut our electric bills from a third to a half.

Captain and Mrs Slow

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #593 on: March 04, 2015, 01:39:22 AM »
I just got my second annual bill and our usage jumped from 2000kwh per year (6 per day) to 2500kwh per year (7 per day). This is fairly typical for a 2 person German household. We have central water and heating and no dryer (they use the horrible condenser dyers here). My bill is 72 for 10 months.

We had a cooler summer so no A/C this year but do a ton more baking (bread baked potatoes etc) so I don't think I can get my bill down any lower. If anything I need more lights, the LEDs I put in are too dark (another post for another thread)

Interesting I asked my family about there usage and they all wrote back quoting the cost but the not the kwh used (average 800 per month) 

Edit: just emailed all the family and asked them and most replied with how much they used and most responded with a $ amount, people don't really think about how much they use only how much it costs. My wife's parents (older retired) responded with this.

We use ca 1000 kWh a month, which makes it  12000 kWh a year, but we use a lot of electricity "off peak" (19:00hrs till 07:00hrs) which is half price at $0.07 cent of $0.14 cents on peak time.
The fan motor to heat or cool the whole house uses 600 watts an hour alone.
So the total bill for electricity is only about $1.200,00 dollars a year.

My reaction was "holy crap" what do they do all day to use so much, I mean every time I go over to visit I'm turning on lights, my father in law, age 85 has vampire eyes, keeps the house super dark, low wattage CFLs etc can hardly see.

Very odd indeed.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2015, 05:11:49 AM by Captain and Mrs Slow »
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dunhamjr

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #594 on: March 05, 2015, 02:39:26 PM »
i dont see how some people are running such low consumptions... our lowest months still average 25kw/day, with a max average just over 41.

i guess we really need to find ways to cut the usage back at my house, but its difficult.

the house ALWAYS has someone in it, whether its my two boys and the grandma/nanny during the day or me/wife/the boys are night.
i also work from home Mon/Wed, so that adds a little bit of usage from the computer, a light in the office, etc.

i am sure the big offenders are the hard ones to attack since i cannot simply swap in a more efficient item/method like a lightbulb for all users of these items.

hot water heater.  i have a great WH, fully foam insulated from the factory, but maybe i need to take a look turning the temp down a little
furnace.  gas heat yes, but electricity moves the air.  we have a large tall, inefficient house.  its hard to cut the temps/usage down/up if i am not here running the show.
cooking.  not much we can do.
tv/home theather.  on most of the day as background noise for kids and grandma.
washer/dryer.  its a gas dryer, which helps.  but these things both burn electricity and we do a lot of laundry having 2 young boys.

forkneedlepen

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #595 on: March 05, 2015, 04:19:47 PM »
We also have a high usage, yikes! This thread was really eye opening.

We are almost entirely electric, though, besides a propane cooktop. Our lowest bill in the last year averaged out to 39kw a day and our latest was around 89kw a day. This last bill from the year prior was down 35.6kw a day, so we are making progress, just not enough. We will be hanging our line for laundry this weekend as we take it down in November. We heat a 2500 house with an electric heat pump (we keep the house at 66, two out of five of us are always home) and a 1500 shop with electric. Our hot water heater is large and electric. Our dryer is electric and we run average 2 loads a day until the line is hung outside. All of our appliances were purchased in 2007 and we added additional insulation a couple of years ago. Our house is just too big and too much on electric. We are rural and don't have natural gas access. Our propane tank is filled as needed for the cooktop, ever 8 months or so. We do plan on selling in a couple of years and building another, much more efficient house, but will just have to work harder at reducing our usage until then.

wintersun

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #596 on: March 09, 2015, 05:58:29 PM »
I have already reduced our electricity a fair amount with a kill-a-watt, line drying clothes and less use of the dish washer and would like to go further.

I have a few things which do not plug in such as a well pump and pool pump (I think they are direct wired?).  Also the oven must have a plug behind it, but it is built in so I cannot reach it.  What should I do to find out how much these items use?

Is it possible to put an internet router on a timer so it goes off at night?  Ours gets quite hot.  I have a few timers for lamps, could I use one of those?

Does the speed of the internet we have signed up for affect the power usage?

To reduce our pool pump hours what simple things could I do which would mean it would need to run for fewer hours?  I know nothing about pools, should I skim floating leaves every morning?

There seems to be some disagreement about the temperature at which a water heater should be set to avoid illness, and also about the minimum number of hours a water heater should be on to avoid illness.  Does anyone know of a website that looks into this? I would like to reduce the temperature and only have the bathroom water heater on for an hour per day.

One last question: we have a fat, four foot high water heater just for the kitchen for two people, would it be a good idea to change to a small one that is right under the sink instead?  We could swap with the tenants who have a tiny heater and probably would love to have more hot water. the main expense would be labour for a plumber to exchange them.



bzzzt

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #597 on: March 09, 2015, 08:39:07 PM »
My local Menards is closing for re-building (knocking it down and building a two-story) and they're having a 20% off sale. I was finally able to pick up LED G25 bulbs for a good price as well as Feit 4' LED Tubes for the garage (man cave/workshop).

Watch out if you're thinking about replacing them, the Warm White tubes are so yellow that they look like Sodium Vapor lamps. The Cool White look like Warm White T12 tubes. I'll take the WW to another store and see if I can exchange for Cool White or Daylight to compare.

The G25 LED Globes in the bathroom vanity are a huge hit with my wife. She loves how much more light they throw. Changed out the night light in the fan from a 26w incan to a 7w CFL. More light there also. 186w vs. 51w. Break even should be 3 years.

Cool White or Daylight LED 4' lamps are definitely the way to go. I just got my rebates back from some other improvements, so I'll purchase the rest of the replacements next time I'm out that way. Plan is Cool White in the bays (replacing 32w T8s) and Daylight over the work benches. Going from (2) 40w T12 lamps to (2) 17w Daylight lamps over the benches is a huge difference in light output. The LEDs blow them away with less than half usage. Garage went from 416w to 204w. Break even should be 2.5 years.

Anyone found a reasonable source for intermediate base appliance bulbs? The light under my microwave is still a 40w incan. and it ticks me off when I cook!

My eyeball is now on the "tan with fake wood handles" storage fridge/freezer in the garage. Kill-a-watt says it's averaging 2.4 kWh even with the garage at 48*. Might pick up a 3-year old fridge from CL later this week if no one beats me to it. Break even should be 1-year if it's EnergyGuide rating is correct.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2015, 08:42:48 PM by bzzzt »

KBecks2

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #598 on: March 10, 2015, 07:54:17 AM »
We had a bad month this month,  809 kwh.  I don't know why!  I have been hang drying the laundry and we have almost all CFL / LED lights.  No second fridge, no freezer, wth!


wintersun

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Re: Why do you use so much electricity?!?!?
« Reply #599 on: March 10, 2015, 08:02:38 AM »
KBecks2, It's like being a detective isn't it? Let us know what you discover.