Energy usage log

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Ydobon
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Location: Scotland

Re: Energy usage log

Post by Ydobon » Wed May 11, 2016 11:14 am

jennypenny wrote:@Ydobon--can you sell it back?
Yes, we get c. £0.15/kWh, the system should pay for itself in 7 years (combination of government cash and savings on our bills) + the government cash is index-linked for 20 years. The other fun thing is that there's currently no way of consistently capturing exactly how much power returns to the grid, so it's assumed that we use 50% of what we generate. Cue daft efforts to do everything electrical for 'free' when the sun shines, using up as much of that assumed 50% as possible :D

I read this morning that Nissan are running a 100 car trial in the UK where Leaf owners will be able to sell the contents of their batteries at peak times for cash from the grid. Now I can't see us generating enough to charge a car/driving enough to buy an electric car, but I'm excited that some of the possibilities of a smart grid should eventually be realised.

FBeyer
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Re: Energy usage log

Post by FBeyer » Sat Aug 06, 2016 12:27 am

Month of July, 34 kWh. Two adults, one child, 90 m2.
I thought that seemed like much, then I read that an average person uses almost 1500 kWh per year... Yay for Scandinavia's never ending summer days!

rube
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Re: Energy usage log

Post by rube » Sun Aug 07, 2016 2:26 am

@JP, did you find out more in detail about the energy usage?

We use about 2200 kWh / year. Almost always somebody at home (family 2 adults, 2 kids). No cooling. Heating and cooking on natural gas. Year round about 90% of our electricity usage is covered by our solar panels.

We still use about 900m^3 natural gas though for heating (and a small portion for cooking). And this 900m^3 is equavalent of much more kWh's unfortunately.

Heating / cooling uses generally uses the most energy of a house (all other can be fairly easy adapted, i.e. changing appliances, light bulbs, HABITS!).
In our future house I want to make it such that nearly no heating or cooling is needed. Most of this can simply be reached by smart designing. Then with some solar panels (which we currently have also) we can have our home energy neutral or plus.

FBeyer
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Re: Energy usage log

Post by FBeyer » Mon Aug 08, 2016 3:58 am

scriptbunny wrote:
FBeyer wrote:Month of July, 34 kWh. Two adults, one child, 90 m2.
I thought that seemed like much, then I read that an average person uses almost 1500 kWh per year... Yay for Scandinavia's never ending summer days!
Impressive! What sort of appliances are you running? Average in the US is on the order of 15,000 kWh/year so using only 2-3% of that is pretty astonishing!
I'm almost on the verge of thinking the meter is broke somehow...

We're running a router 24-7 and a stereo with a BluOS node for a couple of hours every day.
An energy grade A++ fridge with a small 3-drawer freezer.
Energy grade A++ Washing machine on the most energy efficient program; runs once per week.
Tumbler, rarely.
Energy Grade A++ Dishwasher runs every second or third day perhaps.
All our lights are saver light bulbs, but the lights are only on about an hour at a time. Sun's up at about 5.30 and goes down at about 21.00 ish... There is no need for lights during summertime in Scandinavia. Actually the bathroom has a sensor that turns the lights on when we enter, which is completely unnecessary, but I haven't figured out how to disable the sensor yet (we moved in one month ago). So we actually use more electricity on lighting than necessary.
Stovetop is induction, so cooking factors into the electric bill as well, but not nearly as much as other more inefficient electric hobs.
Our daughter plays with non-electric toys only.
We haven't owned a TV for 8 months.

Computers are all laptops; rarely use the desktop. The oven has been in quite extensive use throughout July.
That's it as far as I know.

We pay no attention to our electric bill at all. We never, ever think about how much power we're using, I guess we just naturally try to conserve energy.

Kriegsspiel
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Re: Energy usage log

Post by Kriegsspiel » Sat Aug 13, 2016 9:07 pm

jacob wrote:Some anecdotal commentary from a household where the electric bill is really low (usage in the winter is less than fees and taxes).

* We have deliberately avoided desktop computers. When I bought a new computer last year (for the tax deduction :mrgreen: :roll: ), knowing that I'm online some 12+ hrs/day, I deliberately picked an Intel NUC, which has about the same footprint as a laptop (20W) and "sleeps well". I really lusted after a "big machine" but figured the running costs would be brutal with my nasty habits. (I never switch it off).
* Before we got the propane stove installed, we cooked everything in the microwave. THAT showed on the electric bill. Imagine running it for half an hour to cook pasta! Well, it was either that or sitting outside in the winter with a coleman stove.
* Right after we met, I started training DW to European light-habits ... meaning, when we leave a room, the light gets switched off. Also, we don't have big bulbs everywhere. Haven't gone as far as LED either.
* We have a small under the counter fridge and a small toploading freezer which is much less space than most. Also both energy star. These are almost always full. This is possible because we cook mostly from stables.
* Stove, furnace, water are all propane. No dryer.

So overall, we have about 50-100W of constant zombie loads (computers, modems, and routers); two loads (reefer/freezer) that are less than average; and otherwise big loads are only on when being used. Consequentially, installing solar would absolutely not be worth it! Indeed, considering switching off electricity entirely might be more optimal :o The only impact factor is A/C in the summer. We have a central unit that's set at 85F and a smaller unit in the bedroom we run all night during the worst months. The A/C shows up on the bill.
I'm interested in your propane stove. I'm guessing it looks like a regular stovetop since you said you already have a Coleman type stove... does it hook up to a propane tank under the countertop or something?

jacob
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Re: Energy usage log

Post by jacob » Sun Aug 14, 2016 9:17 am

@Kriegsspiel - No, it IS a regular gas stove, apartment sized, hooked up to the gas company. Such things use almost no gas. When we lived in the RV, the gas stove ran off of an outside tank (same sized people use for gas grills). It lasted all summer (maybe 8 months?).

Before we got the stove installed (when we bought the house, the kitchen had nothing in it---no stove, sink no working), we cooked outside on the coleman camping stove (the green/red suitcase ones) using white-gas and inside in a microwave.

Now, you could in principle run an inside/regular stove on an inside propane gas tank. My grandmother did that many years ago, but I bet that violates some fire codes? The propane tank was about 3ft tall (50gal?) and sat under the table right behind the stove. Then maybe again, it doesn't I don't know.

enigmaT120
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Re: Energy usage log

Post by enigmaT120 » Sun Aug 14, 2016 11:01 am

People who live in the sticks (no natural gas lines) frequently get big propane tanks to run their stoves, maybe even their water heaters. The truck comes once a month or however often it needs to, tops it up, and the company sends you a bill. I want to do that because I like cooking on gas so much more than I do electric, but not enough to deal with the hassles.

Kriegsspiel
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Re: Energy usage log

Post by Kriegsspiel » Sun Aug 14, 2016 4:17 pm

Ok I gotcha. I just thought "gas" was always natural gas, not propane. I was thinking it was something like the rural propane tank outside the house like enigma said, but citified somehow. After thinking about it, I figured that wouldn't be possible because it couldn't be far enough away from other buildings.

heyhey
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Re: Energy usage log

Post by heyhey » Mon Aug 15, 2016 5:05 pm

This is a great thread! I've been looking at my consumption in terms of cost, but really, it's more useful to look at the kWh. It's going in the right direction:

Image

I live in a 2-bedroom house with adjoining neighbours on two sides, so only two sides are external walls. I don't have gas so all of my heating, cooking etc is electric. My heating tends to be on from late October to late April. I have storage heaters so there's no thermostat but I check the forecast temperatures every few days and regulate them according to that. The "heating" rate is a low rate for my storage heaters but also for hot water, which is why there's still some in the summer. I've thought of turning the water heater off in summer but then how would I shower? I don't have a power shower, just a hose thing from the bath taps, which takes hot water from the immersion heated tank.

I work from home so I'm home all day and have a desktop computer on most of the day, plus router (I switch it off at night), plus fridge and freezer. Since joining ERE I've tried to do my laundry on the lower night rate (12-7 am).

Last winter was milder than the one before, accounting for some of the drop this year, but some is because of ERE. I've turned off things that I would have left on standby before :)

jennypenny
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Re: Energy usage log

Post by jennypenny » Wed Aug 24, 2016 7:40 am

rube wrote:@JP, did you find out more in detail about the energy usage?
It appears to be lighting for the most part. I'm about to switch over all of our lights, including almost 40 can lights, to LEDs. I cashed in some Marriott points for Lowes gift cards to help offset the cost since those lights are so expensive. I'm waiting for the cards and then I'll switch over and save the old incandescent ones for emergencies.

Here's a comparison chart of CFLs v. LEDs if anyone is interested ... http://eartheasy.com/live_led_bulbs_comparison.html

Cost is about the same, so the deciding factors for me were heat generation, trash (need more bulbs), and mercury concerns.

rube
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Re: Energy usage log

Post by rube » Wed Aug 24, 2016 3:57 pm

I am surprised it is the lighting. In most cases it's heating/cooling (incl. washing, drying, freezer).

Great actions. I hope it will help you to lower your usage a lot!

FBeyer
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Re: Energy usage log

Post by FBeyer » Thu Sep 01, 2016 2:24 am

Total power consumption from June 1st up to August 31st: 64 KWh.

BAM!

jennypenny
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Re: Energy usage log

Post by jennypenny » Thu Sep 01, 2016 5:46 am

FBeyer wrote:Total power consumption from June 1st up to August 31st: 64 KWh.
I think I used more than that yesterday. :oops:

This is my new focus. I'm going to try and cut our usage in half.

FBeyer
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Re: Energy usage log

Post by FBeyer » Thu Sep 01, 2016 6:28 am

As I stated elsewhere: We've got Scandinavian summer hours and absolutely no need for any kind of AC. I think that I'm leveraging some serious geoarbitrage here :)

jennypenny
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Re: Energy usage log

Post by jennypenny » Sat Oct 15, 2016 9:28 am

I got the first full-month's bill after switching to LED lights. Our usage dropped by a little more than half. :shock:

cmonkey
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Re: Energy usage log

Post by cmonkey » Sat Oct 15, 2016 12:35 pm

@jp, is that on a year-ago basis or month-ago basis? If year-ago, that's impressive.

We put LEDs in during our renovation and haven't noticed that kind of difference at all.

jennypenny
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Re: Energy usage log

Post by jennypenny » Sat Oct 15, 2016 5:12 pm

Year ago. Month ago is much bigger difference because I ran the AC that month. I've made other changes, but this is the biggest difference. We have a lot of can lights and I think they're the culprit.

I still need to lower our usage some more, so I'm eyeing the extra fridge and freezers now.

workathome
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Re: Energy usage log

Post by workathome » Mon Oct 17, 2016 3:12 pm

We're still not getting below 600kwh/month - but we are mostly home all day, and cook most meals on the electric stove, etc.

denise
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Re: Energy usage log

Post by denise » Tue Oct 18, 2016 6:14 pm

I just moved into my apartment in a 100 year old house, so my bill from last month is the only one that counts so far. I used 490 kWh last month, and paid $65. I use the AC at night, not during the day, and I don't cook save for the weekends. I have a small TV for my computer screen, HBO, and Netflix. I do leave two lights on at night. I think the biggest way I'll save money is when it gets cooler in the winter. I live in the southern US, so it's still warm at night.

130
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Re: Energy usage log

Post by 130 » Fri Nov 04, 2016 9:37 pm

Avg usage over the year of ~180kWh/month. Everything is electric.
Avg usage for a similar home in my area 243kWh/month. So while I am doing better than the average, I still think there is a ways to go.

Approximate usage breakdown for a month
Hot Water Cyl 70
Fridge 54
Elec Kettle 6
Washing Machine 1
Laptop etc 17
Oven 10
Other un-measured 22

The fridge is a big hitter, it is very old and poorly insulated, but still functions fine. It is hard to justify a new fridge, even getting the highest efficiency rating available it would take 12 years to pay the fridge back from the energy saving.

So on my list of things to do, is convert a small chest freezer to a fridge. They are generally much better insulated and of course the cold air doesn't fall out when you open them. It changes your usage configuration a little, but the energy used is generally way less than half the energy used for a conventional upright fridge.

Laptop etc used more than I thought it would. I have turned a few accessory devices off and try too remember to turn it off if I am not going to use it for a while. This needs a bit more thought.

Hot Water is the largest energy hit. Two months ago I had to replace the cylinder, I was expecting to see some saving from material improvements and design, but it hasn't happened. Will look into adding extra insulation to the cylinder and pipes at some point.

Energy costs are much higher here (Queensland Australia), the monthly connection charge is ~$30 and on-demand power is ~$0.25/kWh. Hot water is run off peak and charged at ~$0.20/kWh.

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