Hydro-electric Monitor and my Summit Fan

Willhound Posted By Willhound, Sep 21, 2006 at 1:59 PM

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  1. Willhound

    Willhound
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    Nov 20, 2005
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    Our local electrical utility (Ontario Hydro) has made available (free) 40,000 of these nifty little monitor's for home use. (Pics attached below) I paid about $8 for the shipping. There is a little sending unit that attaches to the outside hydro meter and reads the disc as it spins around. There is also a version available for the newer digital meters. The house unit pictured here is about 4 inches wide by 6 inches tall and is totally wireless, so it can be placed anywhere in the house.

    The idea is that it allows you to monitor your electrical use in real time and dollars, so that you can see what effect turning various devices on and off might have. According to the meter, the fan on my Summit costs about 1 cent an hour to run. The fan has variable speed, but the speed doesn't seem to have much effect. It could just be that the effect is too small for the monitor to register since it reads in 1 cent increments. I can also set it to show KWH, so maybe I'll try that later to get a more accurate reading. From top to bottom I have cost per hour (can show KWH), a visual representation of the meter turning, the total cost since turning the unit on (can be re-set every month or whenever you want), the outside temperature (a handy feature and of course, in Canadian "foreign-heat" Celsius), and finally the time, another useful feature. The unit is programmable to take into account local cost per KWH, increment increases over base KWH and seasonal rate differences for areas that use that method.

    When I proudly showed my family they rolled their eyes and I could almost hear them thinking "There goes techno-geek Dad again", but when I showed them how just leaving a few lights on can double the cost of our hydro, they were impressed. Sort of backs up my constant preaching to "Turn the *&^%& lights off!" They also now know that I will be following them around with this thing in my hands hounding them even more. The desktop I am writing this on is currently costing me about 3 cents an hour to operate.....(OK, maybe I am a bit of a techno-geek.... :red:

    Anyway, neat gadget, and the price was right.
     

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  2. Roospike

    Roospike
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    Nov 19, 2005
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    Ha, I can see it already. " oh no, here comes dad and his do-hicky again!" Well i think is a cool new "toy" there Willhound.
     
  3. Harley

    Harley
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    Apr 11, 2006
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    That's a pretty neat gadget!!!
     
  4. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart
    Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division 2.
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    Nov 18, 2005
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  5. Willhound

    Willhound
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    Nov 20, 2005
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    Yeah, that's what the letter they sent us said also, so it seemed like a heck of a deal. I doubt I would have paid that much for it though. It's neat, and I think it can help if you pay attention to it, but I can see where a lot of people will just stick it in a drawer after a while. Maybe I can keep my ears open and if I hear of anyone not using their's, I'll get my hands on it and let you all know.
     
  6. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart
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    Nov 18, 2005
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    That would be great. I have been looking for something like that for years.
     
  7. Willhound

    Willhound
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    Nov 20, 2005
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    I should point out that the price BB quoted is in CDN $$$, as it is a Canadian company manufacturing these, but the exchange is so close right now, that it doesn't make much of a difference, about 10%.
     
  8. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot
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    Dec 5, 2005
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    I imagine your average utility might not like the idea of strapping something onto its metering equipment, unless it was approved.
     
  9. Willhound

    Willhound
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    Nov 20, 2005
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    Maybe not....all the more reason I'd be inclined to do it. ;-P

    You're right though, velvetfoot, in this case, these are approved, paid for, and supported by the utility. It's part of the conservation mandate they have.

    Of course, the conservation mandate has increased in recent years, yes that is a good thing, but the real reason behind it is that Ontairo Hydro has not kept pace with generating capacity and upkeep of existing infrastructure, so they see conservation as a way of buying time. IMO.
     
  10. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot
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    Dec 5, 2005
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    The price is indeed right!
     
  11. Homefire

    Homefire
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    Jan 16, 2006
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    I lived in an old house when I was in school in Syracuse.
    There was an old tap before the meter that powered the range, water heater, and dryer.
    It was the best money saver I ever saw.:)
     
  12. DonCT

    DonCT
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    Dec 9, 2005
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    That's awesome!!!! I wonder if we can press our utilities here to offer that same thing. $150 is alot, but I would almost consider getting strictly on principle.
     
  13. Harley

    Harley
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    Apr 11, 2006
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    I was thinking the same thing here, Don... I went on the WMECO website, and did a search and couldn't find anything. I wonder how they would react to that strapped to their meter. Also... wondering how you would adjust or program it for changes in pricing and delivery charges.... may be worth a call......
     
  14. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart
    Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division 2.
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    Staff Member

    Nov 18, 2005
    32,507
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    Loc:
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    Manual available here:

    http://www.bluelineinnovations.com/downloads/PowerCost_ProductManual2.pdf
     
  15. Willhound

    Willhound
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    Nov 20, 2005
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    The unit is programmable for different rates (seasonal, or usage over base). Mine came pre=programmed based on the rates in my region.
    According to the letter from Ontario Hydro that came with the unit the rates that they programmed in are somewhat blended to take into account delivery charge. Fixed costs like the rip off "debt retirement charge" that we pay are not included.
     
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