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Power Bill... Thoughts?

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by PV2U, Feb 10, 2011.

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  1. PV2U

    PV2U New Member

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    Agreed, but strangely enough, I do feel the "disconnect" exercise was useful, even though it didn't really show me anything more conclusive than "Houston, we gots prollems". Reckon I'll get a K-a-W, or something of that nature and do some poking around and see if I can make a more specific determination.

    Stay tuned...

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  2. PV2U

    PV2U New Member

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    Wait a minute! You mean these gasifier whatchamacallits don't have a built-in coffee maker? Of all the places to skimp on material! HA! :O)

    You mentioning that megger reminds me of when I was about 19 and me and this other guy were driving ground rods for transformers and then juicing them up with the megger to see if we had 'em deep enough. The clip on the one we were using was falling apart and I had just clipped it on there and the guy was cranking the punk out of that megger and the clip broke and came off. Out of reflex, I grabbed the bare metal clip and tried to put it back on the ground rod while my buddy was still cranking like a maniac! I don't have to tell you it was like grabbing the third rail of the metro! HA! I thought for sure there was going to be a serious injury that day... no, not me, but I was afraid the other guy was gonna bust a gut laughing! Especially since after the juice hit me, my second reflex was to jump up and take off running. Why? I dunno! I reckon I ran about 4 or 5 steps before I could rein myself in! LOL Yeah, a real kneeslapper, that one! :OD
  3. PV2U

    PV2U New Member

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    Great Guns! I didn't know the Taj Mahal was wired for electric! HA! 3x the house and 1/2 the power bill!?!?! Dang, I'm getting a complex! :O)

    1) I have a very few CFLs in the house. To be honest, I've been resisting them due to the additional hassle of disposing of them properly once they're done. However, I do think that the Lowe's down the street is taking them now, so I may revisit that option.
    2) Good Idea. I know my floodlights have to cost me $10 a month.
    3) Another good one. Have thought about that, but haven't implemented it yet.
    4) I don't have any really old, or maybe even moderately old appliances, but I do have a 50" plasma tv that I'm sure takes WAY too much power. The last one I bought was a LCD (though not LED), and so I'll probably eventually replace the plasma with something else in not-to-distant future. Depends on what the Kill-A-Watt test looks like.

    Thanks for the comments/noitions/ideas, NYE, very much appreciated! :O)
  4. PV2U

    PV2U New Member

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    Just for kicks, added in the cooling days. Looks like things are tracking pretty well, peaks-and-valleys wise.

    Attached Files:

  5. steam man

    steam man Minister of Fire

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    I could hear you now "Don't taze me bro"! LOL
  6. NYEDGE

    NYEDGE New Member

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    Taking a look at your completed chart, your usage does reflect a correct pattern for the heating and cooling period. The peeks and valleys of the heating and cooling do match the demand pattern, and the overlap of the HDD and CDD do match the low usage spots on the KWH graph line. Your winter usage is double the summer usage, and that points to the heat pump as a possible culprit.
    You didn't mention what cooling method you use in the summer, do you use air conditioning, and what kind?
    Do you have a pool that does electric for a pump in the summer?

    Usually most people use more electric in the summer months for cooling, except if you have electric base boards, or in your case, a heat pump that possibly is drawing too much.
    I don't have any experience with heat pumps, but I would expect them to draw similar loads as a central air conditioning unit similar in size. This may explain you "reverse" pattern of usage for a given year.
    Checked my electric bills for the summer, and August had the most usage at 2057 KWH.
    During the summer months we run 3 central air condensers/blowers for the house set to 72 degrees, and a pool pump and salt water chlorinator that runs 9 hrs. per day, 7 days a week, and still use about 200 KWH less than you do.

    Your heat pump deserves a serious looking at, but I still feel that you have too much usage during the shoulder season. Please fill us in on your cooling habits for the summer.
  7. PV2U

    PV2U New Member

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    Nope, no pool and the house is cooled with the heat pump as well. I usually keep it around 74/75. And yeah, that excess shoulder season usage seems to be reflected in the 32 kWh I used the other day when I turned off the biggest of the loads and sort of coasted. There are a lot of things that in my house that could probably be optimized, but it seems to me that there is something else that needs to be identified.

    I wonder... no, it just couldn't be the industrial aluminum smelting operation I have going on in the shed! HA!! :OP

    Reckon I'll get a Kill-A-Watt next. Or, I may do a comprehensive circuit-by-circuit check to see which one has the golden ticket first, but that may prove too much of a pain. We'll see!!
  8. benjamin

    benjamin Minister of Fire

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    Another random thought, along the lines of the smelting, is hot water. After heating and cooling, the water heater is by for the largest energy use. Sometimes water lines get buried just deep enough not to freeze which gives you well water that is under 40 degrees this time of year, combine this with high flow showerheads, laundry etc and pretty soon you're talking about real money.
  9. PV2U

    PV2U New Member

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    Hmmm... I'm going to measure the temp of my outdoor spigot and see what the inlet temp of the water to my water heater is.
  10. PV2U

    PV2U New Member

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    Okay, I checked that the other day. It was a warmish day, and I couldn't get the water to read below 70F! I can't hardly believe that, so I'm thinking that it was just the water in the pressure tank had warmed to that point and I probably didn't hold it long enough to drain it out to get fresh well water in there - at any rate, I decided to try something else.

    My "Energy Detective" should be here tomorrow - I am THRILLED! After everything I've read, I believe it will be an awesome tool to do the exact thing I want it to = give me a real time "kWh-per-hr" reading while I run around turning off all the breakers. It should even be able to point out if I have a bad meter or not.

    Will post my results as they roll in. Assuming they roll in! :O)
  11. NYEDGE

    NYEDGE New Member

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    So, did you find anything out with the "Energy Detective"?
    I checked into that gadget, and while it has mixed reviews, overall most people thought it performed well.

    Let us know what's been gobbling up your electric. :eek:hh:
  12. PV2U

    PV2U New Member

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    Hey Edge!

    Thanks for checking in - I got it installed and it's working great so far. I'm establishing some use patterns and have noticed some things I can't explain. I'm going to post some graphics in the next couple of days. Stay tuned for the full report! :coolsmile:
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