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Steeply discounted home energy monitors....

Post in 'The Green Room' started by woodgeek, Jul 13, 2011.

  1. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    In the owner's manual it notes that the minimum power measurement is 300W.

    I'd guess the meter disc is turning so slowly its hard to get an accurate measurement when its only taking a reading every 30 secs.

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  2. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    It has a 'tare' feature--I wonder if we can use that to 'zero' off the 300W reading??

    I am shopping for the gateway at a discount--even if its only good for a year, it is still cheaper than an energy audit (no free audits with my util). I also assume a third party (hack) will eventually become available.

    That hacking site is a little sparse--I'm game, but want a little more info.
  3. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Did a little communicating with Blueline today. They say they are working on ways to get at the data and use it. Of course they don't say how or when.
  4. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    Ok, so I'm at $.07/hr. So far I've spent $.03 on electricity.

    On the bright side, its got a thermometer on it.
  5. jimbom

    jimbom Combustion Analyzer

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    Thanks for saving me the hassle of searching for a load that may not be there. Also thanks BB and Woodgeek for the same note. Reading the directions is always good form. Perhaps I should start.
  6. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Given the state of technology developing a USB based 433 mhz receiver to plug into a computer shouldn't be a big mountain for BlueLine to climb. Cheap. The problem is that a computer would have to be on 24/7 for logging. Kinda defeating the idea of cutting electric usage.
  7. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    I have our computers set to hibernate for energy savings. When I wanted to log the water temps on our ground source HVAC I found a unit that communicated via an Ethernet interface through our router to the web. It has a nice web interface so I can access the data anywhere.

    Since most people leave their WiFi on 24-7 maybe that would be the best interface for Blueline and others, a network attached device.
  8. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    an old laptop with the backlight off and the HD parked will use <20W, or 160 kWh/yr. probably in the noise. That said, a web gateway would be easier to maintain.
  9. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    That is exactly what they had with Microsoft and Google. And zip for people used it so it is going away.
  10. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    Well I'm learning fast that monitoring your power usage in real time can drive you mad. I've been watching it as we turn on and off ventilation fans and as our water heater and washers cycle.

    Now my wife tells me this morning that she was up in the middle of the night and the display read a much higher number than anything I've observed. At the same time I'm trying to figure out why our household usage is higher than that of an average US home when we burn wood, avoid using AC, etc.

    Getting up in the middle the night to toss a few splits in the stove is one of those "special" moments. Looks like I'll be waking up to watch this thing until I figure out how to log the data.
  11. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    I have the kill-w-watt and now the whole house monitor. No a/c, but a dehumidifier in the basement, all electric kitchen + clothes dryer + electric hot water. July 2010 through June 2011 total was 8000 kwh round number, or 667 kwh/mo. The "killer" for us is the dehumidifier, energy star. We average about 450 kwh/mo during non-dehumidifier months, but as high as 965 kwh/mo when the dehumidifer is running.
  12. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Don't try to compare with anybody else's usage. It will just make ya crazy. There are so many factors that differ from house to house and family to family that it is hopeless. All you can do is work on how you use the juice.

    I have the daily and monthly numbers for his place since 2006. But they would be meaningless for anybody else. Even a block down the street.
  13. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    You can get historical usage data from the utility, probably.
  14. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    I have that history and our usage has definitely decreased as we've installed more efficient appliances, lights, water heaters, ,etc.

    We're all electric except that we use a wood stove part time in the winter. Our house is about 2000 square feet. We're vigilant about turning off lights, not using AC unless absolutely necessary, and addressing phantom loads. Our average monthly usage is about 1730 KWH which still seems too high to me. This is one place where I want to be "below average".

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  15. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    The first thing we did here was install new appliances. I just can't see holding onto something when you can pay yourself to get a new one. Just little changes can make a difference. I used to put a screen door on the walk-out basement (came with it, why not?), but now without one we don't need to run the dehumidifier at all. All that moisture was coming in and hitting the cold walls. My wife at first complained because it would bring the breeze right into the kitchen for her but after seeing the math on what it costs to run a dehumidifier with the windows open she gladly keeps the glass panel on the door.
  16. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, I'm hoping once we seal and insulate the basement better that we won't need the dehumidifier. It sure is nice and cool down there.
  17. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    So do you have the Blue line WiFi unit? If you have a smart phone have your tried the PeoplePower app yet. $150 is pretty steep just allow me to see current usage on via the web. If it somehow allowed logging of the data I'd be much more interested.
  18. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I never bought the gateway. And don't have a smartphone. We just write down the usage once a day and stick it in a spreadsheet.

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