Electric Bill

silver2February 4, 2009

Each month my friendly electric company tries to give tips on saving power. On and earlier post on saving on heating and power I posted on using a power strip for computers etc.

This month one of their tips was on "Phantom" usage:

Many appliances use power even when they're off. Save by plugging TVs, VCRs, fax machines, computers, printers, etc. into a power strip and turn it off except when needed.

They had several other tips or explanations on why your bill might be higher, which made sense, longer billing cycle, colder weather, full house, Xmas lights, and so on.

But for what it is worth, the power strip could save. Next step is getting the many computers turned off in my house. LOL

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western_pa_luann

There have been several posts from people who saved some by doing that.... you can search for them.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2009 at 4:26PM
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chris8796

I'm considering getting a whole house electric monitor. It tells you real time use and has the ability to log data when connected to a computer. I can install in myself, so it will cost about $190 with the computer software. I'm hoping I can cut electric use by 10%, which should attainable (and pay for itself). My only concern is I'll go crazy watching the meter run.

Here is a link that might be useful: The energy detective

    Bookmark   February 4, 2009 at 5:41PM
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cynic

I am a gadget fan from way back, but I can't for the life of me see any use for the energy detective and moreso how in the world it could save me nearly $200!

I can pretty accurately predict my electric bill, subject to variation in rates. I don't need the gadget to tell me that when the furnace, dryer, stove and refrigerator are all running I'll be using more electricity than when I'm lounging on a summer eve watching TV. Perhaps if it had the capability to sound an alarm when someone doesn't turn out the light, doesn't shut off the stove, leaves the frig door open or there's a few deer playing in front of my motion detector, then it could perhaps assist in saving money. It might help convince people that CFLs use 1/4 the power of incandescents, but I don't need to pay to know that. If it would open the drapes on the sunny days and close them on cloudy ones in the winter and vice versa in the summer, it would help. Seems like an awfully expensive clock to me.

I'm mystified.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2009 at 9:50PM
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joyfulguy

Hi again, cynic,

Maybe when you get a few more years on your interior "clock" ...

... and some more valuable experience ...

... you may be somewhat less mystified ... and less often.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 12:37AM
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chris8796

Cynic,

I think it will work for me. I have an active family and generally high electric usage. If it was just me and the misses I could manage better. We have several DVRs, computers, TVs, towel warmers, etc. If I can save 10% (150 kwh), its worth ~$15 a month. It is also primarily geared for people who are not acutely aware of their energy use. I think it will be a good teaching tool for the kids and Mrs.

From a gadget perspective, I think it will be cool to know how much each of the large appliances use over a given time period.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 8:42PM
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sherrmann

This has probably been discussed here, but I'm going to be lazy and ask: How can it be true that a cell phone charger uses energy just by dangling from the socket when it is not charging the cell phone? If it's true, is it also true that lamps (and everything else that is plugged in but doesn't glow) use energy when they are turned off? It is the same thing! My chargers get warm when they are actively charging the phones, but get cold as soon as the charging stops, even before I unplug the phone from the charger.

Thanks. I feel better just asking the question. I just feel like it can't be true.

Sherry

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 9:32AM
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chris8796

Some modern cell phone chargers use very little energy except when actively charging. The older style chargers, the big square plugs, used the same power continously.

Most things that use a remote, draw power when off but plugged in (TVs, cable boxes, stereos, DVRs, etc).

Lamps generally don't use power when off.

You can buy a power monitor for plug in items and seem how much power anything with a plug uses. I have one called kill-a-watt and it was about $20.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 12:18PM
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goldy

We had a water shortage a few years back and everyone cut back on water.The water conpany even gave us a gadget to put on our shower to save water.What happen? so much water was saved that they had to increase our monthly rates.You can't beat city hall.Save and cut back too much and your rates will still go up.They are in the bussiness to make money.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2011 at 3:54PM
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mikie_gw

I have a Kill-A-Watt.. Plugs into wall socket then shows watts, voltage, etc & records watts ..how much over a period of time. Handy to know where the power bill comes from. I've seen those advertised 15 to 25 dollars. Handy educational gadget. Some of my monthlies I can remb...
$9.00 TV
6.50 refrig
10.50 24hr desktop/monitor/ups/router/modem
2.50 24hr laptop
$1.00 voltage reg_spike transformer for laptop/TV.
$0.05 washer 1 load. heh
etc.
120v stuff.
would be nice to CurrentTap range & ac & water heater, dryer, other 240v items for a few months for averages. But most 240v's are temporary use are easily calculated with some thought.
Fan motors/all motors .. Ohhh terrible watt wasters.

Biggest power savings here in Florida was new white asphalt roof & white exterior house paint. Another toy was laser dot heat gun thermometer,, I found it quite helpful for finding where walls & ceilings, lighting fixt boxes, etc.. hot or cold areas & figuring out how to insulate/weather seal/window film.. calk, etc. It more than paid for itself.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2011 at 2:08AM
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