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Author: mschmit Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 129261  
Subject: Home power usage measurments Date: 11/16/2006 3:04 PM
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Here is a ~useful subset of some power measurements I've made. I did this to better understand my overall electricity consumption. This is part of a spreadsheet I created with some typical number of hrs per day for winter, summer and vacation. Sometimes I used my watt meter to measure usage over a few days or a week, such as with my fridge since it is too hard to estimate usage. I then compared my model with actual power meter readings and adjusted -- a few hours of work over a year or so.

What did I do with this? I went after the easy targets and biggest power consumption items in my home to lower usage. For example, I found lots of things like my Craftsman power drill charger that consumed 5 watts all the time, no matter if there was a battery in it or not or if the battery was charged -- I put lots of things like these on a power strip and turned them off. Other big things -- two 300 watt halogen touchier lights in the family room...when the bulbs burned out I replaced them with 55 watt flourescents from Lowes at about $35 each...payback in 1-2 years, plus the bulbs last longer.

Lots of things I already had CF bulbs, but I replaced more of them over time. I put my DSL/Wifi on a switch since no one is home using it for ~15 hrs per from bedtime til the next evening. Same with my DVD player...if it is used even once a week it is a lot...and the switch is right next to it -- no big deal since I have to insert the disc to make it useful anyway. I replaced a bunch of chandelier lights with 15-25 watts bulbs when the 40 watt ones burned out...DW vetoed the 2 watt CF ones because the mix of them doesn't look good.

I did lots of other things...these are just the highlights. But knowing your usage is the key. I've probably saved 200-250 KW-hrs per month over the past 4-5 yrs. My usage dropped from around 500-600, (sometimes 900) kw-hrs per month to 300-400, sometimes as low as 275. Because of the tiered rates in CA this almost always drops me to the lowest tier. So the savings is at the mid .13 per kw-hr or about $25-$30/month...or about $300 per year...more than $1200 in total. I haven't spent more than $250 to do this.

I could still lower my usage by 10-20%, but at a bigger and bigger cost. My dishwasher is quite efficient (old one broke a few years ago), but some appliances could be better. My DLP HDTV is probably the most efficient per square inch, but it is a hog at 20 watts standby power...my older TV was ~2-3 watts. I turn off the subwoofer and other items when not in use.

Mike

watts stby watts
Master bedroom/bath
clock radio 4 3
clock radio 3 2
house alarm NA 8
closet light (CF) 15
bed light 150
ceiling light (CF) 15
bathroom light 280
bathroom light/fan 20
razor charger NA 2
Den
radio 4 3
DSL 8 8
WiFi 9 9
computer (desktop) 120 2
17" monitor 70 1
computer speakers 8 8
lights (F tubes) 80
CO2 monitor NA 2.5
emerg flashlight NA 2
bedroom/bath
lights (CF x 3) 42
light 100
computer (laptop) 25
speakers 2.5 2
clock radio 3 2
lights (bath) 360
entry
lights chandelier 300
stair lights 100
hall light 80
hall light 65
porch lights (CF) 24
porch sensor NA 2
living room/dining
lights (2 CF, 1 not) 95
speakers 2.5 2
dining room lights 150
kitchen
fridge (1.6 kwhr/day) 200
lights (4 F tubes) 160
microwave 1000? 5?
oven 2000? 5?
toaster oven 1350
range hood fan 50 4
coffee pot 800
dishwasher 1000
phone NA 3
family room
HDTV 200 20
receiver 40 2
subwoofer 25 14
ReplayTV 24 15
VCR 15 5
DVD 35 15
light (halogen x 2) 600
guest room
TV 80 2
VCR 15 5
laundry
washer 340
dryer 190
light 15
dustbuster NA 2
hall closet
light 12
doorbell NA 5?
garage/yard
whole house vacuum 800 2
water softener NA 4
radio 9
garage door 120 4
furnace 500? 5?
battery charger NA 5
front sprinklers NA 4
back sprinklers NA 5
hot tub heater ~5000 5
hot tub solar pump 10 1
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