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Old 05-22-12, 05:44 PM   #11
strider3700
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April/May electric bill arrived. I really hate this one. It's the very end of the heating season and it dragged out a little longer then normal. Because it warms up a bit during the day I don't want to overheat the house with the fire. Also the house is currently up for sale and the safety fences to keep my 2 year away from the woodstove are down. Anyways that means 100% of the heat comes from the heatpump. This is the time of year where solar space heating would allmost completely be enough...

Anyways I suppose I can't complain too much.

HDD (18.5C) 655.7
CDD 3
Days Covered 58
KW.h used 1906
cost/kwh 0.0911
kwh/day 32.86
kwh/hdd 2.90

So this is better then last year but not as good as 2010 in either raw kwh/h or kwh/hdd.

The cost was also the highest amount per kwh I've ever paid thanks to increased taxes.

According to the power company on my 10% reduction challenge I've saved 22% for a total of 2335 kwh saved. at the current rate that's worth $212 in savings which really makes the $75 just icing on the cake.


I modified my daily usage spreadsheet and added 30 and 60 day moving averages. the 30 day is nice to watch because the heating season here ended for me on the 13th and I turned the heatpump off. Since then I've also used the dryer once so I'm averaging 18 kwh or half that of during the heating season...

At the time of billing The running average has dropped to 32.9 kwh/day
60 day is 32.7 and 30 day is 28.5 4 days later the 30 day is at 26.4


Last edited by strider3700; 05-22-12 at 05:50 PM..
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Old 06-17-12, 04:03 PM   #12
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May bill arrived here. The much anticipated rate increase of the cost electricity is realized. The cost here was $0.15 per Kwh to $0.17 per Kwh incuding the delivery and other fees. This equates to about a $600.00 increase to our annual cost. However the reduced cost of operation with the input of solar hot water of approx $1200.00 per year has increased to a savings of $1356.00 per year. The thought of all the sweat equity is starting to pay-off. In a couple more years with any more increase to the cost of electricity the savings will be huge. Stock Market Ha. Eco-renovating YES.

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Old 07-26-12, 05:50 PM   #13
strider3700
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My first "summer" bill arrived and it's basically the end of my 1 year 10% challenge. Officially I have to be 10% under on july 31st and I'm 22% under as of July 19th so unless I use an extra 1000 kwh or so in 10 days I should be fine. According to them I've saved 2700 kwh which at current rates works out to $272 assuming I skimmed most of that excess out of the higher price tier which is true. They give me an extra $75 for meeting the 10% so I'm pretty happy with an extra $350 in my pocket when realistically it's required almost no extra effort or expenses on my part.

Anyways numbers are

HDD (18.5C) 332.1
CDD 35.1
Days Covered 63
KW.h used 1197
cost/kwh 0.0837
kwh/day 19
kwh/hdd 3.604

There is no Heating during this time period and only minimal use of the heatpump for cooling. I do run fans at night though which is dragging things up a bit.

Also the dryer was used 8 times, the clothes line 37 times. It's nice to have summer.

Not part of this bill but still interesting I went camping for 4 days and read the meter right as I left and right as I returned both at the normal time. I used 23 kwh in those 4 days. so base load works out to about 5.5 kwh. This is just fridge, freezer, radio, answering machine, and hot water heater. I turned off everything else at the power bar while away.

In the summer hotwater usage is my biggest jump when we're home.

The 19 kwh/day is my lowest reading ever. Short term I have a couple of things I intend to do that will hopefully help.

My hotwater heater does not have a heat trap in the lines. I can feel hot water right up to where the pipe goes into the basement ceiling. As well it's too close to the furnace and can't be wrapped with insulation. It needs replaced and when I do that I will add loops in the lines to act as heat traps. As well I'll relocate the tank at least a little bit so that it can be wrapped. I'm seriously considering stepping up to a 60 gallon tank from the current 40 though and that could cost me simply because we're keeping more water hot. As well I'll probably be adding a tempering valve in anticipation of going solar heated which will make insulating the pipes a bit harder.

I'm also trying to figure out an easy way to double my clothesline by adding a T to the pole so I can run 2 lines. Currently I can do 2 easy 3 rushed loads per day on the line. In winter that drops to 1 maybe 2 loads a day. Since good days are so much rarer in winter I get huge backlogs of laundry which I can never hope to get done on the line outside. Humidity remains high here so drying inside isn't a great idea. If I can double my outside loads I'll move closer to 50% dryer which is a big savings in energy during my high usage period. Anything I can do to get into that lower tier is worth it as prices jump from $0.068/kwh to $0.101/kwh or 33% more.

I'm also seriously considering getting a TED but I don't foresee it jumping out and saying hey do this simple fix and you'll save 20%. I've been at this long enough to get most easy/obvious things.

Last edited by strider3700; 09-17-12 at 04:30 PM..
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Old 07-26-12, 06:46 PM   #14
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Nice progress. You say it required little to no effort, so what did you do to reduce your usage?

Have you considered an on demand hot water heater? I have a small unit, and I really like it so far.
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Old 07-26-12, 07:34 PM   #15
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shorter showers. More use of the clothes line. Reminding the wife/kids to turn the lights/tv off. I replaced a 7-10 year old fridge that died with a new one of the same size. New one was a decent energy star model but I don't think the old was that bad.

By far the biggest improvement came in the winter and the heating. If you look at the charts above dec/jan was 25% better and feb/march was 27% lower then last years. hell dec/jan was 47% lower then my first winter here before I started air sealing and put R40 on top of the existing fiberglass in the attic.

Last summer I found serious issues with the furnace ducting which required a roll of foil tape and a 1 ft square patch to fix. After that was corrected go figure air flow was way better to the remote bedrooms and the space between the floors under the livingroom wasn't a dumping ground of hot air. when that got better I spent about $20 on some ducting and rearranged the cold air return in the basement to pull about 1/2 the air from the rec room where the woodstove was. So I ended up burning less wood and getting far more uniform heating of the house by using the furnace blower while having the stove lit.

As well I've been air sealing as I find issues.

still I got 10% improvement in the summer period as well and that's entirely just being smart about using things around the house nothing to do with heating.

I've looked into on demand hotwater but they have a long pay back period as well I was told that if it kicked on while my heat pump was on and the oven was on my 200 amp service couldn't handle it. all 3 at once is not uncommon in the winter.

All of this said, my wife doesn't feel deprived. My kids don't know any other way and it's not like we're living in a shanty with 1 lightbulb or anything. The only real extra work from before is the increased number of loads on the clothes line and that's not really much extra effort.

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Old 09-20-12, 06:35 PM   #16
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The summer water bill arrived today. I'm not overly happy with this one.


I used 67 cubic meters in 112 days. That works out to 158 gallons a day which is a 3% increase in usage from the same period last year but is still a decrease from my first 2 years here.

It was a long dry summer and it's still hot and has barely rained. My understanding is we're now breaking records for lack of rain over the summer. I didn't however water my gardens very much at all. I gave up and let them go wild after the long wet spring started our growth so late and then the heat and drought cooked everything a few weeks into the good weather. So most of this usage has gone to the kids slip and slide and other water related activities in the back yard. I'll need to figure something else out for next summers cooling activities. This was just way too much waste.

Also of note it looks like our water usage is in some sort of reverse tiered system

Last winter I used 39 cubic meters, in the spring I used 35 cubic meters. This worked out to $1.71 and $1.68 per cubic meter. Over the summer I used 67 cubic meters and it worked out to $0.96 per cubic meter. THe more I used the cheaper the price per unit got. Not good for conservation which is what they are supposedly pushing for... Now the question is do I complain that our bills are too low in the summer because they're not billing in a reasonable manner and risk them going up or just leave it as be.

<edit>

I think I've found why the billing is so weird on the water usage. We're not actually in a reversed tier system. From the document on how to read my bill..

Quote:
Typical winter consumption might be:
1 or 2 occupants 100-200 gal/day
3 or 4 occupants 150-250 gal/day
5 or more 250 plus gal/day

Lawn and garden watering, sprinkler systems, pools and car washing can all increase water consumption considerably.
So to start with my summer usage is close to the bottom of the "typical" users winter usage. My winter usage is half that of "typical" Also I'm not just charged by usage. There is a flat rate daily charge associated with the water. $0.44904 per day. so on my 112 day $64.15 summer water bill $50.29 was flat rate billing and I actually paid $13.86 for usage... In the winter my 137 day $66.98 bill was $61.52 in flat rate so $5.46 in actual usage... The basic connection charge is so overwhelmingly large that actual usage makes almost no difference.

There is basically no financial incentive to conserve. Having said that There will be hell to pay if I catch anyone wasting hot water and running up my electric bill

</edit>

Last edited by strider3700; 09-20-12 at 06:57 PM..
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Old 09-21-12, 04:51 PM   #17
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My august/september electric bill arrived (man I wish I was billed monthly)

Anyways numbers are

HDD (18.5C) 157.1
CDD (18.5C) 79.2
Days Covered 61
KW.h used 1123
cost/kwh 0.08398
kwh/day 18.41 - The new alltime low for me
kwh/hdd 0.751

This bill allowed me to complete the 10% challenge. I reduced usage by 21% over the year according to them. In the end they didn't give me an exact amount reduced so but according to the spreadsheets I saved 1984kwh or 17% over the previous year. On the previous bill they stated I had saved 2700 kwh so I'm assuming that's an adjusted for temperature value or something. Either way finances doesn't care about temperature sp 1984 kwh at 10.4 cents/kwh works out to $206 in savings before you take fee's and taxes and other such charges into account. This means our reduction was actually worth $281

There was very few physical changes to the house during this timeframe that can account for the reductions. I found and corrected some leaks in the furnace ductwork. I air sealed the panel covering the circuit breakers better. .. not much. I did however get serious about the clothes line. During the challenge I did 116 loads on the clothes line vs 56 in the 11 months before that. I still did 121 loads in the dryer. Winter weather sucks here what can I say. Those 116 loads however saved me about 538 kwh on their own though.

Comparing this last bill to the years previous the reduction can entirely be linked to the extra use of the clothes line. Last summer I used the dryer 26 times during the same period vs 2 this year. That is worth 120kwh right there. My total reduction was only 106kwh.

Anyway it currently looks like my new insulated with a heat trap in the line 60 gallon hot water tank is using about the same amount as my old poorly insulated no heat trap 40 gallon tank.

The challenge ended by showing that my house and family used 49% less energy then the average comparable house and family in this area. It then let me sign up for another 10% challenge which I did. I need to reduce another 967 kwh over the year. To be honest I think purely on behaviours I don't have 10% to reduce. I've got a few IC bulbs to change over to LED but that will make a difference come winter but not a lot. Last spring I used the heatpump instead of the woodstove in feb/mar and apr/may. I think I can get about 400-500 kwh reduction there. If I sleep this PC from midnight to 8am that should save me .8kwh/day or 292 kwh over the year.
Having done that math I'll set it up tonight and see if it will work correctly.

Of course if I ever get the solar hotwater installed I'm currently estimating hotwater to be 50% of my summer time bill or roughly 3300 kwh a year. playing with PVwatts 2 50% efficient 4x8 panels at a 65 degree angle in front of my back fence with zero shading should generate about 2873 kwh in savings.

Last edited by strider3700; 09-21-12 at 05:26 PM..
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Old 11-23-12, 05:11 PM   #18
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October November bill arrived

I installed the TED on Oct 23 so roughly half way through I went from monitoring usage daily to pretty much every few minutes. It's kind of addictive.

Numbers are
HDD (18.5C) 610.8
CDD (18.5C) 0.9
Days Covered 63
KW.h used 1217
cost/kwh 0.08356
kwh/day 19.32
kwh/hdd 1.992


This is a 19.62% reduction from last years bill for this period. It was however warmer then last year. It's only 6% lower when you take HDD into account. It is 37% lower then my first year here when you take HDD into account, 35% in raw kwh.

The only changes that I've done from last year are Monitoring with the TED. Being more proactive about getting the fireplace lit before the HP would kick on, the hotwater heater being the new, insulated, with heat traps one and I shut down the computer at night every night.

Looking at the graphs for this house I'm really happy with the reductions. It's been a constant decrease since moving in for this period. I'm do see that I used more power/hdd then I did last dec/jan. since the fans power usage is the same and the fire burn times is probably the same It was just colder outside to make that number look better. I have over heated the house a couple of times last month.

I'm averaging just under 20 kwh/day. 5.6 kwh of that is going towards heating water. When you look at the graphs there is regular spikes from the heater kicking on to bring the temperature back up from that standby loss. I did some testing with turning the tank off when not in use to remove those standby spikes but in the end it was coming down to 5 1 minutes spikes vs 1 5 minute spike. I'm sure I saved a bit but it's a tiny amount that I couldn't pick up in my measurements. Better insulation or an on demand is the way to go.

Solar hotwater is still on my mind as 30% going towards water heating is the largest single use of energy here. It's payback keeps getting longer and longer though as my low usage kept me in the lowest tier which is about 22% cheaper then the higher tier.

The webpage for the 10% challenge isn't working to give me there calculated reduction but my math has me needing to save 967 kwh over the year. I saved 273 on this one so 694 to go. The $75 cheque from last years challenge arrived a few weeks ago. Even my wife was excited to see that.

Last edited by strider3700; 11-23-12 at 05:14 PM..
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Old 11-24-12, 11:27 AM   #19
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75 gallons seems like a lot of water... until I looked at the per capita usage for the US... 69 gallons!

I really need to get a water meter so I know how much I'm using.
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Old 01-25-13, 03:53 PM   #20
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Another bill. These things are getting annoying. if we had anywhere near reasonable incentives I'd have solar on the roof already...

Numbers are
HDD (18.5C) 1038.9
CDD (18.5C) 0
Days Covered 62
KW.h used 1834
cost/kwh 0.0899
kwh/day 29.58
kwh/hdd 1.765

the TED at the end of the period told me kwh used should have been 1835.5 so I'm completely satisfied with it.

numbers are higher then I wanted. It was only a 4.4% decrease from last years numbers however the electric company says I used 12% less due to how much colder it was this year compared to last. My math suggests that number should be 8% but who knows how they calculate heating degree days.

This level of usage put me well into the second tier which is way higher then first tier.

on the 10% challenge I've used 16% less for a total of 431 kWh saved out of my 967 kwh goal. The major issue I'm starting to run low on firewood. Either I get more or I'll be out my mid feb and it's likely to be heating season until mid march. I'll need to store 3 cords next winter.

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