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Tals
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« on: January 11, 2009, 11:20:50 AM »

Our Electricity bill has been steadily been going up over the years, interesting our consumption is down - possibly as a result of CRT's being replaced by LCDs and various energy saving bulbs in place etc. However the reduction hasn't been enough to counter the increase so i'm now looking at an incredible monthly electricty bill of £100! $153 for my american friends smile

As a result of this we have to reduce this bill i've hit this in 2 parts. One is to turn off the items on standby easily so I have purchased a 5 remote plug control pack that allows 5 power points to be turned off. This will be TV system, Children's PCs, Children's TV+Wii, each of the children's rooms.

The second part is the purchase of an energy monitor to determine the efficiency of all of the houses devices. I have started on the fridge freezer, that worked out at 1.89 KWH per 24 hours in price turns 14p a day £4 a month. To me that seems a lot! Anyone else have any thoughts on this, is there a way of determining what consumption you would expect on a typical device?

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Huw the Poo
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« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2009, 12:22:36 PM »

Jesus, £100 a month?!  That's what our quarterly bill is!  Which supplier are you with?  We're with Southern Electric, they're usually one of the cheaper ones and their customer support team actually answer the phone.  They also helped out a lot with a dispute I had with British Gas regarding switching supplies.

I don't know much about energy efficiency, but I can say you should at least look at switching suppliers. smile

Edited to add: Is your central heating also electric, by any chance?
« Last Edit: January 11, 2009, 12:24:08 PM by Huw the Poo » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2009, 01:06:36 PM »

Quote from: Huw the Poo on January 11, 2009, 12:22:36 PM

Jesus, £100 a month?!  That's what our quarterly bill is!  Which supplier are you with?  We're with Southern Electric, they're usually one of the cheaper ones and their customer support team actually answer the phone.  They also helped out a lot with a dispute I had with British Gas regarding switching supplies.

I don't know much about energy efficiency, but I can say you should at least look at switching suppliers. smile

Edited to add: Is your central heating also electric, by any chance?

Well the price per Kwh is 7.48p which I am pretty sure is competitive, if yours is less let me know but I think you'll find it isn't. In our case i'm sure its a factor of 3 PCs being on too much and numerous devices on standby

In terms of the fridge freezer question, I did further research on this. UK shops are pretty good now so I looked for a Fridge Freezer with an A rating that we would go for if we changed. This worked out at 307Kwh per year. Our current fridge freezer is 689Kwh per year so we could save
382Kwh per year changing it. However that would only save (7.48x382)= approx £28. The new fridge freezer would cost £250 so would take roughly 8 years to recoup the cost for. So for this device I know i'm spending £28 to much a year but its not economic to change it. Next device smile

** gas central heating roughly £36 a month **

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« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2009, 01:31:56 PM »

I'm not sure if they do this in the UK, but check to see if there's some incentives or discounts provided by government or something on any energy efficient appliances you might want to replace.  Probably not since we do things differently, but here in California there are a ton of tax breaks, discounts, or just plain money back offers for energy efficient appliances.
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« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2009, 01:41:19 PM »

Tals, I don't have figures right now but I think you pay significantly less per KWh than I do, actually.  Of course, that just makes your monthly bill all the more insane. slywink

And with central heating powered by gas, too, I just can't think how on Earth you're spending so much on electricity.  Can it really be down to three PCs?
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Tals
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« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2009, 01:43:58 PM »

Quote from: Huw the Poo on January 11, 2009, 01:41:19 PM

Tals, I don't have figures right now but I think you pay significantly less per KWh than I do, actually.  Of course, that just makes your monthly bill all the more insane. slywink

And with central heating powered by gas, too, I just can't think how on Earth you're spending so much on electricity.  Can it really be down to three PCs?

Yep we're with Scottish Power - worth having a check, obviously we're on a higher useage scheme hence the lower price (some units are higher smile)

tbh i'm not sure why the bill is so high - it does seem massive hence why i'm doing this exercise, got to be leaking it somewhere frown

Tals

** Huw do you still play PC games, been looking for PC gamers in UK frown **
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« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2009, 01:51:40 PM »

Quote from: Turtle on January 11, 2009, 01:31:56 PM

I'm not sure if they do this in the UK, but check to see if there's some incentives or discounts provided by government or something on any energy efficient appliances you might want to replace.  Probably not since we do things differently, but here in California there are a ton of tax breaks, discounts, or just plain money back offers for energy efficient appliances.

In the UK they have a measuring scheme A,B,C,D,E where A is very efficient and E is not smile All appliances sold have to show what category there device falls under and this is provided by a third party agency. So no incentives but it does mean device consumption is quite transparent. Not sure how other countries do this. There are schemes for improving house efficiency like insulation etc.

A further clarification we use no electrical heating appliances at all - i.e no fan heaters etc. We do have an old cooker which i'm starting to wonder could be the issue but its got to be taking big bucks to have an effect all by itself frown
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Huw the Poo
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« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2009, 01:52:52 PM »

Well, we have plenty of lights in the house (although most of them are now power-savers), separate fridge and freezer, Wii which is always on standby, Xbox, PC, things that are constantly being charged, washing machine that's on every other day, etc.  And as I said, we spend in three months what you spend in one.  Our central heating is gas too.  I really don't know what could be using so much power in your house though, it's not exactly one of my strong points.

(Yes I do still play PC games, Bioshock and Stalker at the moment smile )
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« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2009, 02:05:27 PM »

Quote from: Huw the Poo on January 11, 2009, 01:52:52 PM

Well, we have plenty of lights in the house (although most of them are now power-savers), separate fridge and freezer, Wii which is always on standby, Xbox, PC, things that are constantly being charged, washing machine that's on every other day, etc.  And as I said, we spend in three months what you spend in one.  Our central heating is gas too.  I really don't know what could be using so much power in your house though, it's not exactly one of my strong points.

(Yes I do still play PC games, Bioshock and Stalker at the moment smile )

Just had a quick gander at our bill and we use 788Kw's a month. If anyone else has a chance to see there's it would be useful to know what others are doing. To do this I just went between 2 confirmed readings on our meter and divided by the number of months between - obviously doesn't take into account seasonal variations but tbh if its not being used for heating that shouldn't vary that much

Tals

** edit the pcs will be interesting - 3 Pcs on a lot when we are at home equals in my view 1.3Kw per hour, maybe less if watts don't = Kws smile. Thats 8p an hour. So over the weekend all 3 are on 9 to 9 so 24 hours. Then during the week 8 - 11 = 3 hours x 5.

So 24x1.3+11=  a week x 4 (per month) = 170.  So the PC's alone cost £13 a month of that,

Be interesting when I get the tester proper on it
« Last Edit: January 11, 2009, 02:13:50 PM by Tals » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2009, 02:17:04 PM »

Tals - just found our last bill and it seems we use an average of 240 units a month.
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« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2009, 02:41:41 PM »

Quote from: Huw the Poo on January 11, 2009, 02:17:04 PM

Tals - just found our last bill and it seems we use an average of 240 units a month.

Jesus wept - do you guys know what electricity is smile

Looking at my guestimate of 800Kwh a month I think that should be closer to £60 a month, so i'm beginning to think the provider has miscalculated the dd - but need to look closer smile
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« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2009, 03:30:58 PM »

Mine was 150 USD last month.. In the summer it goes up to 200 sometimes. Of course I live in New Jersey which is the land where reason forgot. This is a very small house and we don't have much running. My wife is home all day though which I guess might have something to do with it.
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« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2009, 03:36:07 PM »

Quote from: Octavious230 on January 11, 2009, 03:30:58 PM

Mine was 150 USD last month.. In the summer it goes up to 200 sometimes. Of course I live in New Jersey which is the land where reason forgot. This is a very small house and we don't have much running. My wife is home all day though which I guess might have something to do with it.

I think you guys use Water heaters more than we do which can add to the cost? Our heating tends to cover those.
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« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2009, 03:51:46 PM »

Quote from: Octavious230 on January 11, 2009, 03:30:58 PM

Mine was 150 USD last month.. In the summer it goes up to 200 sometimes. Of course I live in New Jersey which is the land where reason forgot. This is a very small house and we don't have much running. My wife is home all day though which I guess might have something to do with it.

Ahh, good old PSE&G?
173.57 here....$51.87 Gas

I've been getting in the habit off turning off all of my PC's except one that is usually doing something all day and it helps.
I've also got a surge protector connected to my 360, Wi, TV, cable, etc.. that I can turn off with one click.
Electric bill used to be higher. I think it peaked at around $350 once...
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« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2009, 05:23:16 PM »

abnd I thought my $34 a month was annoying...
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« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2009, 05:50:08 PM »

I just looked and last month I used 242KWh for a $66 bill on my 2 bedroom apartment. 

I still consider that high since I tend to unplug appliances that aren't being used (microwave, toaster oven, Wii, etc), keep my heat pretty low and spend 10-12 hours a day at work during the week.
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« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2009, 09:58:59 PM »

Our municipal power plant delivers the lowest rates in our area. We still pay around $110 per month, but we make little effort to conserve electricity because the potential savings are so minor (except when my wife is away from home; she is unaware that lights have an "off" position). I did convert our lighting to compact fluorescent, but the cost savings was unnoticeable. Overall, our usage stays pretty stable while the cost slowly rises from year to year.
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Octavious230
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« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2009, 10:28:36 PM »

Quote from: Punisher on January 11, 2009, 03:51:46 PM

Quote from: Octavious230 on January 11, 2009, 03:30:58 PM

Mine was 150 USD last month.. In the summer it goes up to 200 sometimes. Of course I live in New Jersey which is the land where reason forgot. This is a very small house and we don't have much running. My wife is home all day though which I guess might have something to do with it.

Ahh, good old PSE&G?
173.57 here....$51.87 Gas

I've been getting in the habit off turning off all of my PC's except one that is usually doing something all day and it helps.
I've also got a surge protector connected to my 360, Wi, TV, cable, etc.. that I can turn off with one click.
Electric bill used to be higher. I think it peaked at around $350 once...
Jersey Central Power and Light. I honestly can't figure out why we use so much. We generally turn everything off that we aren't using and mostly are in the same room.. Sometimes I think that there's a wire running to my neighbors house or something. slywink
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« Reply #18 on: January 12, 2009, 04:25:11 PM »

Last months utility bill featured $320 electrical, $42 gas. We are not allowed to burn most days here so no alternative but electric heating and while it will warm a little during the day it will drop into the thirties during the evenings.

California does have expensive electricity.
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« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2009, 04:31:54 PM »

Quote from: Tals on January 11, 2009, 11:20:50 AM

i'm now looking at an incredible monthly electricty bill of £100! $153 for my american friends smile

I often pay double that in the summer. Actually I think I'm pretty close to that in the winter. Everything but the water heater is electric.
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« Reply #20 on: January 12, 2009, 04:37:26 PM »

Quote from: Octavious230 on January 11, 2009, 10:28:36 PM

Jersey Central Power and Light. I honestly can't figure out why we use so much. We generally turn everything off that we aren't using and mostly are in the same room.. Sometimes I think that there's a wire running to my neighbors house or something. slywink


The refrigerator is the biggest electricity hog in your typical house. Maybe you could check that the door is sealing properly, or try turning it down a notch. Ours is wheezing toward retirement after 20+ years of constant use; its replacement will be Energy Star rated.
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« Reply #21 on: January 12, 2009, 05:25:03 PM »

Quote from: Ironrod on January 12, 2009, 04:37:26 PM

Quote from: Octavious230 on January 11, 2009, 10:28:36 PM

Jersey Central Power and Light. I honestly can't figure out why we use so much. We generally turn everything off that we aren't using and mostly are in the same room.. Sometimes I think that there's a wire running to my neighbors house or something. slywink


The refrigerator is the biggest electricity hog in your typical house. Maybe you could check that the door is sealing properly, or try turning it down a notch. Ours is wheezing toward retirement after 20+ years of constant use; its replacement will be Energy Star rated.

That is the next thing we will be looking at - right now we have a 15 or 16 year old refrigerator/ freezer which we were going to let die naturally, but we may not wait for that.  We are also going to be replacing most extension cords with electric "trees" with the switch to shut down everything connected to it.  That will take care of 24-hour "ON" items, like chargers and stand-by lights for: PSP, 2 DSs, Wii, 2 PS2s, 2 cell phones, and probably many others we haven't even thought about. I need to look at the two 360 power bricks, I can't remember if they stay lit while the units are off.  I'm trying to remember to shut down my laptop every night, regardless of how many windows are on the taskbar that I'm afraid I'll forget about. Next will be the PC and two other laptops that are in  perpetual sleep mode.

Btw, don't move to certain towns in western Massachusetts (northeast USA) - there are two electric companies, one is very expensive and the other, though cheap, is only located in a few tiny areas.  Guess which one we have?  Last month's bill was about $225 - don't even ask what the oil bill was (for heat and hot water), there aren't enough zeros in the world to properly express that, or swear words, for that matter.   icon_eek
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Tals
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« Reply #22 on: January 12, 2009, 10:23:01 PM »

Quote from: Ironrod on January 12, 2009, 04:37:26 PM

Quote from: Octavious230 on January 11, 2009, 10:28:36 PM

Jersey Central Power and Light. I honestly can't figure out why we use so much. We generally turn everything off that we aren't using and mostly are in the same room.. Sometimes I think that there's a wire running to my neighbors house or something. slywink


The refrigerator is the biggest electricity hog in your typical house. Maybe you could check that the door is sealing properly, or try turning it down a notch. Ours is wheezing toward retirement after 20+ years of constant use; its replacement will be Energy Star rated.

I just tested the fridge. That worked out at

6.55kwh per month, compared to 56.69kwh of the fridge freezer. The main difference appears that the fridge freezer's motor is running almost constantly whereas in the fridges case it was only running for 7 hours of the 33 hours.

Now if I translate that to a fridge freezer in terms of running time then I get a much lower expected kwh for the year for a new model. Still only means a £45 saving but interesting. Would love to know if any of you have their own freezer kwh to hand

** interestingly a quick gander at the meter whilst I do the 2 pcs downstairs. Early indications are that on standby the 2 computers use as much power as the fridge freezer! Way more than I had imagined, will post more. I need to get a switch for my pc upstairs if that is the case.
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« Reply #23 on: January 12, 2009, 11:04:43 PM »

My last bill was 324.00

Im clearly out of control...
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« Reply #24 on: January 12, 2009, 11:16:55 PM »

I got a water bill for $1132 for the last two months.  icon_eek  The water company did some work right out front of our house and ruptured their own pipe. Almost 60 days worth of pretty substantial leakage.
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« Reply #25 on: January 13, 2009, 04:53:11 AM »

Quote from: Ironrod on January 12, 2009, 04:37:26 PM

Quote from: Octavious230 on January 11, 2009, 10:28:36 PM

Jersey Central Power and Light. I honestly can't figure out why we use so much. We generally turn everything off that we aren't using and mostly are in the same room.. Sometimes I think that there's a wire running to my neighbors house or something. slywink


The refrigerator is the biggest electricity hog in your typical house. Maybe you could check that the door is sealing properly, or try turning it down a notch. Ours is wheezing toward retirement after 20+ years of constant use; its replacement will be Energy Star rated.

The refrigerator is pretty crappy and old. It came with the house so god knows how old it really is...
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« Reply #26 on: January 13, 2009, 05:12:56 AM »

Holy F I just checked and the fridge I have is rated to use 712 kwh per year. I found some online that are around 350-400 kwh per year. I think I'm going fridge shopping soon. Where the hell did they find this thing?  mad
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« Reply #27 on: January 13, 2009, 06:24:16 AM »

Quote from: Octavious230 on January 13, 2009, 05:12:56 AM

Holy F I just checked and the fridge I have is rated to use 712 kwh per year. I found some online that are around 350-400 kwh per year. I think I'm going fridge shopping soon. Where the hell did they find this thing?  mad

Well don't panic yet smile

I'd get a power monitor and then run it over 24 hours to see how much Kwh it actually uses, mine is on the whole time (inefficient) so is using way more power than it should. Still not enough on our electricity bill to justify changing it. The fridge uses way more as it is turning off.

Figures back from 2 pcs on standby

Kwh per month 19, price per day 6.5p. Not huge but unnecessary so I can stop that one by having a remote switch

Tals
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« Reply #28 on: January 13, 2009, 02:16:50 PM »

The thing needs to be replaced anyway it's a piece of crap. Thinking that it sucks AND is causing me to use more energy is not cool. Not cool at all.
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« Reply #29 on: January 13, 2009, 02:37:31 PM »

$400-600 in the winter. $600-700 in the summer, which in Florida is basically May through November.

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« Reply #30 on: January 13, 2009, 04:10:00 PM »

Wow, I thought our $110 per month for both electricity and water (they are merged into one bill in our town) was a lot.
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« Reply #31 on: January 13, 2009, 07:49:09 PM »

Quote from: Octavious230 on January 13, 2009, 02:16:50 PM

The thing needs to be replaced anyway it's a piece of crap. Thinking that it sucks AND is causing me to use more energy is not cool. Not cool at all.

Yep unfortunately it appears that replacing a device will rarely get your cost back. But lot sof other reasons to change and the saving can be used as a form of justification.

I have my action plan smile

1. Make sure lights not in use are off
2. Lights at night (we usually have a couple on are off
3. 2 lamps my wife uses downstairs as security and also for lighting I have tightened the time on to be closer to when we are around. Also moved stereo to the lamp switch so its only on standby when we are around
4. children's pcs, wii+tv, childrens room 1 and 2 + lounge all to be covered by remote on/off so we can turn off a large amount of equipment when required
5. Got an intellipanel for my pc so when it turns off, it turns the screen, printer and speakers off as well

I need to look further as we don't have many more devices so a lot of it could be just poor light control and standby devices
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« Reply #32 on: January 14, 2009, 07:24:23 PM »

remember that anything electrical you have plugged in now tends to use power even in an off mode...it is recomended you actually turn things off with a power strip...
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« Reply #33 on: January 14, 2009, 09:28:38 PM »

The power requiements for a remote plug are less than 1w which is acceptable for the ease and control
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