Saturday, April 30, 2011

The cost of careless dryer use

Here's a great example of what happens when you run a large load during on-peak and mid-peak periods, like say, the dryer.

If I download this data in Excel format, which the HydroOne portal offers, I can rearrange the numbers to see the result of different scenarios. Let's suppose the three dryer runs had all been done during off-peak instead. The savings amount to about 53¢. Repeating this "mistake" every week would cost us an additional $27 per year.

Doesn't seem like much to one person, but consider the impact if everyone in Ontario ran their dryer like this. How many more powerplants, windmills, or solar panels do we need?

Next we will explore the savings of gas dryers vs. electric.

Consumption thus far

So now that I've had access to this data source for the last two weeks, I've noticed that the data typically lags two or three days behind. Today is April 30 and I don't have April 29 or even the 28th available to me yet. This makes it harder for me to see the results of little tweaks I do in the house because after a few days go by, I tend to forget about what exactly I did and when I did it.

PS, it's obvious when we did laundry, and also obvious which days there wasn't really anybody home throughout the day. Keep in mind we aren't paying TOU rates yet, so we aren't taking care of when exactly the dryer gets run.

Friday, April 22, 2011

$ and ¢ - Saving with TOU

Let's look at this graph again, this time with dollar amounts included. At this point, these numbers represent what I would be paying under Time-Of-Use rates. On April 15, we had twice as much on peak consumption as April 14, yet the total amount of energy consumed on each day is about the same. The cost difference between the two is a whopping 10 cents.

One of the huge challenges with Energy Management and saving money is that it takes a long time to see results. Saving 10¢ a day doesn't sound like much, but multiply it by 365 days a year and it totals $36.50, which is 3% of a $1200 annual electricity bill. If I told a commercial client they could reduce their annual electric bill by 3%, I think they would be interested in hearing more. Unfortunately, these graphs do not put that into perspective.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

TOU Rates are here - for me, again, that is.

After moving last June, I've missed being able to see my daily and hourly consumption trends that I had at my previous home. Now, I have this data again as Hydro One continues their province-wide roll out of TOU rates to those customers that are within reach of data collection points.

I've been anxious to see what my night time base load is, what with even more electronic devices in a larger home. So far, looks like I'm at around 260 to 350 watts. Not much worse than my previous home which was around 200, especially considering we added a chest freezer, but I definitely think there is room for improvement.