Faulty Appliance Hunting
Energy monitoring does more then just show you real-time energy usage. It has the ability to show you how much each of your appliances is using. Small spikes can be attributed to difference appliances around the house, the largest spikes will be from Air conditioning, while smaller spikes can be from microwaves or other appliances. The two appliances I want to look at are the Hot water heater and the refrigerator.
According to Public Service of New Hampshire the average side by side refrigerator uses 186 kWhs each month of electricity, depending on your rate, but let’s assume $0.14 a kWh, this could costs you $312.48 a year on your electricity bill. Using Home Energy monitoring you can see your individual appliance’s usage by looking at the spikes, this way you can pin-point which device is using electricity and can decide how to take action. How is this useful?
Let’s assume that you analyze your usage once a month, you ad up the spikes and see that your refrigerator has used 223 kWhs. This means that your refrigerator is running at 80% efficiency, it is costing you an extra $62.50 a year! Believe it or not, this is a small problem and an easy fix. The big problems occur when the compressors within your older refrigerators are beginning to become old, they fire on every few hours and consume huge amounts of electricity. If this is the case your refrigerator could start using 279 kWhs a month, or 50% efficiency, costing you an extra $156.24. Would it be cheaper to hire someone to repair this unit? In the long run, yes. Would you have known otherwise that this unit was breaking? Probably not, and that is the beauty of energy monitoring.
Another example, the average two zone hot water heater uses 122 kWhs a month, costing you $204.96 a year. How does real-time monitoring help you with this expense? Since the energy monitor runs while you sleep you can see if you hot water heater is kicking in during the night. If this is the case you may want to consider adding more insulation, or turning down the temperature. There are many different solutions out there, similar to these, that could easily save you 15% or more on your electric bills.