what's your electricity usage?


Senior Member
with all the gadgets we have running in our houses, i thought i'd ask what your electicity consumption is. for most of the last 2 or 3 years, we've been running at or near 300% of baseline. (although, baseline for our area is a paltry 12-17 kwh/day!) i used to joke w/ a friend of mine (also an automation junkie), that at any time our houses could be raided by DEA based on our electricity bill ( ie http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/metro/2..._7m26wrong.html )

this past summer, i started on a power reduction project. i swapped out a bunch of incandescent & halogen lights for CF, consolidated servers (now 3 instead of 4), sprinkled more occupancy sensors around the house to shut off lights, swapped out the standard thermostats with some ones with contact closure setbacks and really scripted the hvac stuff in my automation controller, etc. we've now gone from a peak of 37 kwh/day in june to 25 kwh/day last month and on a same month, previous year basis, we are now a bit lower and almost on par with our usage 3-4 years ago.

i've attached a graph of our usage since we moved into our house in '99. for context, we have a gas water heater, furnace & range. everything else is electric.


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I just happened to open my electricity bill right before reading this post. My bill shows my average/day - they have me at 25.69 for 2005. I expect that number to drop next year now that I've automated my HVAC (just finished 2 of 3 zones). I have a spreadsheet that shows usage in 2005 so I can compare month by month in 2006.
Wow, I'm at an average of 79.3 KWH per day in 2005... and that's after switching to all CFL and fluorescent lighting. Plus, I'm usually the only one home!!!!

Now that I know how bad off I am, I guess I better start looking at where it is all going. I only run 4 PCs and one monitor and I keep the T-stats around 66 degrees in the winter. I wonder what the basline is for my area?
My wife just told me that it's about 15,000 KWH for last year, so that would be about 41KWH/day if my high school math is still any good. I run about 7 PC's continiously, a home theater, and all the HA hardware. But I do have a natural gas based hot water heater, furnace and stove (dryer is electric).
i'm down to only 2 servers running continuously now. one small pc runs while i'm @ work only. our main desktop stays on all the time but goes to hibernate when we go to sleep & wakes up before everyone gets up in the morning.

i still have 2 old vcrs i use as demodulators to get composite video into my HA server. i need to get rid of those. that's another 12 watts each.

i have 2 directivos that each use about 26 watts all the time. what's stupid about them is if you put them into "standby" mode, they still use 26 watts each!?!?

i have a 26" lcd tv that uses a whopping 140 watts. that's surprisingly more than the 40 watts my 10 year old 30" glass tube tv uses.

i've been using a kill-a-watt meter to measure energy consumption for a device.
There was an interesting article in Home Theater Magazine in January 06 edition - had a little chart showing power consumption for some common household electronics. Here are the highlights...

- LCD TV - ~100-200 watt hours
- Plasma TV - ~200 - 300 watt hours
- DVD player - 30 wh
- HD Tuner with DVR - 30
- amp - 64
- power conditioner - 10-13
- home PC (playing game) - 328
- PC (normal activity) - 84
- 19 CRT monitor - 85-100
- portable fan - 69
upstatemike said:
Three refrigerators. The beer frig is pretty old but I'm not giving that up!
say a fridge uses 600 kwh/year, that's only 1.6 kwh/day per fridge...

do you do a lot laundry & use the clothes dryer a lot? do you have 2 billion wall warts plugged in? :)
No (I hate doing laundry and try to go at least 2 weeks between laundry days) and yes, 2 billion is probably about right for wall warts. Actually a quick count is closer to 75 wall warts but only about 25 are on all the time. The other 50 or so just operate 12V relays to indicate when a light switch is on so they are usually not powered up.
I have 1 fridge and 1 freezer, so don't think your fridge is part of the problem. I see you mention water heaterS, if you are a National Grid customer, you are going to get really upset when you get your next gas bill, price of natural gas is going up big time here in Central NY.

As for power consumption, the only thing I can think of is lighting. I really don't have that many lights (maybe less than 5 bulbs are lit at the same time, in the entire house, except when working in my tool shop or garage), and I use regular bulbs everywhere (about 60W).
I am less worried about the two water heaters than I am about the 3 furnaces!

I have already been very aggressive on lighting conversions but I may have to take another look. The kitchen stays on most of the time (6 40-watt fluorescent tubes) and my desk/media area is also on most of the day (10 23-watt CFL plus a 200-watt fixture light) but those areas are used a lot and it will be hard to cut back on them.

Big problem if I forget to turn off the basement lights (17 40-watt tubes and 60 22-watt circline fixtures) but I have Stargate bug me every 15 minutes if those are left on.

Maybe I'll have to cut an hour or so off the outdoor lighting in the evening and drop the temps down below 60 degrees!