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For a Bit of Colored Ribbon


#21

I think the graphs are most interesting, they tell a lot about why your house is less efficient than your neighbours.

Check out that electric bill, your neighbours graphs are obviously strongly correlating with the sunlight cycle. Longer days, less electricity. Your house has very weak correlation with the daylight, this means that changing lightbulbs won’t change a thing. You bought something in january last year, and it’s increased your electricity consumption permanently with 15-20%!
Your computers are dominant in your graph I bet, time to replace that server by a Pi cluster.

And the gas bill, it looks like it’s a factor difference with other houses, you can’t fix that by getting a few % more efficient water heater. You could fix it by either reducing the size of your house or insulating it better. (do you really need every room in your house to be warm all the time?) You mention thermostat in singular…

Hope it helps! Good luck in the war :slight_smile:


#22

BTW, if you want to read something positive in the graph, look at the delta electricity between september and january, and compare it to your neighbours. You most definitely have a more efficient lighting setup than even your most efficient neighbour. Well either that or you just stay up late and never rise early >_> .


#23

2 things

  • get a energy meter and see where the power is going… its probably going into electronics like servers/NAS/routers/printers. This is where it goes in my house.

  • babies/kids require a lot of energy for cleaning

I’m in the same boat, we have a new house with 6" walls, insulated slab, cfl/led lights everywhere and my bill looks like yours.


#24

I’m really surprised you blindly optimised “things that use energy” without looking at what actually uses energy in your house.

Think of premature optimisation and profiling in programming. The same principles apply to optimising energy usage. As mentioned before, get an energy meter and measure the things (don’t forget the energy use of things on standby - having them on 24 hours a day can make a huge difference). And just reading the graphs of usage distribution throughout the day, night, or over periods of weeks, months and years can tell you so much already (pretty much everything that can be said about the graphs and their implications has already been said by the other comments, so I won’t repeat them). Again, it’s just like profiling a program.


#25

Hey Jeff,
You should consider installing solar panels. The more you draw, the faster they pay themselves off. Then you’ll really like your graph.


#26

I have been looking at getting a Powerhouse Dynamics eMonitor for my house, http://amzn.com/B006Z5OKW8

You hook it up to each circuit coming out of your breaker box, and it allows you to see a circuit-by-circuit realtime energy usage in your house. That way you can see what areas you should really focus on in terms of energy savings. Also when things go wrong, say the fridge is left open, you can set up alerts for over usage on circuits to let you know (I think thats a feature)


#27

@MattBrown <- This! I’ve been tearing my hair out looking for a decent candelabra LED.


#28

You’re not going to win this one, none of us will. It’s our computers. I do think you have a heat leak problem of some kind, though.


#29

I use below average. Why? Because we’re cheap and don’t mind being cold in the winter and hot in the summer. I believe we use 1/3 of the energy other customers use.

Use electric blankets to warm the bed up before going to bed. Don’t heat the bedroom. Use a heater to heat the bathroom before use. Wear coats. Etc.


#30

Fridge, Heater, Washing machine, Dryer, Cooking cover 90% of your energy consumption.

Changing light fixtures will not register on the meter.


#31

Two things:

I agree with others that have pointed out that you run all kinds of computer electronics and probably work at home like many of us while many of your neighbors aren’t home during the day. I wouldn’t factor in the kids because many of the comparable homes probably have kids,too.

But, what I would really love to see is a graph that shows when all those upgrades you made – the $200 thermostat, the $25 LED light bulbs, etc. – will eventually pay off!


#32

I guess your next step is insulation: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/11/18/first-understand-then-destroy-your-home-heating-bill/ (Some might say I’m enabling you in your need to win, but I like to think of it as helping you to win. LOL)


#33

What would Bill Karwin do?

Most of the things Jeff has tried (light bulbs) seem like micro-optimization theater when compared to architecture, insulation, appliances, computers, and behavior that relies less upon electricity.

Just as in code optimization, and as others have said: measure! Kill-A-Watts are great.


#34

Your meter is probably faulty :slight_smile:


#35

I had similar consumption issues and was doing similar things (light bulb replacement, etc) to try and combat it. Then I replaced my water heater and my energy bill dropped by almost 50%. You might check that…

Oh, and for everyone mentioning the Kill-A-Watts, SURELY he used his around his house already

http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2005/08/why-estimate-when-you-can-measure.html

…right Jeff?


#37

Start with trying to beat yourself, not your neighbors. Compare this year’s bill with last year’s. If you see improvement you’re heading in the right direction. The average consumer does not exist, you can only hope to improve your own practices.


#38

@Cmcculloh Jeff directly mentions upgrading his water heater in this post.


#39

I’m wondering how much energy and other resources have been wasted when producing your Nest and LED bulbs. In fact, replacing working appliances is not always a gain. And how long will it take until the saved energy will amortize the costs of the bulbs?


#40

The bulk of that energy usage is going to be all the laundry for the kids and hot water for their baths.

I’d be interested in finding some candelabra bulbs which are aesthetically acceptable for our chandeliers - please post links. I have been unable to find any.


#42

Hey Jeff, while I admire the chase, I think you’ve got too much emphasis on lighting and electronic devices. Most of your energy is leaked out of your walls, windows, and ceiling. You really want to look at your insulation, windows, doors, etc. I used to obsess over even air leaking out of outlets, but there is much more bang for buck and effect in focusing on the structure itself.