Friday, October 25, 2019

October power use game!

Forsyth MO. - As the month of October 2019 drew to a close, it had turned out to be pretty typical one with the average daily temps running at about 61 degrees.

The average historical temp for that month was 57°F which was also a temperature that I could live without using the furnace! As a result, I was also winning a game I like to play each month - Beating the previous year's power use! Now, I realize I can't do that every month, but when I am looking at just a $65 electric bill, it didn't much matter either way....

At left is a graph of the months highs and lows as compared to last year. All in all, the area was averaging about three degrees warmer than  normal, which was mostly attributable to the slightly higher nighttime temps (Global warming?). This was a good thing as it kept my 1100 square foot condo pretty comfortable.

The daily graph of power used (in kilowatts hours) versus last year helped to validate that low electric bill.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Our Presidential choices are getting pretty clear!

Another slapped together work - I did want to draw some attention to candidate Warren, however, she's probably the best the Democrats currently have to offer... Sadly, she's only slightly less insane than those she's running against on the that ticket.... [Background song credit to Veela and that Mic Jagger guy.]

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Tracking power use!

Forsyth MO. - Ever since I purchased a Sense power tracking device to replace my older TED unit, I've been on a crusade to save power each month. I track this effort, every month, by graphing the power I was using in kilowatt hours each day. Last year, in October, I averaged about 15 kWh's while this year, I was holding the line at 13 kWh's! But, was that power use going to hold up in 2019?

Looking at the temperatures in 2018, you can see that things took sort of a mini dive towards the end of October in 2018. Interestingly, while the 30 year average high and low was 70°F and 44°F respectively for October, I came in at a tad warmer at 70°F and 51°F. (That averaged out to 60°F which was about 3 degrees warmer than the normal of 57°F).  My best guess is that I will end up at about the same level which will translate into a $66 electric bill from Liberty Utilities.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

My Electric bill sucked!

Forsyth MO. - It being winter and all, I'd expect my electric bill from Liberty - a Canadian owned company would be higher than on other more warm months. My bill is split to include the last half of one month and the first half of the next (if that appears to be a half-assed way to do things, it is). This money was to be billed in the middle of February 2019 and so helped to keep the customers somewhat confused...

So, in the later part of December 2018, things were pretty consistent while the first half of January could better be described as chaotic! So, what gives? Well, it all come down to a question of the perception of cold. Foe me, anytime the average temperature for the day is at or above 40 degrees, I tend to leave the furnace off and survive suing a pair of space heaters. When, however, the temps wander into the lower regions, I will most always kick on the furnace and suffer the much higher usage of power. That's pretty much what did happen in the first two weeks of January and I can tell you that things did not improve after the 15th! My bill of $133 was figured on a total KwH amount of 884 multiplied by .13006 cents with an added $18 charge to cover 'use fees' and ADP or additional dealer profit. And you know what? I could live with that excepting that the monies all go to Canada...

Monday, December 10, 2018

Whole house versus single room heating!

Dec 2018 average temps vs last four years averages combined
Data valid for Forsyth, Mo.
Taney County MO. - After getting through the first third of December in a somewhat fine style, it was becoming apparent that my cold weather strategy of heating just one room in my condominium was bearing some savings in heating costs. Following are the current temperature and power use averages:

December 2018 - (Days 1 through 10)

Average temperature: 39.0°F (versus a historical average of 35°F)

Average power used per day: 22.7 KwH's

At the current rate and assuming that the temps continued to hover at close to normal averages, I could expect to expend about 682 kilowatt hours of electricity. With the current rate (Liberty Utilities) at .13006 per KwH, that would result in a 31 day total of $88.70. Then after the COOP finishes packing in additional charges of about $18, I would have a bill equaling about $107 for the month.

Now, had I tried to warm the entire 900 square foot condo, I would have averaged about 39 KwH's each day for a total bill of $175! Thus, I will have saved about $68 by choosing my plan of selective heating.

OK, I get you all. Sixty or seventy bucks ain't all that much of a savings. However, it will be exactly that amount of money that the Electric COOP out of Canada will not be getting out of me!

About that graphic on top. After taking the average of the last four years (2014-2017) and then plotting those against what is happening in 2018, it was pretty clear to see the days were cooler than had been the case before. That trend looked to hold true through at least the 22nd day of the month too. Last year I consumed 829 KwH's at a cost of ~$126. With me coming in significantly below that figure, not only was I saving some energy, but I was doing so in colder temps than had be the case some past years! That was good news to me.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Massive power outages strike SW MO!

Liberty Utilities of Canada outage map
Forsyth Mo. - Whenever a power outage affects over seven thousand paying customers for any period of time, (this one lasting over two hours), you can expect that companies like Empire/Liberty a foreign owned power coop might receive a little flack from me, as a result. This outage affected approximately 7800 customers with the true cause being unreported as of this post. (The best thinking was that much of the problems were caused by high winds). And, while this author does not sanction rumors including; upper level mismanagement, antiquated infrastructure or poor maintenance procedures... He does feel inclined to think that where the power is found to be out, that there are likely problems to be found.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Summer time power use for 2018!

Forsyth MO: It was august the 12th and so I was arguably in late summer. I thought it might be of historical interest (at least to myself) to take a gander at the power use curves I was experiencing.

Following are the ground parameters:

Space to be cooled = 900 square feet with a volume of about 7,200 cubic feet.
3.5 ton 2 stage AC unit set to maintain 81F.
Blinds were generally closed.
Normal power use items always on - Computer equipment, fans, flat screen TV
Power appliances cyclical: water heater, refrigerator
Occasional use: Convection stove top, microwave, washer and dryer

The following scatter chart reflected energy consumed as compared to the average outdoor temperatures over a period of 8 days where the daily highs ran a gauntlet from 88 up to 96 degrees. Nighttime temperatures averaged from 60 to 68F. In other words a pretty typical period with partly cloudy skies thrown in for good measure.

Click to enlarge
Understanding that my baseline of power use (ie the average consumed with no AC used) was at about 14 kilowatt hours a day, the trend line that was generated using a scatter chart (avg temp vs kwh) correlated rather well. My average daily use of 25.5 kWh's indicated that my electric bill was going to be ((25.5*30)*.13006) +15 or $115. Not too bad as the average internal temp in the condo ranged from 81 to 84 degrees. Note that whenever the average daily temp drops below 74 degrees, I normally have the AC turned off and so follow a power use level that results in electric bills below $100.