Sunday, April 22, 2012

Watts Up?


My electricity bill is $105/month.  We use about 600kwh over a month, which is billed at an average rate of about $.16 per kilowatt hour here in California.  The first 360 kwh are billed at a rate of about $.10, but this jumps to $.30 after some hours are used.  It goes much higher if you keep using power.

The challenge for me is that my wife and I live by ourselves and really don't think of ourselves as having that many gadgets.  The two televisions are off and unplugged most of the time.  We have two hot water pots for making tea that are always on, and there is a computer server, a backup system and the like.  The meter above shows the usage of the computer rack, which is 158 watts.  This can't nearly account for a 1 kwatt average usage rate.   A low power server might pay for itself.  There is a small outside freezer that uses 70 watts continuously.  It is perhaps 25 years old, but doesn't seem to be the culprit.  I have a laptop that connects to a monitor and a small Bose speaker system.  This system uses 120 watts when fully on. Not sure what else to check.  The doorbell?


11 comments:

Rummuser said...

A faulty meter? That was the culprit in my case, and when it was changed, I was even able to get credit with retrospective effect!

Vid said...

Maybe your neighbors are stealing your wifi. (sarcasm)

Looney said...

@Rummuser and @Vid, I have figured it out! There is a secret colony of space aliens underneath the San Francisco Bay Area who are secretly siphoning off power!

Inklings said...

Are you sure they are underneath? Last time I was in SF it seemed like there were quite a few alien acting ones walking around on top. :0) JK

Dee Ice Hole said...

Do you have an electric hot water heater? They use tons of energy.

Looney said...

@Inklings, I certainly must humble myself. Your correction is much appreciated.

@Dee Ice Hole, we have a gas water heater, so this shouldn't be the problem, unless the controls and lighter are using a lot of power.

Max Coutinho said...

Looney,

I agree with Rummy: a faulty meter maybe the culprit.
But Vid's suggestion is not wild either: it happens a lot.

Is electricity in Cali produced nuclearly? In Portugal it is still produced by water, coal, wind and some other sources which makes electricity extremely expensive. In France, electricity is nuclear and it is cheap.

Cheers

Dee Ice Hole said...

I looked up my bill after reading this and you are paying at least 2.5 times what I do until I turn on the air conditioning and then I pay a grundle---happy to pay it and happy to have it to pay.

Looney said...

@Max, we do have some nuke energy, but it is a long way from here. Much of the power is piped in from Arizona, Nevada and Utah. The environmentalists only permit "green" energy, so power plants are built just across the border.

Looney said...

@Dee Ice Hole, I am wondering what my bill will look like when the air conditioner goes on too!

Max Coutinho said...

Looney,

Environmentalists are the main reason why we do not have nuclear power...