In practically every house in America, money is being wasted on energy consumption. Residential energy consumption is the third largest use of energy in the US. The average electricity spent per year is $1,368.36, and 35% of the power used is actually wasted. Up to 10% of your home’s power use comes from devices in standby mode, and it’s draining your money!
As you might expect, the appliances that use the most power are almost all major installations with a few unexpected appliances: a central air conditioner, electric water heater, portable heaters, and a 2 HP swimming pool pump. Cooling and heating use approximately 47% of energy use, water heater 14%, washer and dryer 13%, and refrigerator 4%. To find out how much each of these necessities are costing you, use the appliance energy calculator to figure out the cost. Understand the meaning of your electric bill. The Kilowatt Hour, shown as kWh, measures how much energy is used over time. The Kilowatt, kW, measures power and looks at how fast something is being used up. Measuring your household energy and power levels is as simple as comparing bills every month – but it won’t help you to isolate which devices or appliances are killing your bill.
What Do I Do?
Measure your energy consumption with Smart Meters, Home Monitoring Systems, Smart Plugs/Outlets, and Smart energy Apps. Smart meters are highly adept energy tracks that send wireless signals to show the amount of electricity being used. This makes it easy for power companies to check your energy usage from a distance and give you access to regular reports. With smart meters and certain “smart” appliances, you can use a tool called Direct Your Energy to report your energy data use by the appliance and monitor it by smartphone. You can also use the Energy Vampire Calculator to give a pretty good guess of how much energy and cost is being used up per year. For low-tech alternatives, look at your electric meter as you turn off circuits at the service panel one at a time. When you see a big change in speed at which the wheel is spinning or the digits are changing, you’ve found your culprit. Or, invest in an ammeter to measure the draw on each circuit. Through home energy monitoring systems, multiple software is integrated to deliver real-time statistics, recent usage history, fancy graphs, etc. about your energy usage to reduce overall electric consumption. These systems require a significant amount of setup, using a series of components that you install in your breaker box or around your house. Devices called the Blueline Powercost Monitor, the TED 5000, and the ECM-1240 Home Monitor are some of many that work to track energy usage. Sense is the first to offer a consumer product that reads incoming household power levels a million times per second which gives specific details to which appliances, even low-wattage ones, are operating in real time. The technology, used in Samsung’s S-Voice and Apple Siri, accurately separates 80% of home energy use to detect and display them on an app. It can take a month of observations before the technology fully identifies the issues. For whole-house monitoring tools, there are several systems that work with sensors on the lines that walk wireless to meters and gather lots of data. It is highly recommended to have an electrician install the more convoluted devices.
Get Smart-Plugs and Outlets Now
Smart-Plugs and Outlets are single-appliance energy monitoring and control devices. Their primary focus is more on app control and setting schedules, but not all smart plugs offer energy tracking. The advantage is that you can plug them in your appliance and see how much energy it uses; it’s ideal for people who rent and can’t rewire their breaker boxes for a full system. Devices like WeMo Insight Switch, Elgato Eve, and D-Link Wi-Fi Smart Plug offer services of monitoring energy use and tasks. For devices that plug into an electrical outlet, you can use a Kill A Watt or an equivalent device to monitor how much electricity the appliance is using. The P3 Kill A Watt EZ is available at Amazon and in stores like Home Depot as the simplest and least expensive model. The Kill A Watt Control monitor, a more advanced version, can be set with programs to turn on and off to save electricity on a pre-set schedule.
Smart apps attempt to measure home energy by either recording individual appliances or by tapping into your local smart meter readings. While these apps may be cost-effective compared to home monitoring systems, their data is rarely as accurate as other options. Some smart apps include the Energy Consumption Analyzer, Home Energy Saver, and Smappee Energy Monitor if you prefer going this route.
Invest in Efficient Appliances
Invest in efficient appliances or use simple tips for lowering energy use with your current appliances. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) created the Energy Labeling Rule, which requires manufacturers of certain appliances to disclose a product’s annual energy cost or efficiency information, and to report their findings to the FTC. The rating tells you how much electricity the appliance uses when it’s running. For appliances that fall within the EnergyGuide label requirements, the usage must be displayed visibly on the packing. When shopping for a new appliance, check the ENERGY STAR rating to see how it holds up against other machines in the same category. If you are using current appliances, adjust your thermostat, insulate your home, and unplug to cut your electricity bill and save your energy use.
Identify things you don’t use. One of the easiest ways to reduce wasted energy and money is to unplug “vampire electronics.” The worst vampire appliances and electronics are set-top boxes, computers, and printers. These devices suck power even when they are turned off. When you’re not using the internet, shut down your devices. Up to 80% of the power being used goes directly to maintaining your connection to the internet. If you don’t want to shut it down, disable your internet connection while you’re away. You can also add power strips between the outlet and devices to provide a one-stop power-off button. Some devices like Kill A Watt PS-10 and Save a Watt TV Standby Killer turn off power to devices that are in standby mode, saving you some useful energy.
Ready for Your Home Energy Audit?
At Frontline Electrical Services we love helping our customers feel safe and secure in their homes. If you are in the Benicia or Fairfield, California area, contact us today at at (800) 945-0268 (here is a map to us) to have your home’s wiring checked or to receive your free home energy consult where our techs analyze your electricity usage and give you the information you need to make sure your home is the most energy-efficient it can be! Remember, if it’s electrical, we do it!