Thursday, January 18, 2007

How to save and monitor your electric use

The January/February 2007 AARP magazine (p30-11) have a good article on how to Slash Your Energy Bill. have a site for us adults and a site just for your children!
I have just installed the Power-Save's KVAR PU_1200. I had saw it on TV and the company's documented up to 25% on home energy costs is great. I'll be happy with 10% savings. It works on the inductive load.

...anything in the home that runs by motor (including refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners, heat pumps, washers, dryers, fans, blower motors, pool pumps, dish washers, vacuum cleaners and hair dryers,etc.) require a certain amount of reactive power (non-working power) from the utility to create the Electro-Magnetic-Field (EMF) around the motor to make it work... [Your]motors uses what it needs and sends the rest back to your electric panel where it is "lost" - dispersed in heat never to be seen again. This loss is called I2R loss or "line loss". The problem with this equation is that you’ve paid for the lost electricity, because it's traveled thru your meter and been measured.

The Solution: The Power-Save 1200 unit stores the reactive power (non-working power) that would be otherwise lost. This allows your inductive motor load to push in and pull from the Power Save 1200 using the stored power, instead of asking for more from the utility. This process decreases your demand from the utility thereby decreasing your Kwh usage and lowering your bill each month!

I'll let you know how it works. They also have a nice description of the Tax Incentives.

The greenTECHZONE Products for the week of October 16, 2006 highlights Blue Line Innovation's PowerCost monitor. Domestic energy use studies have demonstrated that real-time feedback yields energy savings anywhere between 10-20% when a tabletop energy display device is available.
A detection affixed to an existing household electromechanical utility meter with a simple ring clamp. This transmitter tracks the energy consumed by counting turns of the meter disk. This is the only component of the PowerCost Monitor that will be in direct physical contact with the utility's electromechanical meter and the clamp mechanism allows it to be attached to the outside of the meter glass. It can also be quickly attached and detached without making any changes to the existing meter.
The display unit located inside the home receives a wireless signal from the transmitter and displays the consumption information in real time in dollars and cents for the end user. Now, after having run it in my house for a bit over a week, I've become addicted to knowing how much electricity my house is chewing up on a minute-by minute basis. I know not everyone will find the same fascination in watching their appliances cycle, but most people will appreciate how well this simple little meter lets you identify the energy hogs and quiet electricity leaks in your home or office.
Once the display is programmed, you can see how many kW-hr you're using, how much per hour it's costing you, a running total of the power you've consumed and the outside temperature. Since the display is also battery-powered, it was easy to hang it up over the house's smart thermostat so I now have a single place where I can observe my home's operation....
The experience of watching how the house power consumption varies over the day has been quite educational for me. For example, I learned that when I'm here in my home office with most of the rest of the house dark and quiet, I still see around 0.7 kW-hr (around 10.5 cents/hr at our normal billing rate) worth of juice being used, with short spikes of 1.0 - 1.2 kW-hr up as the refrigerator, freezer, and dehumidifier kick on and off. When the rest of the family descends on me around 5:30 more lights, computers, TVs, and other stuff goes on and our baseline hovers at around 0.9 - 1.1 kW-hr (14 - 18 cents/hr) until bed time....PowerCost meter is one of those why-didn't-I-think-of-that products which should appeal to the ecology-minded and the budget-conscious consumer alike. After only a few days, it's changed the way I look at my home's energy consumption. While all the meter does is let me know how much power I'm using, it's a really useful conservation tool because it helps me pinpoint where all the juice is going. Now that I'm aware of the fact that my house draws nearly 700 W-hr in its idle mode, I've got the motivation to start hunting down all the unnecessary loads that are adding dollars to my bill, tons of CO2 to the atmosphere.
The PowerCost energy monitor is available now, priced at $149 retail.


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