PDA

View Full Version : Kill A Watt



alohatim
August 16th, 2008, 09:34 AM
I just got a Kill A Watt power meter and have been playing with it to see how much electricity all my stuff uses. It is a lot of fun to go around testing all your appliances and devices.

To find out how much stuff costs to run, you need to know your electric rate. I THOUGHT our rate was 22.5 cents per kwh. I looked at our bill and realized most of the cost is not from the use rate but by all the other charges. In July, our net usage was 647 kwh for a $312 bill. Only $118 that was due to the direct metered usage. I took the total bill and divided by the kwh used and got 48 cents per kwh. I checked the past months and noticed that since Oct '07 (37 cents) the rate has steadily been increasing.

We use Kaua'i Island Utililty Cooperative for power. I was curious what HECO users pay. Is it close to 48 cents/kwh?

I think I need to add more solar panels to the roof or conserve more. We are making about half of the electricity that we used. Since those extra charges on the bill are also related to usage, we should try to bring our net usage down to zero.

Nords
August 17th, 2008, 11:13 AM
I just got a Kill A Watt power meter and have been playing with it to see how much electricity all my stuff uses. It is a lot of fun to go around testing all your appliances and devices.
I wish they made a 220v version for monitoring our electric dryer and our stove/oven.


To find out how much stuff costs to run, you need to know your electric rate. I THOUGHT our rate was 22.5 cents per kwh. I looked at our bill and realized most of the cost is not from the use rate but by all the other charges. In July, our net usage was 647 kwh for a $312 bill. Only $118 that was due to the direct metered usage. I took the total bill and divided by the kwh used and got 48 cents per kwh. I checked the past months and noticed that since Oct '07 (37 cents) the rate has steadily been increasing.
We use Kaua'i Island Utililty Cooperative for power. I was curious what HECO users pay. Is it close to 48 cents/kwh?
I've been using 20.5 cents/KWHr, but I've heard more recent numbers around 25 cents/KWHr. Here's the "Average Electric Rates" (http://www.heco.com/portal/site/heco/menuitem.508576f78baa14340b4c0610c510b1ca/?vgnextoid=692e5e658e0fc010VgnVCM1000008119fea9RCR D&vgnextchannel=10629349798b4110VgnVCM1000005c011bac RCRD&vgnextfmt=default&vgnextrefresh=1&level=0&ct=article) from 2007, and here's the rules:
http://www.heco.com/vcmcontent/FileScan/PDF/EnergyServices/Tarrifs/HECO/HECORatesSchR.pdf

I think they leave a lot of accounting wiggle room for their PR spin. For example our July net use of 95 KWHrs had a customer charge of $8, non-fuel energy of $7.89 (8.3 cents/KWHr), base fuel energy of $8.45 (8.89 cents/KWHr), and an "energy cost adjustment" of $10.21. Together those add up to 36.3 cents/KWHr. Our total bill was $35.25 or 37.1 cents/KWHr.

And no matter how little energy is used, HECO still has a minimum $16/month charge to stay connected to their grid. So perhaps I'm really paying $19.25 net for those 95 KWhrs, or "just" 20.3 cents/KWHr-- pretty close to their 2007 "average".

On top of all that, HECO's asking to raise rates by 5.2% in 2009. There's also a pending request for time-of-use metering (one rate for 3-8 PM and a lower rate outside of 3-8 PM). I think that TOU metering will require a new electronic utility meter (instead of the analog "whirling disc" meter), but I'm not sure how it's implemented.


I think I need to add more solar panels to the roof or conserve more. We are making about half of the electricity that we used. Since those extra charges on the bill are also related to usage, we should try to bring our net usage down to zero.
The first thing we were told is that it's easier to cut consumption than it is to raise production. We've taken advantage of HECO's EnergyStar rebates (http://www.heco.com/portal/site/heco/menuitem.508576f78baa14340b4c0610c510b1ca/?vgnextoid=a2670c0ed85b2110VgnVCM1000005c011bacRCR D&vgnextchannel=6558f2b154da9010VgnVCM10000053011bac RCRD&vgnextfmt=default&vgnextrefresh=1&level=0&ct=article) on their appliances & ceiling fans, and they pay for themselves pretty quickly.

But I'd be happy to upgrade to a 5-7 kilowatt inverter (instead of our 3 KW model) and to add a few more panels...

alohatim
August 17th, 2008, 12:44 PM
But I'd be happy to upgrade to a 5-7 kilowatt inverter (instead of our 3 KW model) and to add a few more panels...

We have a 3 KW Outback system. We only have half the panels of the inverter's capacity because we were planning to add more panels each year to take better advantage of the tax credits. I was happy enough with our bill going at half capacity until those extra charges started ballooning.

Thanks for all the good info, Nord!

AlohaKine
August 17th, 2008, 12:52 PM
I left my air conditioner running for two weeks with nobody home while I was on vacation so my place would be cool when I got back.

I killed some watts.