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Old 01-26-2011, 11:45 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ford Man View Post
We are still paying $9.77 per month electric bill on our house in NC just for having the power on, nothing at all plugged in
Some of that is surely minimum maintenance fees and taxes, but did you look at the wheel on the meter and make sure it is perfectly still? There could be tiny loads somewhere you aren't aware of, perhaps something as small as inductive current in crossed lines. If it moves at all, try shutting off all the circuit breakers.

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A few months ago I returned home just as my neighbor pulled into his driveway. It was cold (around freezing) with some rain and sleet, and he yells to me: You rode your bike? In this weather?!?

So the other day we both returned home at the same time again, only now the weather is warm, sunny, with no wind. And I yell to him: You took the car? In this weather?!?
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Old 01-27-2011, 12:00 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JacobAziza View Post
Some of that is surely minimum maintenance fees and taxes, but did you look at the wheel on the meter and make sure it is perfectly still? There could be tiny loads somewhere you aren't aware of, perhaps something as small as inductive current in crossed lines. If it moves at all, try shutting off all the circuit breakers.
The bill shows 0kw used.
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Old 01-28-2011, 04:10 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Electric tea kettles that turn off on their own are amazing, from tests that I've seen they use 1/4 of the energy that stove top water heating uses, half of what it takes to boil water in a microwave and about half of what a tank style water heater uses, they also get the water up to temp then turn off so that you never waste energy, just like a toaster pops when the toast is done.
It amazes me that electric kettles aren't standard in the US, all the people I know in NZ and Australia have them, and that has been the case all my life (I'm only 19 though). The only thing I'd really like on mine is a beeper so I don't end up reboiling the darn thing all the time (I walk away and forget to return). The ultimate sign you need coffee is when it takes 3 tries over an hour to make a cup.
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Old 01-29-2011, 11:24 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Electric kettles are very common in the US. We just call them coffee pots or coffee makers.
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Old 02-21-2011, 06:21 PM   #25 (permalink)
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My electricity bill for this 1400 s/f house has ranged from $5.67 to $6.76 over the last 7 months through the winter. The kw/day/month have ranged from 2.2 to 2.6, or about 1.2 kw/day per person. I would like to keep getting this lower. My next priority is to get rid of the gas bill completely.

WOOD HEAT
I hated the dry blown air from the gas furnace, and it's inefficiency, so I got a fireplace insert 10 years ago, and haven't used the gas furnance since then. I have usually paid $100 for wood each winter, but last year I free rounds from the city from trees they cut down, split the wood, and plan to do this myself from now on. Total yearly cost for heating the house: $0.

LIGHTING
I got a bunch of Feit 13 watt daylight bulbs and they're great. However much of the time they put out more light than I need, so I got some 2 watt led's on E bay from hong kong. They provide plenty of light at light, unless I want to use one of the daylight bulbs for reading. I think the optimum for indoor living would be no more than 5 to 10 watts per bulb. My cost for lighting is quite low. I have a record of the cost for electricity for each item in the house.

COOKING
I hated the fumes from the gas stove more than anything, and finally got rid of it completely last fall! I was going to get an electric stove, but fortunately was guided to induction cookers! I got 2 of the burton 6200 induction cookers and they are so amazing that so far I've only used one of them! The cost of cooking has been greatly reduced, is faster, and best of all the pre and post fumes are gone!

ELECTRONICS
My first computer build with sabayon linux, plus connection uses 58 watts. The vizio 26" tv uses 26 watts.

REFRIGERATOR
The old upright was very annoying, as it ran about 50 percent of the time, all the cold air would fall out every time it was opened, and it would go on again. So I converted a chest freezer to a fridge, and got rid of the fridge. The conversion uses an average of only 8 watts an hour, compared to the 100 watts that were used by the fridge. For awhile I used a separate chest freezer for freezing, then decided that I didn't need to freeze anything anyway, and don't use it any more.

HOT WATER
This is the only gas applicance left in the house, and I can't wait to get rid of it. The bill is $8 a month, and most of that is bill cost! Actual gas use for heating the water amounts to about $3 a month, and most of this is for reheating the water in the tank, due to heat loss up the chimney! An electric tank has no chimney, so the reheating can be greatly reduced. Also I can put an electric tank on a timer, with or without a thermostat. Recently I found the following link that shows how to convert a gas water heater to electric, which I am planning to do very soon.
IWillTry.org Convert your gas hot water tank to electric

OTHER
The treadmill and washing machine hardly use anything.

Right now the electricity plus gas bills total about $14 a month. I'd like the hot water conversion to bring this combined total to less than $10 a month.
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Old 02-21-2011, 06:46 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Electric hot water heaters tend to use more energy over all and cost more to run, going to a forced vent gas hot water heater shrinks the flu size because it has a fan that pulls the flu gases out instead of relying on natural draft or you can go even further like I plan to do and get an A.O. Smith Vertex, the flu in that only goes half way up the tank then spirals back down exiting the bottom, 90% or 96% efficient depending on what one you get, electric hot waters just burn the natural gas at the power plant, so why not burn the natural gas where you need it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnlvs2run View Post
An electric tank has no chimney, so the reheating can be greatly reduced. Also I can put an electric tank on a timer, with or without a thermostat. Recently I found the following link that shows how to convert a gas water heater to electric, which I am planning to do very soon.
IWillTry.org Convert your gas hot water tank to electric
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Old 02-21-2011, 07:50 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Already have the gas service; depends on if he feels any sense of security by having the gas backup- nice to have if away from home any length of time in the winter. So, might as well keep the gas water heater.
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Old 02-21-2011, 08:21 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Comparison of Gas Hot Water Vs Electric

GAS = 0.356 therms to heat a 40 gallon tank
123 days = $35.06 / (20 therms (18 CFC's) / .356 = ) 56 tanks = $.626 per tank
This is a ridiculous 18 gallons of hot water a day, probably at least 4 times the amount of hot water that is used. Due to the gas exhaust, probably most of the heat is lost up the chimney.

ELECTRICITY = 6.63 kwh (x $.12233 per kwt) = $.81 to heat a 40 gallon tank
56 tanks x $.81 per tank = 45.36 for 123 days / This would be only if no gas heat is currently lost up the chimney, which is not possible. Electric cost would be $2.58 higher than gas.

28 tanks x $.81 per tank = 22.68 for 123 days / This would be if only 50% of gas heat is currently lost up the chimney. The electric cost would be $3.10 less than the current cost for gas.

14 tanks x $.81 per tank = 11.34 for 123 days / Considering that 75%+ of gas heat is current lost up the chimney, the most likely scenario. Electric savings would be $5.93 a month, approximately 75%.

Additional advantages, an electric hot water heater can be completely insulated top to bottom, and a timer can be used, along with a thermostat.
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Old 02-21-2011, 09:06 PM   #29 (permalink)
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I discovered that the only time I ever actually need hot water is for showers.
I was turning on the hot faucet to wash hands, but by the time the warm water reached the tap, I was finished washing my hands anyway! So I put a lot of hot water in the pipes to cool off, while the heater had to heat new cold water. Totally pointless.
So I removed the end of all the hot water handles in the house except for the shower, to remind me not to turn it on. I haven't missed it at all.

A single fixture instant water heater (whether gas or electric) is not very expensive, and uses negligible power compared to any kind of tank heater. There is no tank to heat, it only comes on when you actually need it, and the water doesn't have to travel through dozens of feet of pipe before reaching its destination.
As a bonus, if you are partial to long showers and have several people in the house who shower consecutively, you will never run out of hot water. You can indulge in even longer showers, while still saving energy overall!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piwoslaw View Post
A few months ago I returned home just as my neighbor pulled into his driveway. It was cold (around freezing) with some rain and sleet, and he yells to me: You rode your bike? In this weather?!?

So the other day we both returned home at the same time again, only now the weather is warm, sunny, with no wind. And I yell to him: You took the car? In this weather?!?
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Old 02-21-2011, 09:20 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JacobAziza View Post
I removed the end of all the hot water handles in the house except for the shower, to remind me not to turn it on. I haven't missed it at all.
That's a great idea.
I have similarly turned the hot water valves off under the sinks.

Do you use cold water in the washing machine?

Quote:
A single fixture instant water heater (whether gas or electric) is not very expensive, and uses negligible power compared to any kind of tank heater.
Where do you find one that is reasonably priced, and how do you connect it to the shower?

Have you calculated its kw per day use for showers?

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