kwh fluctuating wildly


Old 10-06-06, 03:21 AM
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kwh fluctuating wildly

Can't make sense of our energy usage over the years. Seems to be increasing overall. We got a new energy efficient water heater and a programmable thermostat. Maybe that will help. What are some things to check when you can't figure out what's causing energy use variations (I'm in Florida and Progress Energy provide graphical data about kwh per day with degree variation over the years of service - easy to tell when something is way out of the norm).
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Old 10-06-06, 05:15 AM
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I'll move your thread to electrical since I'm unable to answer your question but hopefully the electricians can.
Old 10-06-06, 05:23 AM
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Here in PA, I would say to check to see if you have heat tape on your roof or plumbing lines (to prevent freezing). These are elecric and often switch controlled - you turn the switch on but see no light go on or no other visible impact, so it is easy to have it active and not know it. The same can sometimes be said of attic fans, although you can usually hear them humming.

In FLA, I can only guess that it might be the HVAC. Do you regularly change the filter? A clogged or dirty filter can dramatically decrease air flow, causing the unit to have to work harder and longer to get to the desired temperature. This can also happen with aged units that are nearing the end of their expected useful life.

Other than that, are there any new appliances, air filters, lighting fixtures, etc that you have put in at a time which would correspond to the jump in energy usage? Maybe a new range, oven, dryer, etc?

I am assuming the temps are fairly consistent over time, while the energy usage is not. Otherwise, you may want to look at your level of insulation, doors and windows, and roof ventilation as possible areas of energy loss.

Just some top-of-the-head thoughts for you.
Old 10-06-06, 05:35 AM
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I should have clarified [if it makes a difference] that this thread was originally posted in the MH forum - glennabom has a MH.
Old 10-06-06, 08:09 AM
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Old fridges and freezers use a lot of juice compared to new ones; and they often use more and more as they age. A full fridge uses less power than two half full fridges; if you have two, it's better to unplug the beer fridge and just fill the main one up. Finally, check seals on the fridge door, it should seal shut with a "wump".

Check weatherstripping around doors and windows for air leakage that will cause your A/C to work harder. Is the A/C in good working order? Clean air filter, clean condensor coils, proper Freon pressure, etc?

Do you have any outbuildings with underground wiring, or does the service wiring go underground between the meter and the house? Or a pump for well water? Sometimes a break in an underground wire can leak power into the Earth.

It would be helpful if you could post some of the actual kWH numbers so we can get a better feel for the variations. You can also shop around for a meter called Kill-A-Watt which you can attach to various 120V appliances around the house to measure their actual usage and compare that to what you expect.
Old 10-06-06, 08:43 AM
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Does MH mean mobile home. If so, the sun shining can cause the AC bill to go up. You will use half the cooling on a cloudy day.
Old 10-06-06, 08:53 AM
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Make sure they didn't change to estimated readings.

For example I used to get my meter read every other month, and on the non-reading months the estimates were way off. So things would seesaw until I called them and they adjusted the estimate.
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