100 amp ver 200 amp savings

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Old 06-08-09, 05:23 AM
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100 amp ver 200 amp savings

While I need to upgrade my service to a 200 amp panel; I heard that upgrading will also help with lowering my electrical bill.

I am maxed out with my 100 amp and I am going to change it to a 200 amp. I will not be using much more amps but I wouldn't dare add a window air condintoner without upgrading.

So: does it save on your power bill to have a larger panel?

Thanks,
 
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Old 06-08-09, 06:30 AM
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The size of the panel will not make your bill any cheaper. Your bill is based on usage, the more you use the more you pay.

Without adding or subtracting any loads your bill will be the same after adding the larger panel. You will just have the ability to add additional loads without tripping the main breaker.
 
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Old 06-08-09, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by teyong View Post
So: does it save on your power bill to have a larger panel?
No, there is no effect. The bill is based on the appliance you use and how much you use them.

If anything a larger panel my tempt you to use more power by buying an A/C, spa, tools, whatever else you will now have room for.
 
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Old 06-08-09, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by teyong View Post
I am maxed out with my 100 amp and I am going to change it to a 200 amp. I will not be using much more amps but I wouldn't dare add a window air condintoner without upgrading.
I know it wasn't directly your question, but are you sure you need to upgrade over 100A? The number of breakers you have doesn't matter, it matters what loads you'll be using. If you have electric heat, electric dryer, central AC, electric range, then you might be getting close to maxing out your 100A service.

Just something to consider before you drop a bunch of $$ on a service upgrade. Granted, if you have fuses, an old, unsafe panel, or a lot of electric appliances, then yes - an upgrade is in order, and that would be an excellent time to upgrade to 200A.
 
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Old 06-08-09, 09:26 PM
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Even with a 100 amp panel with no open spaces you can add a sub panel pretty easily. As Zorfdt mentioned, unless you are using many large loads you will never need anything larger than 100 amps.
 
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Old 06-09-09, 06:52 AM
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Sure, but...

Originally Posted by teyong View Post
So: does it save on your power bill to have a larger panel?
Thanks,
If you have a significant run of wire between the meter and the panel, AND, you run close to your rated amperage, you can make a case for upsizing the wire. However, depending on the price of the upgrade, the paypack time may exceed you or your home's lifetime. That warm #2 wire does cost to warm it, and doesn't provide any benefit.
 
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Old 06-09-09, 08:32 PM
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test amperage

I just bought a house and have a full box. So my first thought was to upgrade to 200a and add a sub.

But from the above comments, maybe I don't need to. How can I test my amp load?
 
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Old 06-09-09, 08:32 PM
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thanks

Thank you for your reply's
I will put this idea on the back burner for now.
 
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Old 06-10-09, 03:01 AM
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To determine your load there is a demand load calculation where you enter the square footage of the house and a size and number of electrical appliances.
 
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Old 06-10-09, 04:40 AM
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Load worksheet

This is one example of what everyone is talking about.
It'll give you a solid idea of where your at with your actual demand. These sheets are designed to err on the side of caution. So that the bottom line can be trusted.

http://www.ci.modesto.ca.us/forms/pd...rical-load.pdf

Regarding your original question, are you sure you're not thinking of the 240v vs. 120v scenario?
Where, say a pool pump run on 240v draws 7 amps verses the 15 amp draw necessary on a 120v circuit, saving on current usage.
 
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Old 06-10-09, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by davper View Post
I just bought a house and have a full box. So my first thought was to upgrade to 200a and add a sub.

But from the above comments, maybe I don't need to. How can I test my amp load?
For most houses without large loads such as electric furnaces, huge A/C compressors or electric tankless water heaters, the big advantage to a 200A upgrade is having a load center with 42 spaces for branch circuits. After my upgrade, I now have two circuits in the LR, a separate circuit for the doorbell, and three separate outside circuits. Stuff like that. Of course you may be able to get a 42-space load center with a 100- or 150-amp main breaker as well. I don't know.

Regarding measuring actual load: This is dangerous if I slip up or sneeze, so I wouldn't advise it, but it's what I do. Before upgrading from 100A to 200A, I measured my actual load using an amp clamp on the insulated main feed wires above where they are screwed under the lugs. I have a plastic lid that I cut to cover the uninsulated main lugs. My max amperage, with everything on that I could keep on, was something like 60A. Despite this, in my case I needed some of those added breaker spaces because of new electric codes that applied to remodeled space.

If you have a mechanical meter, I am sure there's a way to measure load by counting meter revolutions, but I haven't thought too much about that one. My meter is now electronic so that wouldn't work for me.
 
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