Lowering My Home’s Energy Consumption

Back in October of 2009, I installed a TED-5000 Powermeter that ties into the Google Powermeter reporting system. This allowed me to get a much better feel for what was chewing up energy in my home and do something about it.

We made a few changes around the home, including installing a few more CFL bulbs. However, the biggest energy improvement came from swapping out our refrigerator for a new model.

So, had it paid off? Here is a look at the first 7 months with the power meter installed vs. years two and three:

Year over Year Energy Bill Comparisions

For those keeping score at home, that’s a 23%+ decrease in energy consumption. It’s also worth noting that the monthly costs include paying for the Xcel Energy Windsource program, where Xcel is required to acquire energy from wind related sources in proportion to the number of people who participate in the program.

I’m not quite off the grid yet, but less than a dollar a day electricity bills aren’t exactly breaking the bank.

6 thoughts on “Lowering My Home’s Energy Consumption”

  1. Nice. We’ve installed quite a few CFL bulbs in our house and noticed quite a difference. We put a new dining room light in and went from 320 watts to 82 watts (dimmable CFL), which made a noticeable difference on our electric bill, since it’s a light we use quite often.

    We also got a home energy audit from MNCEE a while ago, which was worth it. Until yesterday, they had good rebates on attic insulation, which we took advantage of. The contractors measured about a 30% decrease in the air-leakiness of our house, which should make a large difference come January.

  2. My apartment comes with heat but I pay the air so seasonally my energy use is different than yours, but I’m very impressed that your energy consumption is about the same as mine, especially since you’ve got a house and I’ve got a one-bedroom apartment.

  3. Ed, I am confused:

    ” Here is a look at the first 7 months with the power meter installed vs. years two and three:”

    Did years 2 and 3 come after installation in October 2009. (I need to check my calender if this is 2012).

  4. @Dale, good point. I installed the PowerMeter in October 2009, but I did manage to get data from Xcel for my home back to before then. They had to fax it to me.

  5. Nicely done! Here are my graphs, and my story 🙂 http://bit.ly/ngI7K7

    I’d be curious to see your graph translated into kWh instead of dollars, to factor out rising energy costs, and focus on actual use…

    p.s. what happened in June 2011? Bit of a spike! 😉

  6. @Eric, we were doing some work on the house that sucked up some juice.

    Agreed on using the units of power rather than price. One is more controllable than the other, but I found it easier to access historical data on prices so went with that. And, in the end, the ROI is a motivating factor for me, so I’m cool with that.

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