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Poll
Question: How many kWh per day does your home use when you are away traveling?
below 0.5 kWh per day - 0 (0%)
0.5 kWh to 1 kWh per day - 2 (10.5%)
1 kWh to 2 kWh per day - 1 (5.3%)
2 kWh to 3 kWh per day - 1 (5.3%)
3 kWh to 4 kWh per day - 2 (10.5%)
4 kWh to 6 kWh per day - 0 (0%)
above 6 kWh per day - 13 (68.4%)
Total Voters: 19

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Author Topic: Poll: How many kWh per day does your home use when you are away traveling?
RussellH
Sr. Member
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Posts: 356


« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2015, 11:19:37 PM »

but lots of phantom loads ~250W.
Frankly, I think phantom loads are overrated.  Typical is 1-2W.  I doubt if you have 100 devices plugged in all the time.

So I don't think the phantom load is the issue as much as a few unidentified loads.  The list above is a good start.
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pfletch101
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Posts: 418


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« Reply #16 on: August 03, 2015, 01:57:25 AM »

DVR can be another.  Even when it appears to be off, it may actually be on waiting to record.

Yes, my Comcast Cable box/DVR uses 25W whether it is 'On' or 'on Standby'. As far as I can determine, the only difference between the two states is that the front panel LEDs are off when it is 'on Standby'!
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Peter R. Fletcher
TED Pro Home - main MTUs monitoring utility and PV Solar feeds; 2 Spyders monitoring selected individual circuits
Canada_Guy
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Posts: 25


« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2015, 12:13:15 PM »

I run about 400 to 500 watts when my house is at idle, the dark hours of the night, or when I'm away. That's 9.6 to 12 kWh per day.

I can't start too list all the stuff I have running, but here's a few.

Microwave, stove, fridges freezer, thermostat, heat-pump controls, alarm system, water softener controls, deep well pump control, water circulating pump timer, Cable boxes (3), TV sets (3), answering machine, yard light timer, bathroom fan timers, smoke detectors, irrigation timer, driveway gates controller, and a bunch more.

Everyone sucks some juice and it adds up.
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RussellH
Sr. Member
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Posts: 356


« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2015, 09:59:12 PM »

fridges freezer, water circulating pump, Cable boxes (3),....

Everyone sucks some juice and it adds up.
Yes, it does, but I'll bet the stuff I highlighted is half, if not more, of your idle power.
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tstolze
Jr. Member
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Posts: 55


« Reply #19 on: August 25, 2015, 01:10:19 AM »

fridges freezer, water circulating pump, Cable boxes (3),....

Everyone sucks some juice and it adds up.
Yes, it does, but I'll bet the stuff I highlighted is half, if not more, of your idle power.

I agree, put the cable boxes and TV's on power strips or smart power strips, I would guess the cable boxes plus the TV's are drawing 40-100 watts per set while off/standby, of course if they are DVR's then they will not record unless they have power.
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jlsoaz
Jr. Member
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Posts: 88


« Reply #20 on: September 04, 2015, 02:38:07 AM »

Better question, what DO you do to get under 6KW/day while gone?  Do you guys turn off breakers?  My stuff is off when I'm away, but lots of phantom loads ~250W.

Hi TheBackRoads:

I think this is a good question.  (I've had another one while reading through, which is I guess I'm wondering what folks use their TED device for, because in some cases it seems to be a bit different than my use approach, which involves trying to zoom in on various loads, including tiny ones, and getting a sense of how they affect the overall energy use at my house.).

Anyway, to get back to your question, what do I do to get under 6 kW/day when gone?

I had posted a list of measures in a previous message, and I'll paste some of it here:

- turning off circuits at the breaker panel: garage, HVAC, dishwasher
- unplugging 5 cordless phones
- turning off shower hot water recirculator (generally off anyway, but sometimes I forget).
- unplugging a couple of alarm clocks.
- turning off surge protector on one or two other things.
- unplugging one or two smaller UPS.
- turned off all internet related.

To this I would amend that lately I haven't been doing all these things (I don't unplug all cordless phones these days for example) and so I come back to a house that uses about 3.5-4 kWh per day, rather than 2.5.

There are a variety of other thoughts though.  I guess various points large and small:

- I have one refrigerator/freezer, it is sized for a one-person household (about 12 cubic feet) and is generally regarded as one of the world's most efficient IIRC (Sunfrost brand).  It cost a lot of money and uses (according to claims when I first bought it) about 0.6 kWh per day, on average.
- my home is inherently energy-saving (www.terra-dome.com) and only 1,600 square feet plus garage.  It's also set up as a one person household, so I don't have to be too worried about others when I make some of these "what do I unplug" decisions.
- if I really want to save energy, I turn off the circuit to the garage and manually walk back into the house upon returning from a trip, rather than having the garage door openers stand at the ready for days or weeks.
- someone mentioned their security alarms or smoke alarms taking energy.  My smoke alarms and security sensors are battery powered.  My security system though does have a component that is plugged in and has increased home energy use about 240 wh per day, I'd say.
- I've installed one or two or more few things which in theory are about saving energy but which ultimately in some ways take a bit of energy.  This includes not only the motor on my solar hot water but also the inverter linked to my solar and home batteries.
- Overall, from day one I have refused to listen to the idea that a power draw is too small and so I shouldn't bother about it.  It all adds up, I say, and so I try to consider if something really needs to be plugged in and running, or not.

With all that said, for a larger household with a conventional house and lots of other things going on, I think I'd be using a lot more energy both when away or at home.  So, in some ways, now that I think about it, 6-7 kWh per day doesn't seem that bad, though I do tend to think that there are probably a few measures some folks could take to get that down at least a bit.

One footnote, I do not bother with any sort of DVR type considerations but instead tend to buy-and-stream.  So, I never thought of it as an energy saving measure, but I guess in the end it is.  I always make certain to have a surge protector with an on/off switch on my TV and most other electronics appliances, and for my TV and streaming device this is definitely off at all times when not in direct use.  I"ve tried some smart power strips and so far haven't figured them out, so I stay with my old-school remember-to-turn-off-the-strip approach, for now.  I do think it helps, in part because the streaming device has no off switch and in part due to the vampire load inherent to the TV waiting for the remote command.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2015, 02:45:42 AM by jlsoaz » Logged
jlsoaz
Jr. Member
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Posts: 88


« Reply #21 on: September 07, 2015, 07:35:43 PM »

Better question, what DO you do to get under 6KW/day while gone?  Do you guys turn off breakers?  My stuff is off when I'm away, but lots of phantom loads ~250W.
Hi TheBackRoads:
[...]
what do I do to get under 6 kW/day when gone?
[...]
I had posted a list of measures in a previous message, and I'll paste some of it here:
[...]

Thinking about it, a more succinct way to summarize - I take the approach that every little thing counts, and there are more little things than might be apparent at first look.
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panikale
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WWW
« Reply #22 on: September 19, 2015, 02:34:07 PM »

 Wink Wink Wink
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mikesjunk
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Posts: 2


« Reply #23 on: January 13, 2016, 12:46:41 PM »

I answered in the .5 to 1 as that's what I see each day at setback, so from 8am to around 2pm and midnight to 5:30am.  For a vacation it would be harder to vote as things like outdoor temp and if the heater/AC are going to kick on are an important contributor.  And as noted above water heaters.  So I think the better question is what is the smallest level that can be sustained for some time period usage(several hours).

When I originally bought mine quite some time ago I had a fairly large salt water aquarium system running.  Where I lived also offered a time of day usage rate.  When I built the house I had a separate panel put into the basement for the sole purpose of the fish room.  So with a 2 MTU system I was able to see what that panel was using by itself.  So from my analysis of my usage I switched to TOD and then put all my aquarium timers to take advantage of the lower TOD rates.  Lights, pumps, etc came on at 7PM off at 2AM.  I figured my system was costing $75 a month to run.  Another interesting thing was diving deeper into the usage (via a Kilowatt) I found that there was a big difference in the amp draw of a pump recently cleaned and one not( .7 vs 2 amps).  I ended up putting the pumps on ball valves and couplers so I could perform monthly cleaning on them.

Interesting that just last week where I live now our utility company has installed meters that I can monitor my usage down to the hours, almost real time(about 4 hour lag).  I currently have two 200amp panels in my house so I each one has an MTU.  Someday I'd like to figure out what my shop is using.

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jlsoaz
Jr. Member
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Posts: 88


« Reply #24 on: February 01, 2016, 03:34:37 PM »

I answered in the .5 to 1 as that's what I see each day at setback, so from 8am to around 2pm and midnight to 5:30am.  For a vacation it would be harder to vote as things like outdoor temp and if the heater/AC are going to kick on are an important contributor.  And as noted above water heaters.  So I think the better question is what is the smallest level that can be sustained for some time period usage(several hours). (...)

It's been some time since I logged into this forum to see how this poll was doing and it's really good to see we have some additional folks recording their information, and that in some cases TED users are able to get their homes down under 2 or 1 kWh per day when they are away.  I was beginning to think in creating categories in these low usage areas, I had somewhat misjudged.

MikesJunk, in the case of the information you left above, I am not quite clear.  Are you saying that your choice of 0.5 to 1 is not based on the kWh used per day while you are away but instead some other metric such as projecting more of an idealized number based on a baseline minimal kW number and then projecting this out over 24 hours?  I think this is a very interesting number that I myself pay attention to a lot, but I also think it's a somewhat different question.  Perhaps we should start a separate poll for it (I would be game).  

For my poll question about how much energy one's home uses while we are not at home, I think I wanted more of a "warts and all" empirically-measured number that would reflect inconvenient intermittent spikes that may deviate above the minimums, or some seasonal effects.  Perhaps indeed this is what you provided and I just got confused.

Very interesting to read of how you studied certain energy usage areas and made improvements.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2016, 03:39:22 PM by jlsoaz » Logged
34by151
Newbie
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Posts: 9


« Reply #25 on: February 07, 2016, 07:27:58 PM »

You might want to read what I have done with load shedding over in the developers section
http://www.theenergydetectiveforums.com/index.php/topic,3397.0.html

While the object of my code is to maximise my battery storage and eliminate non renewable power
It would work equally as well to reducing the loads while on holidays

Cheers
34by151
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jlsoaz
Jr. Member
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Posts: 88


« Reply #26 on: February 14, 2016, 02:33:54 PM »

You might want to read what I have done with load shedding over in the developers section
http://www.theenergydetectiveforums.com/index.php/topic,3397.0.html

While the object of my code is to maximise my battery storage and eliminate non renewable power
It would work equally as well to reducing the loads while on holidays

Cheers
34by151

Thanks, that's quite a project you've got going.

You mention on that thread that your household consumption is around 15 kWh.  I'm not sure of the details on that, but do know you what is your home's consumption while you are away traveling?  For some of the swimming-pool-related energy use you discuss, does that continue while you are away?  Given the size of the system, I imagine that in some ways the overall home energy use is up by a bit in order to power the system itself.  In my case for example I have one Outback inverter that I think uses about 30 Watts when idle (in fact, I'm not sure if that is yet properly reflected in my TED measurements, so I may have to revise my own home energy use estimate upward).
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Kevin
Newbie
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Posts: 23


« Reply #27 on: March 12, 2016, 11:50:38 PM »

I run about 400 to 500 watts just for my in-house server farm, add in appliances (fridge, freezer, DVR, etc) and my daily average usage when not at home is double that.

I'm not really concerned about tracking down the small loads, more interested in looking for unexpected large loads and trend over time.

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Gateway Version 1.0.499, Daughterboard Version 1.0.0, Footprints Version 1.0.281, MTU Version 1.0.61
jlsoaz
Jr. Member
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Posts: 88


« Reply #28 on: July 25, 2016, 05:49:46 AM »

Uploading a screenshot of my (nearly) whole house electric power use while away recently, between 3.2 and 3.3 kWh per day.  (There is an area not monitored properly by my TED but, comparing to my bills, I don't think the amounts there are very significant).
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JeanaPerry
Newbie
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Posts: 1


« Reply #29 on: August 26, 2016, 01:00:38 PM »

Hi..i am a new user here. In my case the cable box is also a DVR, I had some TV shows that I wanted to record while I was out.  I think there is an awful lot of power wasted in cable boxes all across the nation.  The power in mine doesn't drop at all when it's turned "off".Also had to leave the furnace on low too to keep the pipes from freezing.

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« Last Edit: October 12, 2016, 03:10:20 PM by JeanaPerry » Logged
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