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Working at home = high electric bill
I received my electric bill for June and was quite shocked by it (that pun was totally not intended, really). The total bill came to a whopping $143. The big kicker is that I haven't even turned on my A/C yet this year.

The usage is probably from working at home because I leave my internet, computers and electronics plugged in all the time. Usually when I travel, even for just a few days, I turn off most of my power strips to conserve electricity. Running all my power tools and lights while working on my counter probably contributed too.

With high temperatures expected to remain above 80 now, I may need to finally turn my A/C on. Having a west-facing unit doesn't help in the hot afternoons. It's times like this that I prefer traveling so I can save money at home and enjoy A/C on someone else's dollar.

A lot of people don't realize how much electricity they use. For example, if you have a 300 watt halogen lamp and you run it for 6 hours a day, that comes to 1.8 kWh. For 30 days that is 54 kWh. At $0.125 per kWh (my current ComEd rate) that is $6.75 a month to run that one lamp. See Saving Electricity for details on calculating electricity costs

Another contributor is electronics that "leak". These are items that go into standby mode instead of shutting off, such as DVD players, TVs, computers, microwaves, pretty much anything with a clock or a remote (to detect when you want to turn it on). Some power blocks like phone chargers or laptop power cables even consume electricity when they're not attached to anything.

I was surprised to find very little information about leaking electricity in a quick search. Some people estimate the average electronics leak to be about 4W each, with an average home totaling 50W ($4.5/mon) but this Canadian found his home was leaking 1.5MWh per year which is a 177 watt leak (costing almost $16/mon).

Here are some conservation tips. Using lots of watts from lights and electronics generates heat, increasing the need to use even more electricity to run a fan or A/C. This can be reduced by using less light (which is why my place is usually dim) and/or more efficient bulbs (e.g. fluorescent). Also, opening the windows and using fans to cool your place at night consumes significantly less electricity than A/C.
Posted 07/19/2008 10:12 PM in Ramblings, Who knew? | Total Comments: (0)
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