Posted by Al on August 21, 2006, 1:17 pm
Start with the water heater. You don't have to switch off the electric -
just put in as much solar water heating as you need / can afford. You
probably won't completely cut your electricity usage for hot water
completely, but (in Texas) odds are you'll drop it by about 80%.
Conservative estimates range from 50% to 80%, optimists claim 80% to 100%.
The bonuses are tangible too: improved home value & resale value,
immediately lowered bills with payback (at typical US rates) in about 5 to 7
years. On top of that you can breathe a bit easier knowing you're doing your
I'm curious though - how does your electricity consumption get as high as
27kWh / day? Air-con? Heating? Surely not just the pool pump and water? I'll
admit I'm a bit surprised because my family uses 7kWh /day in summer to
about 11kWh / day in winter.
Posted by doug on August 21, 2006, 2:19 pm
Impressive! I assume that number (7-11 kwatts) doesn't include heating
and cooling, and that you're using a solar powered water heater?
As for our house, its an older, house, 2 teenagers, 4 dogs, 3
computers, all electric appliances (water heater, washer, dryer,
dishwasher, stove, refrigerater). right now, without the
airconditioner, we'ver averaging 35-45kwatts a day, of which perhaps
15-20 kwatts is for the pool pump running 9 hours a day, and another
good chunk is the electric water heater. I track the air
conditioner/heat pump hours of usage and I can subtract out that power
from the meter readings. I can measure the watts drawn with/without
the pool pump running. And I can measure how much energy is used when
we're on vacation.
According to the local utility site, we're using much less power than
the average house in our zipcode, but I don't know how that compares.
Posted by SJC on August 21, 2006, 5:05 pm
If you have an electric water heater with all those people,
you would most definitely want to look into solar water heating.
Posted by nicksanspam on August 21, 2006, 9:07 pm
We'ver might enjoy learning the difference between power and energy.
Posted by Al on August 24, 2006, 1:42 pm
You're correct - we are lucky in that we rarely need cooling and only need
heat for 2 months of the year. Yes we are on solar hot water (backed up on
grid electric). But electric stove and oven. We are always frugal with
lighting but not to the point of being, umm, weird...