Analyzing Hourly Hydro UsageOne of the things we have learned while doing some research on alternative energy sources is that the payback you get for your time spent and also for the money you are going to spend is greatest when you practice energy conservation. I just received our annual summary of our electrical bill and was pleasantly surprised to see a 22% drop in out total annual hydro cost, while rates went up by 6.8% over that same time period. That’s a total of 29% savings in my books! All you need to do is start analyzing hourly hydro usage and then take the necessary steps to lower the usage during peak rate times.

These are real savings and real reductions in energy costs to our household. It is easy to accomplish and the payback is almost immediate without too much impact on the family.

Analyzing Hourly Hydro Usage – How did we do that?

Well it turns out it was pretty easy.  Here is a summary of what we have done:

  • Convert all incandescent lights to fluorescent light bulbs
  • Run the AC only during non-peak hours (avoid  11am – 5pm)
  • Run the clothes dryer in off peak hours (avoid 7am -7pm)
  • Operate the pool pump for 3 hours in the morning during mid-peak hours
  • Run the pool pump for 4 hours in the evening during off peak hours
  • Weekends are all off peak, so anything you can push to the weekend saves money e.g. Oven self cleaning
  • Turn off lights when you are not in the room
  • Turn off the TV if no one is watching it
  • Avoid using electricity any time you can

Pretty simple and there was no adverse impact on our family, other than the temperature in our home was warm during the day. At first I had complaints, but there was a solution to this.  This pushed us into using the pool more often which was fun! If you do not have a pool, you may not want to turn the AC off. Just raise the temperature a bit to save some energy usage. If no one is home during the day, then turn up the temperature on the thermostat. Hence you avoid cooling a home when no one is home. If you have pets, consumers need to take into account their comfort as well.

Knowing What Your Electrical Usage Is

The image on the right shows Analyzing Hourly Hydro Usagein graphical form the usage in KW’s as well as the actual cost for one day in Aug, 2011. During the time from 12 midnight until 6am, the only thing running are 3 outdoor lights, 2 indoor lights and the fridge. Three cents and hour is very  affordable! If you are using more electricity than this you may want to investigate. What appliances, lights, and other devices that may be using electricity at this time. Shutting them off or unplugging them can make a difference in the amount of electricity that you actually consume.

From approximately 7am until around 10am, we run the pool pump, after that , only standard stuff such as the TV, coffee maker, the fridge etc. Pretty much the same throughout the day. You can see the hydro consumption as well as the cost based on the different rates depending on the time of day. On this day I turned the pool pump on early around 5 pm after on-peak hours had ended and you can see how our consumption shot up at 5 pm and continued until around 10pm when I shut the pool pump off.

We saved over $400 on our annual bill and even more when you consider that rates had increased. $400 may not be much for some people, but I would rather have that in my pocket instead of some other company.

This is definitely a huge payoff and is one of the first things you should consider when looking for alternative energy source investments. We will be adding more posts to this site about energy sources for consumers, but if you are looking for a quick payback, this is the way to do it.

We wanted to make sure that our readers were aware of this huge savings opportunity. For more posts about reducing your electricity consumption, click here.