Tag: Electrical Usage

Electric Car Home Charging Stations

Every consumer who is considering purchasing an electric car must consider at least two major issues. Where will they charge their vehicle while on the road and how will they charge their vehicle at home. This post is going to focus on electric car home charging stations for electric only vehicles. Hybrid vehicles use the cars gasoline engine, brakes etc to recharge the batteries are are not considered part of the subject of this post.

What do you Need for electric car home charging stations?

There are some practical aspects to consider when installing electric car home charging stations. For example you will need an electrician to install the plug in or near your garage, wherever you park your car. It should be at least 30 amps capacity and have a chord that will reach to wherever your car is parked.

Go large. In other words it may cost less to install a 15 amp charger, but a 30 amp charger will charge your batteries more quickly. This is a consideration for this vehicle and your planned use as well as future vehicles. It can be frustrating to wait around for your cars batteries to charge.

The cost will vary by location, but somewhere between $500 to $1000 seems to be the norm. Regardless follow the specifications provided by the dealer. Build as much flexibility and capacity into the installation as you can depending on the additional cost. Some charging cables can also be portable. If so take advantage of this feature if you plan to move in the near future.

Monitoring Daily Electrical Usage

Monitoring Daily Electrical UsageAs mentioned in the previous post, “Reduce Electricity First”, we are talking about our current electrical usage. We want to learn how we can reduce the electricity usage to help us save money. We want to reduce the impact of our usage on the environment. Additionally reduce the need or load on any alternate energy systems that we might be able to use in the future. There are a couple of charts that will help to illustrate how the impact of rates, time of day and the day of the week can affect your total electrical usage and more importantly the final bill.

Monitoring Daily Electrical Usage

We thought it would be helpful to illustrate the hourly usage from, Monday Monitoring Daily Electrical Usage, June 27th, 2011. This should help understand the impact of various systems and devices that consume electricity in the home. The colors indicate off peak (green – 7pm to 7am and weekends), mid peak (yellow – 7am to 11am, 5pm to 7pm) and Peak usage (red – 11pm to 5pm). This comes from a web site that is provided by our electricity provider.

The cost for each hour is also illustrated for reference to show how much power was consumed for each hour.  Over night from 12 am to 6 am, all that is running are security lights, the fridge and various devices that are turned off , but plugged in.

At 6 am, the pool pump is turned on, the coffee is being made and the TV is on. There is a corresponding jump in electrical usage. Around 10:15, the pool pump is turned off and again the only thing running is the odd light and the TV as well as devices plugged in but not turned on. At 6:30, the evening meal is being cooked, the pool pump is on and some lights are being turned on. After 10:30, everything is turned off except for  the security lights and devices that are plugged in but not turned on.  This really shows the dramatic impact that managing your electrical usage can have on usage and the associated costs.

Using Smart Meters

Although some people are very upset about being forced to use smart meters they really do provide a lot more information. You can learn about how you are using electrical power and when you use this power. With the exception of reducing the time that the pool pump is running we are not really limiting ourselves in any way. Instead we are just managing when we use power to take advantage of the lower rates. For example peak rates are 18.7 cents per KW, while off peak rates are only 8.9 per KW. This is a significant difference when you add it up for every hour of the day, the week and the year. These rates were updated for Nov 2016.

If you are not on a smart meter system, you really only need to be concerned about how much power you use and how you can reduce it. With a smart meter system that measures electrical usage on an hourly basis, you now have a tool that you can use to take advantage of lower rates in the evening and reduce your power consumption even more.

Smart Thermostat

Some consumers have also adopted the smart thermostat. This allows the power company to turn your thermostat up to reduce the cost of air conditioning during peak times. This has the dual impact of reducing your power consumption and lowering your bill. While at the same reducing the load on the system which will avoid what is called a brown out or failure of the electrical system.

While you are doing this you are not only saving money, you are also transferring usage from peak times to low peak times, which means that the utilities can delay construction of additional capacity. Obviously if only one person does this, there will be little overall impact. On the other hand if millions of consumers follow this approach we can have a serious impact on the construction plans that the utilities must pursue.
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