In January I wrote that home solar might be lipstick on a pig, and it makes more sense to make a home energy efficient before even considering solar. I also promised to post monthly updates on our utility bills.
I’m going to something a little different this month. June was hot. Hotter than a normal June, so before I post the YTD analysis, I am going to share a graph with our daily electricity use versus the high temperature each day. Keep in mind that weekends are going to be higher than weekdays, because we are home, usually inside, spending time together versus the weekdays when I am outside working and Joyce is at work. Quite a while ago, before our upgrade, Southern California Edison installed a wireless electric meter that sends information to Edison. The great thing about this set-up is Edison can now compile data for the homeowner to help analyst usage, which is where I got the data for the chart.
Bottom line for June is electrical use was down 56.2% against the 5 year average, and natural gas use was down 48.4% and I am thrilled with both!
With the ability to check hourly usage data online, it becomes easy to stay on top of energy use and make adjustments as needed. This ability has helped us reduce usage, but the one thing we have not done, is set the thermostat to high so we are not comfortable. We installed ceiling fans to help keep costs down. Fans by themselves are not going to cool the house on a hot desert day, but if one is stationary a fan can make you feel cooler. I read that a ceiling fan can make a person “feel” 5 degrees cooler. That is an over estimate in my personal opinion. It is more like 2-3 degrees. But if 81F with a fan is as comfortable as 78F, use the fan at 81F. The electricity to operate the fan will be than the air conditioning system running longer and more often to keep the temperature at 78. Without a fan, Joyce is very comfortable at 79F, but it is too cold for me, 81F is better. But for domestic tranquility and the fact that if the wife is happy, everyone is happy; the thermostat is set for Joyce’s comfort.
We installed 5 of these fans. They are remote controlled and include LED light fixtures. There are two in the living room area, one in the breakfast nook, and one in the office. We don’t turn them on all at once, we just turn on a fan if we are stationary and close to a fan.
Here is the data analysis of daily temperature vs. kWh used.
And our YTD analysis: