Home electricity bill
First month in the new house. Looks like I had 230 kwh of usage.
Doing some experiments from before I moved in and when I was away for a few days, it looks like
120 kwh is due to water heater upkeep
67.5 kwh is refrigerator and freezer upkeep
The remaining 43 kwh/month is from using the water, opening/closing the fridge and freezer, lights and device charging.
Kind of outrageous that more than half of my power bill is simply keeping water warm. A heat pump water heater should use half as much electricity but the fixed cost is high vs my usage cost, which suggests break even in about five years.
July 10th, 2017 3:39pm
Maybe you could put in a gas water-heater.
I think gas is cheaper than electricity.
July 10th, 2017 3:46pm
Yeah, electric water heater is a waste of money.
July 10th, 2017 3:54pm
Yes. It should be heating oil or gas burner. It is more efficient that way too.
July 10th, 2017 4:00pm
My gas water heating device only heats the water when I open the tap.
When I shower I need to adjust the mix with cold water, when the colder water from underground reaches the heater.
It is almost antique now, but there were still parts available and this one had a full overhaul with new essential components, so it can run for the rest of my life.
A gas connection to the grid for new houses has been mandatory for the last 50 years, they only cancelled that requirement this month for new houses with a reliable alternative hot water plan.
Ah, Europeans with their "point of demand" gas-heating systems. Very nice. Very efficient. But kind of hard to retro-fit to American systems, I would have thought.
Still, you raise a good point.
July 10th, 2017 4:14pm
Hmmm, "point of demand" hot water heater? Do you get instant hot water or standing there for 15 minutes?
July 10th, 2017 4:18pm
Instant hot water, and unlimited amount.
Maybe the heat exchange mechanism between fire and water is not the most efficient, but that is easily compensated by the lack of losses during idle times.
I had a tankless water heater that, although advertised as such, was far from instant.
July 10th, 2017 4:40pm
We had them since I was a baby.
There is of course a dependence on the water tube between the heater and the tap.
In my kitchen the hot water is immediate, as the kitchen tap is integrated in the device.
For the shower it takes half a minute for the hot water to get to the shower, so I open the shower tap, get a towel etc, and then enter the shower.
230kWh for 30 days is very good for this time of year. You're doing well, sounds like things are running efficiently and are properly insulated.
July 10th, 2017 4:46pm
There are tankless heaters in the US (typically Rennai), but they're expensive and I think they require a circulation pump with extra pipe.
His cost for electric water heating is fine and normal. Switching to gas won't help, it'll cost a lot to install, and gas prices have fluctuated a lot over the years.
What will help is to install a passive solar water pre-heater on the roof. As a tech guy he can build it himself out of junkyard parts and some copper pipe from the hardware store. There are lots of plans on line. This brings the temperature up a lot so that the water entering the tank is warm instead of cold. It'll cut his water heater cost by about 80%.
July 10th, 2017 7:47pm
A tankless water heater is a bad idea if you have teenagers in the house.
They will never come out of the shower.
July 10th, 2017 8:25pm
Our gas prices are skyrocketing because our resource managers sold all our natural gas for a song to foreign buyers and we now pay world parity prices for it.
The quarterly gas bill is going to rival the electricity bill that has ballooned for other reasons.
I think I'll replace our 170 litre gas HWS storage system when the time comes with an electric one fed from the 4.5ke of PV roof panels - we get 10c/kwh for what we sell and pay 24c/kwH for what we draw. May as well heat the water for free<<<<<<< what we've already bought and paid for.
July 11th, 2017 1:31am
If any place should be covered with solar panels, it's Oz, no?
July 11th, 2017 4:40am
Wabi, it's kind of ironic that half your bill is to cool things down and the other half is to heat things up.
July 11th, 2017 6:05am
Well, that's American luxury, isn't it?
We want our air cool, and our shower-water hot.
And in our domicile, it doesn't cost that much to achieve that.
I think that's what they call "High Standard Of Living".
July 11th, 2017 9:25am
One may design the architecture of houses to facilitate climate control instead of just applying power.
That's true, too, and in America we're currently doing that.
But any house more than 15 years old probably doesn't have that.
July 11th, 2017 10:09am
Plus, in America, we're WAY into 'cookie-cutter' houses, where a 'housing development' will be built with maybe 5 floor-plans repeated 20 times, with minor customizations available for kitchen doors and knobs and a closet here and a hot-tub-sized bath there.
It takes a highly evolved builder (or a VERY expensive area) to add "passive environmental control" to their cookie-cutter designs. It's being done more recently, but still not very common.
July 11th, 2017 10:12am
"I'll replace our 170 litre gas HWS storage system when the time comes with an electric one fed from the 4.5ke of PV roof panels"
Dude this is a seriously fucking stupid plan.
Solar water heaters are a great idea. You put a box with pipes and reflective backing and a clear top on the roof and it heats the water.
Putting tens of thousands of dollars of panels up there to generate electricity to store in batteries to heat an electric element to heat the water not only costs 10,000 times more, it's 100 times less efficient.
July 11th, 2017 10:44am
AND it produces toxic byproducts (battery waste) AND the manufacturing process massively rapes the environment (rare earth elements in cells and lithium in batteries).
July 11th, 2017 10:45am
Idiot, solar hot water panels freeze solid and rupture in our rare trips below zero celsius. Maybe they don't in your Fahrenheit zone.
Besides, there's no room now for any hotwater panels up there - it's all taken up by PV and I'm happy as Larry with the system. Next - a honking great big battery.
July 11th, 2017 1:13pm
Jesus Christ man.
"Hey everybody look at how green I am!"
(destroys environment with toxic inefficient shitshow)
July 11th, 2017 1:18pm
> Idiot, solar hot water panels freeze solid and rupture in our rare trips below zero celsius.
Just put anti-freeze in the collectors. You need a heat exchange system then of course.
In NL one gets € 2167 from the government for such an installation.
Unclear if he's in the arctic or not. I've used this system in places where it gets to be -20F in winter (-29C). The box needs to be sealed. And you don't let the water stagnate, so you let things drip on cold nights.
But yeah you can do the heat exchanger and have an antifreeze loop. You need a pump to run the exchanger, but it uses less energy.
If going to that much trouble though I really would suggest switching to whole house central conditioning using a geothermal heat pump and have the water preheater as part of the heat pump system. Then you have nice temperature everywhere year round and it costs practically nothing to operate.
July 11th, 2017 2:33pm
>"Hey everybody look at how green I am!"
fuck no, it's all in the cashflow, we're being raped by our power utilities.
July 12th, 2017 2:16am
July 12th, 2017 2:18am
Like I've said before, nothing funnier than an Ozzie in the cold (:=). This is the money quote:
"There are various manufacturers of them, and some of them aren't really up to the job of the frost."
July 12th, 2017 7:42am
I was just reading up on a new project here in Groningen where they are going to provide hot water to 30,000 households with a 3 km deep, hot water layer.
Here's hoping it's reasonably pure hot water down there (I presume you don't frack).
July 12th, 2017 8:46pm
July 12th, 2017 8:50pm
> Here's hoping it's reasonably pure hot water down there (I presume you don't frack).
There is a 10% chance the well will not be suitable.