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Topic # 180712 18-Sep-2015 21:16
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Trying to get a better grip on power usage both for our own household and the MIL, who lives in the flat next door.  In particular, she is running up massive power bills for someone living alone and I can't make sense of it.  Every time I look at the meter, usage seems normal for whatever is switched on at the time.  And I tried various isolation tests, also seemingly normal.  Seems like something is happening when I'm not watching ;)

As getting her to change providers (Contact - who only give monthly readings and nothing else) is going to be a hassle, and it seems like none of them give you good granular data in a timely manner anyway, I opted for a SmartNow gateway and two Senseable transmitters (one for our meter as well because why not).

These should provide readings every 5-6 seconds for both households.  I figure the initial outlay (close to $300) should pay for itself in power savings as problem usage is identified and resolved.

I've got them both working and giving readings but having trouble getting the gateway registered on the website, my.currentcost.com - I've let them know about it and I'll let you know how I get on.

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  Reply # 1389960 18-Sep-2015 22:05
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Looks interesting. Good to hear how you go with it.

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  Reply # 1390000 18-Sep-2015 22:59
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I had a CurrentCost at home about five years ago. Since then we had a smart meter installed and removed the device. It's an interesting view of usage patterns but our electricity provider (Powershop) gives us similar information (albeit not in real time).

I think you would get a better view (if not savings) by moving to a different provider, with less cost and infrastructure.


 
 
 
 




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  Reply # 1390002 18-Sep-2015 23:08
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How soon/often do you get readings with Powershop?

With Genesis I can get only 1 hour intervals 2 days later.

My hope with this is to spot high usage at the time and find what's causing it...

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  Reply # 1390005 18-Sep-2015 23:33
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On a daily basis, with a daily total.


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  Reply # 1390012 19-Sep-2015 00:00
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Check the reading last thing at night and first in the morning. In any case there cannot be many things to cause a big use like that. Hot water is a common issue with 2kw/3kw/4kw elements big usage and one of the few big things thing that will trigger overnight. If that is an issue can be thermostat, element, or plumbing cause for that one.



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  Reply # 1390110 19-Sep-2015 09:52
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gzt: Check the reading last thing at night and first in the morning. In any case there cannot be many things to cause a big use like that. Hot water is a common issue with 2kw/3kw/4kw elements big usage and one of the few big things thing that will trigger overnight. If that is an issue can be thermostat, element, or plumbing cause for that one.


Yep and I can't see any problem there, hence why I'm bringing out the big guns...

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  Reply # 1390116 19-Sep-2015 10:14
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having trouble getting the gateway registered on the website, my.currentcost.com

Any error message?



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  Reply # 1390402 19-Sep-2015 19:07
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Yep, "Error registering device. Check serial no." - I've gone back to smartnow and they're looking at it.

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  Reply # 1390431 19-Sep-2015 20:26
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Ok, you added the serial number but no change. If there is any factory reset on the device you could try and repeat but most likely its a waiting game.



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  Reply # 1391989 22-Sep-2015 15:25
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Well they got it sorted.  Only one channel for now (they still have to load the other channel license on) - already I can see some interesting usage, note this is for our place not MIL's.



That big peak comes as I had showered (HWC), was using the oven, boiling the kettle and running the toaster.

The 2kw peaks are probably the HWC recovering from morning showers.  The cylinder itself is well insulated (not even warm to the touch) so I doubt whether it needs to run very much in between times.  The pipes aren't lagged however which leads to some wastage for the kitchen sink at least, the shower is directly by the HWC so it is hot instantly.

The 500w odd peaks I am guessing are the oil heater in my son's b'room.  Probably can turn that off during the day and see if they go away (should be able to kill it at night soon, too)

There's a base load of 250W or so made up of standby and the media server / storage. That's a fair bit so I must find some ways to cut this down.

Already has pointed out to me some problem areas to look at in our place.  Once they add the license for the 2nd channel we should be able to identify what's going on at MIL's...



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  Reply # 1392330 22-Sep-2015 22:51
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Ohoh, they upgraded my account now so I can see the extra sensor data.



The lower image is the MIL's.  This should help get to the bottom of those power bills ...

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  Reply # 1392438 23-Sep-2015 08:27
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The SmartNow product looks like exactly what I need as Meridian don’t have a smart 3-phase import/export meter.

 

The only problem is the SmartNow site says they are no longer in stock. Does anyone know where to get these or an alternative?



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  Reply # 1392491 23-Sep-2015 09:30
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SQLGeek: The SmartNow product looks like exactly what I need as Meridian don’t have a smart 3-phase import/export meter. The only problem is the SmartNow site says they are no longer in stock. Does anyone know where to get these or an alternative?


I guess ask them? They have a new meter type coming which looks at the LED on your meter.  Should be more accurate.

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  Reply # 1392538 23-Sep-2015 10:07
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Some more ideas for you although you have probably looked at them all?

Does she have an old CRT TV that uses a lot of power?  or a TV or radio on all day?
Does she leave all the lights on?  are they the old style 100w bulbs or newer CFL/LED bulbs? - my parents are guilty of this one! they live alone in a 4 bedroom house and have all the lights on all the time when they are just in the lounge watching tv...
Does she have a dehumidifier on for most of the day or something else like that???
or an electric blanket on her bed running all night?

We also found our oven used a lot of power even when we weren't using it so that gets switched off at the wall...
Of course NEVER switch the hot water heating off unless you are away for a week or two because that uses more power to reheat the water and can kill the element...

Interested to see what the problem turns out to be.



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  Reply # 1392553 23-Sep-2015 10:13
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Bee: Some more ideas for you although you have probably looked at them all?

Does she have an old CRT TV that uses a lot of power?  or a TV or radio on all day?
Does she leave all the lights on?  are they the old style 100w bulbs or newer CFL/LED bulbs? - my parents are guilty of this one! they live alone in a 4 bedroom house and have all the lights on all the time when they are just in the lounge watching tv...
Does she have a dehumidifier on for most of the day or something else like that???
or an electric blanket on her bed running all night?

We also found our oven used a lot of power even when we weren't using it so that gets switched off at the wall...
Of course NEVER switch the hot water heating off unless you are away for a week or two because that uses more power to reheat the water and can kill the element...

Interested to see what the problem turns out to be.


I think I've figured it out already.  She said she uses the heater for "1-2 hours a day" but the graph looks like it was on at least 12 hours yesterday.

I already swapped most of the incandescent bulbs out for CCFLs because that was a bit of an issue before.

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