This Electric Life

What contributes to your home’s base load electricity use?

(This is the third installment in a series as Energy Services Assistant Manager Anne Bertino explores her home energy usage. Previous articles appeared on 7/3 and 8/8.)

Finally we are enjoying some summer weather and that means that there is still time to figure out what in my house is using energy besides the heating system. To remind you, I am looking for appliances and electronics that use a total of around 17 kWh per day.

Next to the heating and cooling systems, water heaters are the largest consumers of electricity in our homes.  I turned the water heater off at the breaker for two different 24 hour periods. Voila! I found at least 8 KWh of usage. That’s around half of the total 17 kWh that I am looking for.

Most water heaters have a 4500watt heating element. For example, if this element was on heating the water for 2 hours total in a 24 hour period the electricity usage would add up to 9 kWh.

Previously, I figured out that the TV and DVR together were using approximately .5  kWh per 24 hrs.  Now I know what is consuming about 8.5 to 9 kWh out of the 17kWh I am looking for.

Next, I unplugged a hot water re-circulating pump. This is a device that, several times an hour, will circulate hot water through the plumbing so that if we turn on a fixture hot water will almost instantly be there. The re-circulating pump was consuming about 1.5 kWh per 24 hours.

So, as of today, I know where about 10 to 11 kWh per day is coming from.  Items that are still on my list to investigate are the septic system pump and the water pump and purification system.

Stay Tuned –