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Living with TED 5000

Since I installed my TED 5000 home energy monitor about a week ago, I have learned quite a bit about my electricity usage patterns in a pretty short time. I have been averaging between 14-17 KwH per day (which would be 420-510 Kwh for the month). The lowest real time usage I have seen so far is 225 watts, while the highest has been 5520 watts! It turns out that my electric oven uses about 4000 watts. Other energy hogs include the electric toaster (900 watts), the furnace blower fan (800 watts), and and my 40” Sony LCD TV at about 250 watts.

The amazing thing about the TED 5000 is that it accurately updates real time energy usage every second. I can turn off a CFL light, and see the overall usage go down by 12 watts in about a second. I signed up with Google PowerMeter today, so I can see the real time and historical usage over the Internet. Part of me is afraid I am becoming too much like Ed Begley, Jr. on Living with Ed. I actually enjoy his show, but I am not nearly as dedicated as he is.

Below is the minute by minute Kw and voltage readings for my house over the last twelve hours. Red is voltage and blue is Kw usage. The huge spike just before 5:00PM is the electric oven being turned on. The seesaw pattern though most of the day shows the effect of the furnace blower motor cycling on and off. It is in the mid thirties in Parker today, and I have my programmable thermostat set to 66 degrees for the day during the weekend. My furnace is a ten year old Amana that is 95 percent efficient. One thing I have been considering is replacing it with a new unit that has two stages and has a two speed fan.

I have noticed that my baseline electric usage is typically around 300 watts when the furnace blower is not running, but I have seen it as low as 225 watts. I have a few items that are on for 24 hours a day, such as an Energy Star refrigerator, a cable modem, a D-Link DIR-655 wireless-N router, three D-Link DGS-2205 Gigabit Ethernet switches, a homebuilt Windows Home server, and a DirectTV HD DVR. There are also a number of items (such as AV receivers, Blu-ray players, etc.) that are turned off, but still draw one or two watts each in standby mode. I have been considering getting a GreenSwitch to be able to completely turn off certain outlets from one switch at the door to the garage.



Posted by Steve Jones on 25 January 2010

Very interesting. I'll be curious to see how this might change your energy usage.

Posted by Glenn Berry on 25 January 2010

I am sure my energy usage will go down, its simple psychology. I have heard that typically holdhold electrical usage goes down by 15-20% when you have a monitor like this, because you can immediately see the effect of turning things on and off.

My immediate goal is to make it under 400 KwH for a month. We will see...

Posted by Jason Brimhall on 26 January 2010

Thanks very much.  You are providing me with more and more evidence to buy one of these.  I could easily see the psychology that the device offers and driving down energy use.

Posted by Glenn Berry on 26 January 2010

If you are curious about your electrical usage, but you are not ready to take the full plunge of getting a TED 5000, I recommend getting a Kill-A-Watt meter.


This lets you measure the usage of individual items. I have also used it to measure the electric usage of servers at work.

Posted by Anonymous on 19 April 2010

As I have mentioned before, I have a TED 5000 electric power monitor installed in my house that monitors

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