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Weekly Electrical Usage from Google PowerMeter

Since I like to measure and monitor things (maybe that is why I am a DBA), and I care about the environment, I installed a TED 5000 and connected it to Google PowerMeter about six weeks ago. Every week, Google sends out an email that summarizes your power usage by day for the previous week, and by week for the previous six weeks. My latest report is shown below:

My goal for February was to come in under 400kWh for the month, but it looks like I am going to end up at around 430kWh for the month, which is not too bad for late winter. As we move into spring and average outside temperatures increase, I have a better chance of breaking the 400kWh barrier.

The sawtooth pattern in blue in the picture below shows the effect of the gas furnace blower fan coming on periodically. I think it also is an indication that I need to improve the insulation in my attic. It also may be a sign that the furnace is too large for the house. It is an Amana 95% efficient gas furnace that has worked well, but I suspect that the HVAC subcontractor that sized and installed it didn’t know what they were doing.


I am very curious what other people’s typical monthly electrical usage is in kWh, so feel free to post a comment!


Posted by Steve Jones on 1 March 2010

Interesting, why does the sawtooth show that the furnace is too large?

Posted by Glenn Berry on 1 March 2010

I have read that an oversized furnance cycles too often (which wastes energy) in a few places:


"An oversized furnace (one whose capacity is too large) costs substantially more to operate than a correctly sized furnace. This is because oversized furnaces typically cycle on and off more often than correctly sized furnaces, and cycling on and off is more expensive than running at steady state."

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