A conversation at the recent Pycon in Sydney got me thinking about reducing the base load power use at our house.
Today I purchased and installed a Clipsal "Cent-a-meter", $148 from AGL.
You install a sensor that clips around the active line to the house in the fuse box, wired to a transmitter. Indoors a receiver displays the Kilowatt reading. It can also calculate what you're paying in cents (hence the terrible pun in the name), but I haven't set that up yet.
We had an electrician here for something else so I got him to help put the sensor in but it's a simple job with no electrical connection required.
Without any changes to the number of computers, plugpacks, set top boxes and other devices, we are running at about 0.74KW.
Turning on the stove, oven and kettle quickly spikes us up 6.7KW:
The plan is to watch this thing for a few days to get the hang of what's normal and then try to unplug all those un-used things around the house to see how much it can be reduced. I'll update this post to report how we go.
We've un-plugged a few devices and encouraged computers to sleep and this morning base consumption was 340W.
There's still a long way to go.
Up early this morning, 6:30, and I see we're running at 5.7KW. This will be the electric hot water system which is connected to the off-peak meter and remote controlled. When I put the kettle on we went over 8KW which is the highest I've seen so far. I wish this thing had a data logger...