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re: frugal electric power
19 dec 1997
curiousity killed george  wrote:

>the first thing to look at is your last electric bill, which should
>show you the "kilowatt hours" used, and the amount you paid for 'em.

my peco bill says 237 kwh at a cost of 13.05 cents per kwh + $5.10 for
"basic service," + 114 kwh at a cost of 5.48 c/kwh + $4.58 for off-peak
"basic service," (an electric water heater) ie a total of 351 kwh for
$46.86, or 13.35 c/kwh, or about $560/year.

>i invested in fluorescent lights a few years back...

me too... what's next? an off-peak battery charger and inverter? if
charging and inverting were 20% efficient, this would increase my
non-off-peak consumption to 237x1.2 = 284 kwh/month, and lower my bill
to about (284+114)x$0.0548+ $4.58 = $26.41. will peco provide off-peak
service without regular service? the inverter has to simultaneously 
run the well pump and stove and fridge...

>my computer, a modern pentium with a large monitor and assorted
>peripherals, may run around 400w all told-- about $0.03 an hour.

my old computers use less power... but it looks like i have to pay $9.68
per month in service charges even with no electrical energy consumption. 
electric utilities typically put 2 kwh of "waste heat" up the cooling
towers for every kwh of power they generate. maybe it's time to unhook
from the grid. put a $900 1800 watt 92 pound honda generator in the
basement that makes a total of 8.8 kw of heat while burning 0.23 gallons
of gasoline per hour at the 1500 w rated output, ie 16.9 cents/kwh. if
that heat made hot water, i'd only need 284 kwh/month, running the generator
for about 6 hours per day, at a cost of $48.06 per month, if gas costs
$1.10 per gallon. maybe this off-road gas would be cheaper...

>i've dropped my thermostat to 60f, which turns out to be reasonably
>comfortable with a sweater...

it's 60 f in my house too. i turned off the furnace and built a sunspace. 


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