Readers will know of my shock at receiving an electricity
bill well over $1K for three months over Xmas. Well, Emberpulse is now in place,
and I am beginning to fight back and stop the energy rip-off.
The original Emberpulse article in April (here) led me to get the unit installed on May 14 (article here). OK, today is only two weeks later, but I am impressed. Emberpulse, my wife and I are determined to keep power use in check.
Data is king, and with the Emberpulse app (or web browser portal), we have begun to understand which appliances are ‘energy hogs’ and to alter our use to times where power is cheaper. Here is our first report.
We have spent $41 of our budgeted $113 saving $72 in two weeks.
We did this by
Running the washing machine on a delayed start to use cheaper power
Putting the dishwasher on after 10 PM – ditto
Using a convection microwave/grill instead of a power-hungry oven
Avoiding using the reverse cycle AC to warm the whole house – wasteful. Instead using a Delonghi purifier fan/heater to create micro-climate zone around our TV viewing area and later on ECO mode in the bedroom to keep that at the right temperature. To give equal prominence, the Dyson Pure Hot and Cool is good at providing energy efficient heating where you need it.
Our first indicator is the Emberpulse monitor.
It flashes in green, orange and red depending on off-peak, shoulder and peak use. It flashes faster if you are using more energy. When it flashes angry red, we search for things to turn off. It is great to reminder to turn off lights!
Then the app (or browser portal) charts energy use by time.
Most of the time, our house chugs along below 500w (Fridge, router, PC, printer etc.).
The peak at 14:00 was the dishwasher (we needed to put it on
then as we needed things for dinner) and just after 1800 where we needed to use
the oven griller for a few minutes. The other peak is the De’Longhi heater but
by itself, it only consumers from 500 to 1500W as you can see from 00:00 to 08:00
Emberpulse also supplied an Emberplug
We can get accurate power use readings for any item plugged into it. The first bar below is the De’Longhi on maximum heat settings and the second is a Breville Double Grill.
What have we learnt?
It is becoming muscle memory that there are three
power prices each 24-hours. 10 PM to 7 AM is lowest, and 5 PM to 10 PM is
highest. Use expensive energy sparingly.
We have installed LED energy efficient lamps in the
frequently used areas: the kitchen, home office and bedrooms. These use a
fraction of the power that the CFL or Halogen lamps did without any brightness
loss. What is best is that OK Google controls the lights now. Instead of the
lamps blazing at full brightness we select the light we need – 20% for mood, 50%
for reading and seldom 100%.
It is too early to talk about socking it to the energy retailer
– Emberpulse needs about three months of history to do that. But when we are ready,
we will have the data to negotiate.