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Electricity usage really high

Electricity usage really high

Old Aug 21st 2019, 6:16 pm
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Default Electricity usage really high

This may be a bit of how long is a piece of string but I am wondering if anyone has any advice or experience on this.

We moved to Ottawa a couple of months ago and I noticed that our electricity bill seemed relatively high. I then noticed that we used 1,111 kwh of electricity in 29 days which is around 3 times as much as we did in the UK.

We haven't changed any habits or anything like that. We try to use the air con as little as possible and when it's cheaper ie off peak. We charge laptops and phones, and do our washing overnight when it's cheaper etc. We had the hot water tank on medium high before so turned that down to low in case it made a difference but we still used 44 kwh in 24 hours.

The house is a 4 bed place with a basement. There is me, my husband and our toddler. We are sort of at a loose end now as to what could use so much electricity. Also, interestingly, even though all the electricity we consciously use (like charging stuff etc) is off peak, the usage of off, mid and on peak electricity is as if we did not try to use it at off peak at all. That makes me think it's something that's on permanently...

Sorry for the rambling! I hope that makes some sense. Thank you!
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Old Aug 21st 2019, 6:19 pm
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Default Re: Electricity usage really high

Originally Posted by Caro90 View Post
This may be a bit of how long is a piece of string but I am wondering if anyone has any advice or experience on this.

We moved to Ottawa a couple of months ago and I noticed that our electricity bill seemed relatively high. I then noticed that we used 1,111 kwh of electricity in 29 days which is around 3 times as much as we did in the UK.

We haven't changed any habits or anything like that. We try to use the air con as little as possible and when it's cheaper ie off peak. We charge laptops and phones, and do our washing overnight when it's cheaper etc. We had the hot water tank on medium high before so turned that down to low in case it made a difference but we still used 44 kwh in 24 hours.

The house is a 4 bed place with a basement. There is me, my husband and our toddler. We are sort of at a loose end now as to what could use so much electricity. Also, interestingly, even though all the electricity we consciously use (like charging stuff etc) is off peak, the usage of off, mid and on peak electricity is as if we did not try to use it at off peak at all. That makes me think it's something that's on permanently...

Sorry for the rambling! I hope that makes some sense. Thank you!
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Old Aug 21st 2019, 6:23 pm
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Default Re: Electricity usage really high

Do you have baseboard heaters in your home? If you do and have old thermostats that use a bimetal strip, sometimes these can fail and get stuck "on". This happened to me before.
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Old Aug 21st 2019, 6:36 pm
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Default Re: Electricity usage really high

Originally Posted by CanadaJimmy View Post
Do you have baseboard heaters in your home? If you do and have old thermostats that use a bimetal strip, sometimes these can fail and get stuck "on". This happened to me before.

This is all we have throughout the house. It currently blows out cold air to cool the house, and then it will blow out hot air in the winter to warm the house.

This is what controls the cold and hot air.
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Old Aug 21st 2019, 6:47 pm
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Default Re: Electricity usage really high

Just checking our recent bill and our usage for 28 days was 1289 kWh, last month 33 days was 1016 kWh and same period last year was 1326 kWh. We have air con, washing machine (I generally dry on the line in the summer) , 2 fridges, the water heater and cooking is all electric. We do have a significant difference between on and off peak with only 166kWh being on peak.
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Old Aug 21st 2019, 7:02 pm
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Default Re: Electricity usage really high

Originally Posted by HGerchikov View Post
Just checking our recent bill and our usage for 28 days was 1289 kWh, last month 33 days was 1016 kWh and same period last year was 1326 kWh. We have air con, washing machine (I generally dry on the line in the summer) , 2 fridges, the water heater and cooking is all electric. We do have a significant difference between on and off peak with only 166kWh being on peak.
We use 231 kwh on peak. But when I work out percentages, then the percentage we use on peak is around the same as the percentage of on peak time per week/month if that makes sense.

We also have air con and washing machine. One fridge freezer. We don't use the tumble dryer. The cooker is electric. I don't know about the water heater.

But if you use a similar amount, maybe that's just the norm then? The house we had in the UK was a new build which was very energy efficient and the heating was gas central heating. Who knows...
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Old Aug 21st 2019, 7:13 pm
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Default Re: Electricity usage really high

Originally Posted by Caro90 View Post
We use 231 kwh on peak. But when I work out percentages, then the percentage we use on peak is around the same as the percentage of on peak time per week/month if that makes sense.

We also have air con and washing machine. One fridge freezer. We don't use the tumble dryer. The cooker is electric. I don't know about the water heater.

But if you use a similar amount, maybe that's just the norm then? The house we had in the UK was a new build which was very energy efficient and the heating was gas central heating. Who knows...
I see what you mean about percentage usage. The water heater uses a lot, it's very noticeable if we have visitors as extra people taking showers makes a significant difference to our usage. If you are connected to a gas supply it's likely that your heater is gas, rather than electric though
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Old Aug 21st 2019, 7:19 pm
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Default Re: Electricity usage really high

Humidity forcing your airconditioner to work overtime or else it's underpowered for the size of your house, I suspect. Try diverting (using the dampers) the aircon to rooms that you use and closing them for the rooms you don't. Electric water heaters and stoves also use a lot (especially if you use the oven) - try using a toaster oven for smaller stuff, rather than the cooker, perhaps. Make sure there's no dripping hot taps too.. and that your appliances are turned off at the mains when not in use.
I suspect you are wasting a lot of airconditioning in the basement and spare bedrooms - block the vents / close the dampers


https://www.huskyair.com/blog/long-air-conditioner-run/


(I had a gas stove but an electric water heater.. the water heater uses a lot).

Last edited by Siouxie; Aug 21st 2019 at 7:26 pm.
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Old Aug 21st 2019, 8:06 pm
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Default Re: Electricity usage really high

Originally Posted by Caro90 View Post
...we used 1,111 kwh of electricity in 29 days which is around 3 times as much as we did in the UK.
Originally Posted by HGerchikov View Post
Just checking our recent bill and our usage for 28 days was 1289 kWh, last month 33 days was 1016 kWh and same period last year was 1326 kWh....
Similar pattern here



You may be surprised at how much the AC costs. When we first moved our monthly bills were around $170 but when we used AC most days around $350 and $450 when heating used.

Heat pump system
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Old Aug 22nd 2019, 2:09 am
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Default Re: Electricity usage really high

Originally Posted by HGerchikov View Post
I see what you mean about percentage usage. The water heater uses a lot, it's very noticeable if we have visitors as extra people taking showers makes a significant difference to our usage. If you are connected to a gas supply it's likely that your heater is gas, rather than electric though
Yes we do have a gas supply and the bill seems very reasonable... Around $30 per month but $20 is their standard customer charge...
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Old Aug 22nd 2019, 2:24 am
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Default Re: Electricity usage really high

Originally Posted by Siouxie View Post
Humidity forcing your airconditioner to work overtime or else it's underpowered for the size of your house, I suspect. Try diverting (using the dampers) the aircon to rooms that you use and closing them for the rooms you don't. Electric water heaters and stoves also use a lot (especially if you use the oven) - try using a toaster oven for smaller stuff, rather than the cooker, perhaps. Make sure there's no dripping hot taps too.. and that your appliances are turned off at the mains when not in use.
I suspect you are wasting a lot of airconditioning in the basement and spare bedrooms - block the vents / close the dampers


https://www.huskyair.com/blog/long-air-conditioner-run/


(I had a gas stove but an electric water heater.. the water heater uses a lot).
Thank you. I have gone around the house and closed around five unnecessarily open dampers. They are pretty rubbish (old?) though so there is still some air coming through. Do you think it would be worthwhile standing a box on top of those vents just to make sure they're properly blocked? The basement is always cool but there only seems to be one vent which is in the wall and has no dampers. Again I could probably stand something in front of it to block the airflow.

There are a couple of other things we will try with the aircon to see if it makes a difference... Firstly even when it is not on as in blowing out air, it still made a noise. It was on an auto setting which said it would blow out cold air for at least 5 mins per hour, whatever that means. I now set it to 0 and I will also turn the aircon to OFF when we are out and don't actually use it. Before I just increased the temperature so it wouldn't come on. Also I will try out lowering the temperature setting overnight when it's cheaper so that hopefully the house will stay cool enough during the day so we don't need the aircon during mid and on peak. So whilst we might use more kwh it should still be cheaper.

We don't use the oven and stove too much, maybe a maximum of 15-25 mins per day, mid peak, but not even every day.

We have no dripping taps, but I will look into turning the appliances off at the mains.
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Old Aug 22nd 2019, 2:28 am
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Default Re: Electricity usage really high

Electric water heaters EAT electricity - we changed ours (even though it was almost new - here when we bought the house) and bought a gas one - we also changed an electric stove to a gas one - our hydro bills decreased by almost 50%. The savings paid for our gas water heater in just over 2 years.
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Old Aug 22nd 2019, 2:29 am
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Default Re: Electricity usage really high

Originally Posted by BristolUK View Post
Similar pattern here



You may be surprised at how much the AC costs. When we first moved our monthly bills were around $170 but when we used AC most days around $350 and $450 when heating used.

Heat pump system
Yes our first bill was $105 and our second bill is now $150.

The thought of a $350 monthly electricity bill during winter makes me want to cry! Better get those jumpers ready, layer up and maybe run up and down the stairs a few times to keep warm!!
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Old Aug 22nd 2019, 2:34 am
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Default Re: Electricity usage really high

Originally Posted by thistlehollyberry View Post
Electric water heaters EAT electricity - we changed ours (even though it was almost new - here when we bought the house) and bought a gas one - we also changed an electric stove to a gas one - our hydro bills decreased by almost 50%. The savings paid for our gas water heater in just over 2 years.
Unfortunately we are renting for a year so can't change the water heater. Hubby can't wait for us to buy our own house next year and get a gas stove! He hates the electric ones...

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Old Aug 22nd 2019, 2:42 am
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Default Re: Electricity usage really high

This is the water heater.

​​​​​​
Automatic storage heater... Gas type "natural". So would that still use (a lot of) electricity? 🤔

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