The difficulty in analysing the data I can download from Whitby Hydro is not having a clear record of what was happening during the time being analyzed. So when I review our consumption, I have no idea what caused the increase (or decrease) in use. So I have decided to make a tracking chart where I can record dishwasher runs, washing and drying of clothes, etc. Also on my chart will be whether I shut down the computers or not as I haven’t been consistent with that. I know this seems super anal but without it I have no clue what is happening to cause my hydro to spike. And in related news, PeakSaver program finally called and we have an appointment booked in December to hook us up. We will also get a new power monitor so that should help with the real time power saving.
When I came home yesterday there was a doorhanger on the front door for the PeakSaver Plus program. Perfect I thought. This ties right into my energy management plan. It was promoted by Whitby Hydro so I knew it wasn’t one of the alternate energy resellers. I was hoping it was a program that would save me money during the peak times because as a home office, I use most of my power during the peak time. But its not.
The program allows the hydro company to cycle down participants power when they are reaching their maximums. This prevents blackouts and saves the utility money by not requiring the purchase of power from other sources. The utility has the ability to turn off your air conditioner, hot water heater, or pool pump for 15 minute periods as required. There is apparently no noticeable difference to the homeowner during this shutdown.
So what’s in it for the homeowner? Obviously, if they are reducing your power consumption during peak times, this should reduce your energy costs. But after researching the program online, it seems most participants have had few reductions over the past 2 years. So to sweeten the deal, PeakSaver is offering 2 freebies when you sign up. A free programmable thermostat that will also allow you to control the temperature over the internet and a free energy monitor. We have a programmable thermostat already but I am hoping they have to come install it and can put it in a different location. Fingers crossed. We also have an energy monitor that we had installed before the smart meter was installed. It hasn’t made it back onto the meter so again, I am hoping they will install that too!
Go to www.peaksaverplus-enrolment.com/ to sign up. Whitby is not the only utility participating so check if yours is part of this promotion. After signing up, apparently someone will be contacting us. I will post a follow up once they do.
I can go online and download the hydro usage for our house. Here is the graph of October 2012. I started this “project” on October 25th so this graph works as the BEFORE snapshot. The graph does correlate to the average temperature which I guess makes some sense for the summer but we try to limit our use of the air conditioning so I am not sure why it should map that closely. I have my suspicions about the validity of the actual data but haven’t kept any logs to match against. That is something I will have to do in the future. We also own a hydro tracking device that we had installed last year but had to remove when the smart meter was installed. The device allows real time monitoring versus the “day after” information I can get from the hydro website. I will have to nag my husband to get it installed again.