Need more data

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.

Who am I?

The title is not meant to be an introspective rhetorical question. This is the part where I give you the facts that will guide us through my energy project.

  • We live in Whitby Ontario Canada in a detached 2500 square foot house.
  • There are 4 of us, myself, my husband, and two boys. One is age 16 and one is age 12.
  • Plus one very large Labradoodle.
  • We are customers of Whitby Hydro and have been on Time of Use (TOU) billing since June 2011. We can access the hourly usage and download the data to excel.
  • I operate my accounting and tax business from home which means that there are computers and lights on during the peak times for hydro use.
  • We have an above ground pool with a gas heater and electric pump.
  • We have a tankless water heater.
  • Our house is heated with gas and we have one gas fireplace.
  • Our basement is finished and we have an electric fireplace down there that we use to supplement the heat in the winter.
  • We are technology addicted and have 2 iphones, 1 Samsung Galaxy III, 2 ipods, 2 desktop computers (1 workstation and one file server), 3 laptops, 5 TVs, 1 BlackBerry Playbook, 2 XBox systems, a wireless network, cable internet modem and a partridge in a pear tree (just checking if you’re still with me LOL).  Yes, the list is actually somewhat embarrassing when its all written out like that.
  • Most of our lights are on dimmers. Leaving lights on in unoccupied rooms is a BIG issue.
  • We have an electric washer and dryer, a dishwasher, electric stove, fridge, microwave, coffee maker, Tassimo machine, toaster, blender, and other small kitchen appliances that we use periodically. All these appliances are relatively new, with the stove being the oldest at 12 years.
  • In the basement we have another fridge which is about 12 years old, a chest freezer (about 20 years old), a treadmill, an aquarium (which is currently not in use), a projector system, a microwave, and a dehumidifier.
  • One of the bedrooms upstairs is half over the garage (which is unheated) and has a whole wall of windows that face west.  We do not have anyone directly across the street so in the winter there is no buffer to the wind. This room ends up cold in the winter and my son uses a space heater to help keep it warm.

I think that is enough to get us started.  I will update this info if anything else relevant comes up.

The next post will be a summary of our usage over the past year and how much it costs. From that I will define some goals to start attacking this problem.