DIY Energy Audits and the A-Hah Moment

In the preceding post on-Less Weight Equals More Horsepower I used the comparison on how the US Automakers figured out how to make our Automobiles use less gas by lightening the vehicles weights which increased horsepower which equates into less Petrol needed for operation and how the same principles can be applied to a Buildings Energy Use and Needs. The principles I will be blogging about applies to any building-Residential or Commercial and can be used to give your Bank Account More Horsepower!

Lets start by going room by room and looking around at all the Gadgets/Appliances that are using electricity. Simple DIY Energy Audits -that anyone can perform on your building. Keep in Mind the Following two bullet points when Inspecting the Gadgets and Appliances.

  • What Gadgets or Appliances in your building are always on and consuming energy? This is Vampire Power [i].
  • Rule of Thumb? “ If your appliances are old enough to Vote it needs replaced with a newer Energy Star Appliance. [ii] ”

Here are examples of my energy use for my buildings for my DIY Energy Audit Home Office Location (Home Office).

I performed a Room by Room walk-thru inspecting taking notes of everything that used electricity. (When I’m performing a Computerized Energy Audit using Equest Software I log the information into the program and it does the math for me plus outlines areas for improvement with ROI for all costs involved.) But we’re going Old School on this Energy Audit and you will only need a basic calculator or pen and notepad.

The Benefits of Performing an Old School Energy Audit by hand and figuring things by hand is the A-Hah Moment of Energy Use- you will gain a greater understanding of:

watts of energy, kilo watts, how watts and kilowatts translate into dollars.

Location Time in UseHrs / day Electricity UsedMeasured in watts Vampire PowerYes or No

FORMULA FOR ESTIMATING ENERGY CONSUMPTION

(Wattage × Hours Used Per Day= total watts )

Cost to Operate in St Louis using Ameren UE combined electricity rate plus service fees =.11/w1 kilowatt (kW) = 1,000 Watts (total watts ÷ 1000 = Daily Kilowatt-hour (kWh) consumption) x $.11= Amount in $.
Bedroom 1(hours per day spent sleeping 8.7)
Clock Radio 24 10 yes 240 0.26
TV 4 133 yes 532 0.53
VCR DVD 2 20–25 yes 50 0.05
2-Lights- 3 bulbs ave 65 W 4 260 no 1040 1.4
Fan 8.7 65 no 565.5 0.57
Bedroom 2 [which has dual functions in my Residence as Home Office and
Dining Room]
Clock Radio 24 10 yes 240 0.24
Lights-1 overhead with 2 light bulbs-2 desktop lights Ave W of 40×3= 120 w 4 120 no 480 0.48
Computer [i] 1- 200w=800w 4 200 no 800 0.8
Laptop Computer 2 1 60 no 60 0.6
Tablet Computer 0.5 22.5 no 11.25 0.01
Internet Access [ii] 24 1.22 yes 29.28 0.03
Living Room-Lights w/2 Situational Lights 120 w Total 2 240 no 480 0.48
Living Room 1 Overhead w/ 2 light bulbs 120w total 2 120 no 240 0.24
TV 2 133 no 266 0.27
VCR/DVD 2 20-25 yes 50 0.05
Bathroom

  • Over Head Lights
4 100 no 400 0.4
KitchenGas Stove with Pilot light Zero Electricity DemandRefrigerator Number 1 in-use 100%

Wall Clock- Batteries Zero Electricity Demand

Coffee Maker:

Dishwasher:

Lighting-3-100w+1-60w=360w

MicroWave

0 0 no 0 0
24/3=8 725 yes 5800 0.58
0 0 no 0 0
2 1000 no 2000 0.2
1 1500 no 1500 1.5
4 360 no 1440 1.4
1 1000 no 1000 1
Hallway/Stairway

  • Lights
12 100 no 1200 1.20
Laundry Room

  • Washer
  • Dryer
  • Lights 2-120w total
2 400 no 800 0.8
4 3000 no 12000 1.32
1 120 no 120 0.12
Mechanical Room:

  • Furnace 50% use 3 hrs / day
  • Water Heater Gas
3 750 No 2250 0.25
0 0 0 0 0
Exterior

  • Lights 2-120w=240w total
10 2400 no 24000 2.4
Totals

TYPICAL WATTAGES OF VARIOUS APPLIANCES

Here are some examples of the range of nameplate wattages for various household appliances

  • Aquarium = 50–1210 Watts
  • Clock radio = 10
  • Coffee maker = 900–1200
  • Clothes washer = 350–500
  • Clothes dryer = 1800–5000
  • Dishwasher = 1200–2400 (using the drying feature greatly increases energy consumption)
  • Dehumidifier = 785
  • Electric blanket (Single/Double) = 60 / 100
  • Fans
    Ceiling = 65–175
    Window = 55–250
    Furnace = 750
    Whole house = 240–750
  • Hair dryer = 1200–1875
  • Heater (portable) = 750–1500
  • Clothes iron = 1000–1800
  • Microwave oven = 750–1100
  • Personal computer
    CPU – awake / asleep = 120 / 30 or less
    Monitor – awake / asleep = 150 / 30 or less
    Laptop = 50
  • Radio (stereo) = 70–400
  • Refrigerator (frost-free, 16 cubic feet) = 725
  • Televisions (color)
    • 19″ = 65–110
    • 27″ = 113
    • 36″ = 133
    • 53″ – 61″ Projection = 170
    • Flat screen = 120
  • Toaster = 800–1400
  • Toaster oven = 1225
  • VCR/DVD = 17–21 / 20–25
  • Vacuum cleaner = 1000–1440
  • Water heater (40 gallon) = 4500–5500
  • Water pump (deep well) = 250–1100
  • Water bed (with heater, no cover) = 120–380

FORMULA FOR ESTIMATING ENERGY CONSUMPTION-Use this formula to estimate an appliance’s energy use:

  • (Wattage × Hours Used Per Day) ÷ 1000 = Daily Kilowatt-hour (kWh) consumption

1 kilowatt (kW) = 1,000 Watts

Multiply this by the number of days you use the appliance during the year for the annual consumption in kWh per year.

ESTIMATING ANNUAL COST TO RUN AN APPLIANCE

Multiply the annual consumption in kWh per year (that you calculated above) by your local utility’s rate per kWh consumed to calculate the annual cost to run an appliance. Note: To estimate the number of hours that a refrigerator actually operates at its maximum wattage, divide the total time the refrigerator is plugged in by three. Refrigerators, although turned “on” all the time, actually cycle on and off as needed to maintain interior temperatures.

EXAMPLES:

Window fan:
(200 Watts × 4 hours/day × 120 days/year) ÷ 1000
= 96 kWh × 11 cents/kWh
= $10.56/year

Personal Computer and Monitor:
[(120
Watts + 150 Watts) × 4 hours/day × 365 days/year] ÷ 1000
= 394 kWh × 11 cents/kWh
= $43.34/year

What is the Best Defense to fight these upcoming high summertime cooling bills? Energy Conservation is the best defense and will provide the Fastest ROI- Return on Investment for your $Money$.

i http://michaelbluejay.com/electricity/computers.html

ii446 Kw/ year / 365= 1.22 source: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/26/us/26cable.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2&ref=energy-environment&adxnnlx=1309172425-vWWbjwsKwmR0zJvE%20C7U5Q&

i Vampire Power

Certificate of Completion-Residential Energy Auditor Training for Scotty-Scotts Contracting
Certificate of Completion-Residential Energy Auditor Training for Scotty-Scotts Contracting

ii  rules of thumb on Energy Conservation as taught by ICast .

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