Residential Energy: Are You Bogarting? - Page 2
Here are my results (this chart is expressed in Giga Joules so as to standardize the measurements across all types of energy and all parts of the world):
Being the environmentalist I am, I had to eat heavy crow after this result. In my defense I can only say that the excess comes from the coop’s (I live in an apartment building) electricity usage for the common areas like lobbies, elevators, and hallways. Furthermore, I have tried to make some waves on the issue with the coop Board, so far to little avail. I propose that common areas in coops and condos should best be considered commercial spaces for efficiency purposes since the individual resident has little to no control over how energy is consumed there. If I leave out the electricity draw in the building’s common areas, my consumption comes in at a respectable 18.08 GJ per year. How you want to handle common areas is up to your discretion and conscience.
I have reached this low consumption level mainly due to a system of devices I have installed in my apartment to maximize the efficiencies I have control over. This is something that everyone can do, either as a DIY or with the help of an installer. Since there are several brands and models available for these components, I will speak of the devices generically. To find devices, try running a search using the terms ‘power monitor meter’ or ‘home automation’.
First, I installed a real time electricity consumption monitor. There are several versions of these devices. Some are designed to measure consumption on a single appliance or device and they simply plug into the wall between the appliance and the socket. I don’t mean these. Instead I recommend the whole house monitor. These devices are installed easily into the breaker panel and then communicate with a console places anywhere in the home. The console gives a real time reading (e.g. 1.5 kW) showing what your house is consuming at any given moment and also keeps track of the monthly consumption. There are many other readings and configuration options. The nice thing about this device is that I can see the amount of electricity consumed by any appliance in the house. If I turn on my bathroom heater, I can see that the console reading rises by 300 watts and so on. Armed with this information I can quickly determine which of my devices are burning the midnight oil and then focus on either eliminating them or taming their demands....Continued on the next page