I, like most Ontarians (and Hydro users everywhere) have become more than a little bit disgruntled with the sharply rising cost of electricity. Every month we wait in trepidation for the arrival of the dreaded electric bill.
With the goal of energy reduction in mind, I decided to install an Eyedro Real-Time Electricity Monitor in a secondary breaker panel that powers my living room lights, outlets, and my desktop computer.
As a new Eyedro Electricity Monitoring Systems user I was shocked to discover how much electricity was being consumed by the gadgets in my home even when they weren’t actively in use.
Since the MyEyedro cloud based software offers real-time electricity monitoring, I was able to determine through experimentation (flicking switches, powering down appliances, turning breakers off and on) which of my devices was using the most power. It quickly became obvious who the main culprit was – the tower computer that lurks in the shadows under my desk, fans humming away night and day, red LEDs glaring defiantly, and using twice the electricity of anything else that I was monitoring with my Eyedro system!
For more on computer energy consumption here’s a great article from howtogeek.com – PSA: Don’t Shut Down Your Computer, Just Use Sleep (or Hibernation)
By making a few relatively painless adjustments, (and sending out gentle reminders to recalcitrant participants – I can see how much hydro you’re using even when I’m not home!) I have been able to almost immediately realize an overall cost savings of roughly 60% on the power usage that I am tracking with my Eyedro electricity monitoring system.
As the following graphs beautifully illustrate in both kWh consumption and dollar values, with Eyedro it really is possible to Keep an Eye on Your Hydro!
Eyedro Home Electricity Monitor: Daily Consumption in kWh
Eyedro Home Electricity Monitor: Daily Cost Savings
While most people would not be so easily swayed to believe they are past due on their credit card bills, the uncertainty of how to read monthly electricity use (KwH) makes it common for discrepancies to go unnoticed. Over the last month there have been dozens of reports where scammers have been targeting small business and homeowners, claiming they have late, overpaid or unpaid utility bills.
In most instances in cities like Montgomery, Alabama and Eau Claire, Wisconsin, consumers receive phone calls or knocks on their door from people impersonating utility representatives stating if they do not make immediate payments their services will be shut off.
“In order to avoid an interruption of service, the caller instructs the customer to go to a local retail store and purchase a pre-paid bank card for a certain amount. Customers then must call a particular phone number and provide the numeric codes from that bank card.”
– Dixie Electric
Unlike credit cards bills and bank statements which provide details for every transaction, utility costs vary not only by season, but day and time of day. Readings are provided in a lump sum at the end of the billing cycle, making it nearly impossible to differentiate electric costs and consumption other than comparing bills from one month to the next.
The hard pressed situation here is that because modern day society depends on electricity, consumers have conditioned themselves to expect a figure from their service provider despite understanding how the figure is formed.
City of Toronto fixed rates:
Do you as a restaurant owner, homeowner or small business owner understand why your electricity bills are the way they are? If a storm disrupts the meters which track your electricity use, how would you justify the costs? If you’re not mindful of off-peak and on-peak hours how do you process your monthly statements? These are the loopholes in which scam artists find their prey. More specific demographics include the elderly and immigrant families where English is not the first language. Anyone who thinks they’ve been a victim or a potential victim of utility scams should report the information to their local authorities.
If you want to find out how to make sense of your utility bills visit www.eyedro.com