Case Study – Why Is My Bill So High?
Sometimes a consistently high electricity bill can be a complete mystery, despite your best efforts to uncover the truth.
One recent Eyedro customer had been struggling for a couple years with extremely high bills but couldn’t identify the cause. “There were a lot of different factors in play and several changes had taken place in a short amount of time.” The homeowner had done a significant addition to his home; increasing the size among other things, but also installing a hot tub and geothermal HVAC system. “I knew the geo system would increase my electricity bill. I also knew increasing the size of the home would have an impact.” However, the increase was not in line with his expectations.
After a couple seasons and seeing consistent winter bills of 90 kWh a day (and almost as high in the summer), a portable electricity monitor was used to help identify the problem. The homeowner spent weeks trying to figure out the problem. He was able to load information from the different appliances, but was still unable to understand why the daily usage was so high. “As expected, the geo was using a lot of power, but when it was on, the kWh were inline with expectations.” Still, he believed the HVAC was at the heart of the problem.
Then he installed Eyedro’s electricity monitor. Within a couple days he had identified the source of the problem, if not the cause.
Every day at around 3 PM to approximately 3 AM, there was a dramatic increase in usage. With Eyedro, you are able to identify that it’s a 220V appliance, reducing it to two or three possibilities. In the end, the homeowner was able to confirm it was the HVAC system. However, the system was turned off at the thermostat, meaning no air conditioner or heater running. It was mid-spring and the outdoor temperature was already in the 80’s but cool enough at night to go without HVAC cooling. So what was the problem. It turns out the in-floor system used a pre-heat tank before circulating to the two in-floor zones. While the thermostat was set to “off” and clearly warm enough to not need heating, the pre-heat system was “regenerating” or “pre-heating” the tank for 12 hours a day!
While the exact cause (or fix) has not been identified, with the in-floor system completely shut off manually, the electricity usage has been reduced by about 30 kWh per day, or 40%!