Before you design or purchase a solar-electric or wind-power system it is important to know how much power you really need. Energy Smart PTY Ltd If you do a good job of assessing your needs prior to purchasing or building a system, then you won’t run into surprises later on and be disappointed with your system.
Here are some helpful tips for assessing your home energy needs.
If you are currently tied into the grid or your power company, then you should be able to see your past monthly usage from your bills. This will show you the total monthly usage, but it does not provide a detailed breakdown to show you how much each item uses. By doing a detailed assessment you can get a good idea of where your energy dollars are going.
Assessing your energy needs can be approached much like coming up with a financial budget. To figure out where your energy goes, make up a list or create a spreadsheet. Include in it categories for heating, cooling, water heaters, lighting, each appliance (refrigerator, range, dishwasher, freezer, washer, dryer, microwave, etc…), electronics (computers, TV, stereo, etc…) and other household items. Also, include columns next to each category where you can fill in the watts used and the total watt-hours per day.
Once you have your spreadsheet put together work on filling in the blanks. A wattmeter will be particularly helpful for gathering this information. These are inexpensive and readily available from a number of sources. These plug into your wall socket and then you can plug your device into the wattmeter and it will allow you to easily determine the load of the device. For items that are not on constantly, you can measure their wattage load and estimate the amount of usage for a typical day.
Many items provide information about their electric usage. Often this is found on their nameplate or where their serial number can be found. This can be helpful for estimating the amount of electricity that these devices use. For items that cannot be easily measured or that do not provide this information, you can often find out estimates for these items by doing online searches.
Once you have done your research you will have a good idea of which items use the most electricity and how much power you will need. Be sure and take into account that energy loads for some devices may change depending on the time of the year and outside temperatures. This is particularly true for your heating and cooling devices.
Armed with this data you can now spot areas where you can potentially make some changes and save on your energy usage. Also, it will help you know what size solar-electric or wind-power system that you will need if you want to start generating your own electric power.
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