OhmConnect Energy Challenge!

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  • Steve ReedSteve Reed Member Posts: 111

    I've been wondering why there are not more smart breakers out there. There are quite a few energy monitors out there (like the TED 5000, efergy, neuno, smappee, etc) that clamp on to the wires in your breaker box, etc. but they are always limited to measuring the whole house, or just a few breakers.

    I'd love to get usage data from every circuit, especially if all I have to do is swap out the breakers. I could slowing convert the most interesting circuits first, then eventually work my way through them all.

  • The Bitz BoysThe Bitz Boys Union CityModerator Posts: 1,017

    Posting picture of dry erase board I used to keep track of everything I turned off during the April 18th Ohmhour to ensure I turned everything back on and didn't upset the wife. I also created a checklist in case others might find it useful to help keep track of everything you turn off during an OH (to make sure you turn them all back on) as well as remind you about everything you CAN turn off. I didn't think I had so many things plugged in, so I was surprised when it turned out to be a list of nearly 25 items that I could unplug or connect to a Smartplug and allow to turn off.

    If you do use the checklist, it would be awesome if people post how many things they find out they have plugged in as well as how big their house is. I think people will be very surprised whether you live in a 900 sf ft apartment or a 3,000 sq ft home (the size of my single story home is very modest at 1,500 sq ft).

    I'm also using a Kill-A-Watt Energy monitor to start tracking how much energy everything uses and I've included that on my checklist, so I can prioritize what to turn off during an OhmHour because sometimes you just can't turn everything off.

    Now even though I don't have AC, there's a fan that's part of my heater and duct system to help circulate warm air. It's electric powered always plugged in and could be on during an OH. Anyone have any experience turning it off and then back on? I'm hesitant to do so, because I fear it may wear out my new heater or somehow get damaged or cause a fire if my heater is on, but my fan is not. @Brooks B Any thoughts on this?

  • Steve ESteve E Member, Moderator Posts: 329

    I think automation has a place and certainly can simplify certain routine tasks. However‚ sometimes a simple checklist can do the job just as well with minimal effort.

    The issue with technology at this stage is that often you are buying into one of several competing technologies and sometimes you win and sometimes you lose (at a substantial cost). Early adoption of technology can bring great progress but also major failures. Remember 5 channel audio? No‚ not many people do. DIVX‚ Betamax etc... I think we can all learn from reading about this kind of thing and incorporating what the goal is into our own routine to help affect a positive change.

    Each OhmHour I go to the kitchen and unplug the fridge from the wall and I go outside and turn off one of the pumps on our Koi pond. After the OhmHour is over I turn then back on. A bit more work than automation‚ but it achieves the same end result. I am in no way a technophobe‚ but am well aware of the shortcomings of some technology. We use a webcam for my mother that we can view from anywhere via an app on our smartphones. A truly brilliant and useful piece of technology. Is it 100% fail safe‚ no not at all. We live in an older house in an area that has intermittent power issues (as in the power can go off for a split second every now and then)‚ the end result of that is our cable modem / router gets reset and certain devices such as the webcam need to be rebooted to reconnect to the network. There is nothing we can do about that (the house was completely re-wired about 5 years ago and upgraded to current and above code with a brand new 200 amp service). What does all this rambling by me mean‚ sometimes technology fails and a simple solution works better.

    Remember the Russians used a pencil to solve the same problem as a really expensive pen that would work in space

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited May 2017

    Hey @That Son Of A Bitz I looked into your question and it might cause damage or fire danger to have a furnace on without a fan on to circulate the heat. So good to be aware of that!

  • snetphiliesnetphilie ConcordMember, Moderator Posts: 139

    @KarenE said:
    Remember 5 channel audio? No‚ not many people do. DIVX‚ Betamax etc...

    Don't take offense, but I just had to point this out :smile:

    5 Channel Audio is surround sound, which is likely the most widely used format of the average home entertainment system today.

    DIVX, not to be confused with DiVX, was definitely a flop, but I think that was a bit of a planned obsolescence strategy on their part. Greedy Jerks!

    Betamax, although it never did as well as VHS, was actually fairly successful. In fact, Sony only stopped making blank cassettes about 18 months ago! My family was a VHS family but most of my wife's family's home videos are on Betamax!

    Anyhow, want to know about what was a much bigger fail than Beta max.... HD-DVD!!! Microsoft went head to head with Sony's Blu Ray and I think we know who won that fight!

    Anyhow, back to our regularly scheduled discussion :smiley:

  • Steve ESteve E Member, Moderator Posts: 329

    @snetphilie said:

    @KarenE said:
    Remember 5 channel audio? No‚ not many people do. DIVX‚ Betamax etc...

    Don't take offense, but I just had to point this out :smile:

    5 Channel Audio is surround sound, which is likely the most widely used format of the average home entertainment system today.

    DIVX, not to be confused with DiVX, was definitely a flop, but I think that was a bit of a planned obsolescence strategy on their part. Greedy Jerks!

    Betamax, although it never did as well as VHS, was actually fairly successful. In fact, Sony only stopped making blank cassettes about 18 months ago! My family was a VHS family but most of my wife's family's home videos are on Betamax!

    Anyhow, want to know about what was a much bigger fail than Beta max.... HD-DVD!!! Microsoft went head to head with Sony's Blu Ray and I think we know who won that fight!

    Anyhow, back to our regularly scheduled discussion :smiley:

    I was actually referring to 5 channel audio releases (not movies) which died a death. 5.1 may have conquered the home theater experience but stereo remains the king in audio.

  • snetphiliesnetphilie ConcordMember, Moderator Posts: 139

    Well since my original post, when I was using 0.0433 kWh per OhmHour, I've hooked up a couple more smart plugs and I'm not down to 0.0271 kWh. The only thing left is for me to hook up a UPS device to my networking equipment and hook that up to a smart plug. At that point, the only thing drawing power during OhmHours will be smart plugs and my kitchen stove clock which consumes less than a watt.

    In Total, I've bought $290.03 of smart plugs.
    Between discounts and points, OhmConnect has given me $230.48.
    My Total investment therefore, is currently at $59.55.

    With a Baseline Boost on the way for my next OhmHour, I should be in the black within the next 6 OhmHours, and from that point on, I will have literally nothing to do to participate in OhmHours other than to confirm my participation to get tokens! I would say that this investment in technology is totally worth it. Even if these plugs become obsolete, they will have cost me nothing, and might soon be making me more money than I would have without them.

  • The Bitz BoysThe Bitz Boys Union CityModerator Posts: 1,017
    @snetphilie Glad to hear! You're the role model for how every user should participate in OC's program - by automating your participation with SmartPlugs and even though you're a low energy user, it looks like you've taken full advantage of all of the incentives, rebates and discounts that OC has to offer, so everything you've purchased thru OC pays for it's self in no time!

    Refresh my memory - do you also have solar and/or an EV?
  • snetphiliesnetphilie ConcordMember, Moderator Posts: 139

    @That Son Of A Bitz said:
    @snetphilie Glad to hear! You're the role model for how every user should participate in OC's program - by automating your participation with SmartPlugs and even though you're a low energy user, it looks like you've taken full advantage of all of the incentives, rebates and discounts that OC has to offer, so everything you've purchased thru OC pays for it's self in no time!

    Refresh my memory - do you also have solar and/or an EV?

    Nope... I'm in a condo so can't put in solar.

  • snetphiliesnetphilie ConcordMember, Moderator Posts: 139
    edited August 2017

    Updated my list based on new smart plugs. My last forecast was 0.13295 and and usage was 0.0261 so I'm guessing when there is zero network traffic, I save myself 5 watts!

    Device___________________________________Watts_____Qty________Total
    Always On
    Netgear_Cable_Modem_____(Average)________11.6________1__________11.6
    TP-Link_HS100_Smart_Plug_________________1.9_________4__________7.6
    TP-Link_HS105_Smart_Plug_??Estimate??___1.5_________4__________6.0
    Nest_Thermostat_Standby___________________2.4________1__________2.4
    Philips_Hue_Bridge_________________________1.8________1__________1.8
    TP-Link_8_Port_Gigabit_Ethernet_Switch_______1.2________1__________1.2
    Philips_Hue_LED_Strip_Standby______________0.5________1__________0.5
    Philips_Hue_A19_Bulb_Standby_______________0.1________3_________0.3
    Kitchen_Stove_with_Clock____________________?_________?___________?
    __________________________________________________Sub_Total___31.4
    On Smart Plugs
    Hotpoint_Refrigerator_Average_Draw_________45.8________1__________45.8
    Holmes "Single D Filter Size" Air Purifiers________13________3__________39
    Kenmore_Elite_1200W_Microwave_Standby_____3.8________1__________3.8
    Obihai_Obi202_VOIP_Modem________________2.0________1__________2.0
    Brother_MFC-J4510DW_Printer_Standby_______1.7________1__________1.7
    Google_Chromecast_Audio_Standby__________1.6_________1__________1.6
    Google_Chromecast_1st_Gen_Standby________1.4________1__________1.4
    Pioneer_VSX-82TXS_Receiver_Standby_______1.1_________1__________1.1
    Panasonic_Wireless_Phone_Base____________1.0_________1__________1.0
    Power_Strip_with_lighted_switch______________1.0________1__________1.0
    __________________________________________________Sub_Total___98.4
    ________________________________________________Grand_Total___129.8

  • No Pain No GainNo Pain No Gain 93035Member Posts: 404

    @AKPsi Vince For those hard to reach plugs, like the fridge in the kitchen and garage, I bit the bullet and pulled them out so I could install TP-Link Smart Plugs. I'm a low user, so this has saved my streak when my forecast is a scant 0.61. Plus I get more tokens with the smart plugs. Win-Win.

  • rjcohen9rjcohen9 San Diego County, CaliforniaMember Posts: 14

    I decided against using a Smart Plug on my router. With U-Verse, it controls, my VOIP phone and wireless printer, and desktop PC.

  • snetphiliesnetphilie ConcordMember, Moderator Posts: 139

    @[email protected].com said:
    I decided against using a Smart Plug on my router. With U-Verse, it controls, my VOIP phone and wireless printer, and desktop PC.

    You could always get a UPS and run off battery for the OhmHours

  • Alex FAlex F Member Posts: 8

    @No Pain No Gain said:
    @AKPsi Vince For those hard to reach plugs, like the fridge in the kitchen and garage, I bit the bullet and pulled them out so I could install TP-Link Smart Plugs. I'm a low user, so this has saved my streak when my forecast is a scant 0.61. Plus I get more tokens with the smart plugs. Win-Win.

    Also a "low electricty user," I also installed TP-Link Smart Plugs on my refrigerator, washer and dryer. Using KASA app to control these plugs when not on a Ohm Hour blackout. Loving it. Next step: an Ecobee smart thermostat.

  • Love to see that this is still going :)

  • Rik WoudwijkRik Woudwijk Member Posts: 6

    @snetphilie said:

    @KarenE said:
    Remember 5 channel audio? No‚ not many people do. DIVX‚ Betamax etc...

    Don't take offense, but I just had to point this out :smile:

    5 Channel Audio is surround sound, which is likely the most widely used format of the average home entertainment system today.

    DIVX, not to be confused with DiVX, was definitely a flop, but I think that was a bit of a planned obsolescence strategy on their part. Greedy Jerks!

    Betamax, although it never did as well as VHS, was actually fairly successful. In fact, Sony only stopped making blank cassettes about 18 months ago! My family was a VHS family but most of my wife's family's home videos are on Betamax!

    Anyhow, want to know about what was a much bigger fail than Beta max.... HD-DVD!!! Microsoft went head to head with Sony's Blu Ray and I think we know who won that fight!

    Anyhow, back to our regularly scheduled discussion :smiley:

    We were a Video 2000 family, Philips had the superior video format but was unfortunately too late to market...:(

    Back to the subject, does anybody know how to get OC to turn off my Pentair pool pump. The pool pump can be controlled with the Pentair Screenlogic app on my pc/phone or with an Alexa skill. Unfortunately Pentair Screenlogic does not support IFTTT protocol (yet). I have solar panels and try to reduce the risk of losing my streak in case of bad weather...

  • UkiwiSUkiwiS San DiegoMember, Moderator Posts: 1,625

    @Rik Woudwijk said:
    I have solar panels and try to reduce the risk of losing my streak in case of bad weather...

    I can't help with the pool pump question but with Solar, if set your availability so you're only available in the evenings you won't need to stress about a bad weather day and an OhmHour during the day

  • Rik WoudwijkRik Woudwijk Member Posts: 6

    @UkiwiS said:

    @Rik Woudwijk said:
    I have solar panels and try to reduce the risk of losing my streak in case of bad weather...

    I can't help with the pool pump question but with Solar, if set your availability so you're only available in the evenings you won't need to stress about a bad weather day and an OhmHour during the day

    Thanks for the feedback, I have updated my availability but would prefer to participate during more hours.

    I proposed adding a checkbox in the profile for solar users which automatically excludes daytime hours based on time of the year. This maximizes participation of solar users and avoids the need to keep updating availability during the year. It also eliminates the confusion among new solar users about the need to manually update availability to exclude solar production hours.
    My lights switch on/off at sunset/sunrise using IFTTT so how hard can it be....

  • CKWMCKWM Fremont, CAMember Posts: 243
    Thanks for posting that suggestion about a "solar user" hour configuration option to OC, as I'm in the process of getting some installed.
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