Why Smart Meters are good things
Most homes in Ottawa have a smart meter installed now. This enables you to get hour-by-hour usage information from Ottawa Hydro. Their system is somewhat clunky, but if you sign up with Lowfoot (free) they'll produce handy charts like this one for daily, weekly and monthly periods. This chart is for Tuesday September 25th.
It reveals a few interesting things:
- I'm using more energy at night than during the mid-day because the furnace cycles on and off to keep the house a bit warmer at night.
- In the morning the furnace runs harder to bring the house up for comfortable levels. Getting a six-year old out of bed is easier if the house isn't 18C.
- Daytime shows the least usage. Right now the furnace is off all day so I'm only running the fridge.
- I didn't get home until after 9 on Tuesday, explaining the spike in temperature as I turned the furnace back on.
Perhaps I'm predisposed to liking charts, but as soon as someone shows me data about my own behaviour I automatically want to compete against myself to do better. Admittedly shaving 0.5kWh from a single day's usage is barely going to register on my monthly bill. Nonetheless, how I run my home can double or triple electricity consumption so it's worth knowing about.
Smart meters are great.