What’s Your Home’s Minimum Power Consumption?


Your home is full of devices that never turn off. And they’re costing you a lot of money.

The Washington Post, February 6, 2015

If your home has a smart meter, here’s an experiment: Log in to your power company’s Web site, and see how much electricity you use during the hour from 3 to 4 a.m. daily.

You were asleep (we hope), and surely nothing major was running. Maybe the heat (but it’s best to set the thermostat down at night). And the fridge — but if it’s a newer one, it’s probably very energy efficient.

And yet nonetheless, you’ll likely find a significant amount of power being gobbled up. “You can start spotting a time, depending on the home, where you can just see the minimum power consumption, and it’s really surprising how much gets consumed during that period,” says Alan Meier, an expert on energy technologies at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, who recommends the 3 a.m. strategy.

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