Electrician Talk banner

1 - 20 of 42 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I hope someone on this forum can help. I’m not an electrician, but a Con Ed customer with a bill problem.

Since Con Ed installed my Smart Meter, my average monthly billed usage has increased dramatically, from 48 to 107 kWh per month. My actual usage has not changed an iota. Con Ed says the Smart Meter readings are correct and that my old meter was defective. I could accept their argument if the difference in meter readings were moderate. But the discrepancy is so great, and I use so little electricity that I think something is amiss with the Smart Meter. Below is a quick rundown of my devices and usage.

fridge (0.02 kWh actual wattage draw, per Smart Meter)
mid-2011, 21-½ inch MAC computer
LED bulbs (five 9W, two 6.6W, and one 27W bulb)
one 60W incandescent bulb
toaster oven
modem/router
phone and answering machine

The fridge and modem/router are on 24/7. I use the toaster oven for 5-6 hours per month, and the incandescent bulb for 10 hours. The 6.6W LED bulbs are on, very roughly, for 10 hours; the 9W and 27W for about 13-14 hours. I turn off all lights behind me and pull all plugs when devices aren’t in use.

I would even agree that my usage might be more than 45 kWh per month, but I don’t see how it could be as high as 110 kWh. What do the experts think?

Thanks,
Tamara
 

·
Super Moderator
Pres., GPS Timers
Joined
·
6,759 Posts
107 kWh is not much consumption at all.
I agree with ConEd.

Since you're not asking DIY I'm going to allow the thread even though you're not an electrician.
You may also find support over at our sister site www.DIYChatroom.com where there are plenty of people over there who would enjoy discussing your situation.

Have a nice day.
 

·
Registered
Residential remodeling
Joined
·
185 Posts
Remember that there are charges on the bill not directly just the amount you use such as minimums and pass-thru charges from the company generating the power. Not a Con Ed customer, so not able to say for sure exactly, but look at the bill details.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,507 Posts
I would call you service provider and ask them why there was an increase. It's the only way you can really tell why your bill went up.
 

·
Bilge Rat
motors and controls.........
Joined
·
7,699 Posts
Then older 'spinning disc' meters are notoriously inaccurate at low loads. They always read less than actual usage.

The new electronic meters can accurately read next to nothing.

With your loads as low as they are, I think the old meter wasn't reading accurately and the new one is.
 

·
Band Member
DIYer Extrodinaire
Joined
·
7,308 Posts
fridge (0.02 kWh actual wattage draw, per Smart Meter)
No way. That is 0.17 A. Fridge draws more than that.

If you want to do the math, look up the estimated energy consumption per year for your model. That will give you a better value.

Or you can buy one of those kill-a-watt devices.
 

·
Registered
Residential remodeling
Joined
·
185 Posts
Agreed. A refrigerator pulls apx. 1/2 KW (. 5) x runs apx 15 hours per day (motor running, not refrigerator turned on) x 30 days= 225KWH. Some small refrigerators pull 1/2 of that, however that is more than your bill.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,997 Posts
I hope someone on this forum can help. I’m not an electrician, but a Con Ed customer with a bill problem.

Since Con Ed installed my Smart Meter, my average monthly billed usage has increased dramatically, from 48 to 107 kWh per month. My actual usage has not changed an iota. Con Ed says the Smart Meter readings are correct and that my old meter was defective. I could accept their argument if the difference in meter readings were moderate. But the discrepancy is so great, and I use so little electricity that I think something is amiss with the Smart Meter. Below is a quick rundown of my devices and usage.

fridge (0.02 kWh actual wattage draw, per Smart Meter)
mid-2011, 21-½ inch MAC computer
LED bulbs (five 9W, two 6.6W, and one 27W bulb)
one 60W incandescent bulb
toaster oven
modem/router
phone and answering machine

The fridge and modem/router are on 24/7. I use the toaster oven for 5-6 hours per month, and the incandescent bulb for 10 hours. The 6.6W LED bulbs are on, very roughly, for 10 hours; the 9W and 27W for about 13-14 hours. I turn off all lights behind me and pull all plugs when devices aren’t in use.

I would even agree that my usage might be more than 45 kWh per month, but I don’t see how it could be as high as 110 kWh. What do the experts think?

Thanks,
Tamara
Tamara, A refrigerator can't be .02 kWh, it's 5-8 amps at 120 volts or 600 watts to 960 watts when it's running. And they run at least 50% of the time on average, but let's say yours runs 1/3 of the time and 2/3 of the time it's idle:
5 amps x 120 volts = 600 watts. 600 watts on for 8 hours every 24 hours (1/3 of a day per day) = 4800 watts or 4.8 kWh. In one 30 day billing cycle that's 144 kWh just for your fridge alone. Times NYC's ConEd .18 kWh rate that's about 25 bucks.

Yes you claim your bill is only 110 kWh a month - if the power is .18 and the delivery and pass through charges are .18 you're complaining about a $40.00 electric bill?

Remember that there are charges on the bill not directly just the amount you use such as minimums and pass-thru charges from the company generating the power. Not a Con Ed customer, so not able to say for sure exactly, but look at the bill details.
But all those charges were there prior to the meter replacement as well.

I would call you service provider and ask them why there was an increase. It's the only way you can really tell why your bill went up.
Well it's clear the meter replacement triggered a sudden bill increase. It may be the old meter was defective, it may also be that the when they pulled the old meter, a prior tenant's jumper or meter-rigging scheme came to an end.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,507 Posts
I think an average electric bill for a 3 bedroom track home where I live is about $100 a month but most of my neighbors average between $300 to $400 per month in the summer if they run their AC.
My bill stays consistent as I don't run my AC because it's really not necessary. Patios and trees seem to be enough to keep the house cool even when it gets up into the triple digits.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
No way. That is 0.17 A. Fridge draws more than that.

If you want to do the math, look up the estimated energy consumption per year for your model. That will give you a better value.

Or you can buy one of those kill-a-watt devices.
No way. That is 0.17 A. Fridge draws more than that.

If you want to do the math, look up the estimated energy consumption per year for your model. That will give you a better value.

Or you can buy one of those kill-a-watt devices.

Agreed. A refrigerator pulls apx. 1/2 KW (. 5) x runs apx 15 hours per day (motor running, not refrigerator turned on) x 30 days= 225KWH. Some small refrigerators pull 1/2 of that, however that is more than your bill.
0.02 is the reading the smart meter gave me. According to Con Ed it represents the wattage draw in real time. I'm assuming the kill-a-watt device would give me the same reading, no?

The energy consumption of my fridge is 320 kWh per year, which breaks down to 27 kWh per month. That’s about one tenth of your 225 kWh figure. And I have my fridge set to a lower setting than the one recommended by the company. So, my kWh usage should be less than even 27 kWh. Do these numbers change your mind about my total energy consumption per month?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Then older 'spinning disc' meters are notoriously inaccurate at low loads. They always read less than actual usage.

The new electronic meters can accurately read next to nothing.

With your loads as low as they are, I think the old meter wasn't reading accurately and the new one is.
I did a rough calculation of my usage, and it came to the mid-60s, higher than my old meter, but lower than Con Ed's reading. Based on the devices and usage listed in my post, do you think the mid-60s number is closer to the truth or Con Ed's number? Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
No way. That is 0.17 A. Fridge draws more than that.

If you want to do the math, look up the estimated energy consumption per year for your model. That will give you a better value.

Or you can buy one of those kill-a-watt devices.
No way. That is 0.17 A. Fridge draws more than that.

If you want to do the math, look up the estimated energy consumption per year for your model. That will give you a better value.

Or you can buy one of those kill-a-watt devices.
That's the reading the smart meter gave me. According to Con Ed it represents the wattage draw in real time. I'm assuming the kill-a-watt device would give me the same reading, no?
107 kWh is not much consumption at all.
I agree with ConEd.

Since you're not asking DIY I'm going to allow the thread even though you're not an electrician.
You may also find support over at our sister site www.DIYChatroom.com where there are plenty of people over there who would enjoy discussing your situation.

Have a nice day.
Thanks for allowing my thread. I needed feedback from experts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
No way. That is 0.17 A. Fridge draws more than that.

If you want to do the math, look up the estimated energy consumption per year for your model. That will give you a better value.

Or you can buy one of those kill-a-watt devices.
No way. That is 0.17 A. Fridge draws more than that.

If you want to do the math, look up the estimated energy consumption per year for your model. That will give you a better value.

Or you can buy one of those kill-a-watt devices.
That's the reading the smart meter gave me. According to Con Ed it represents the wattage draw in real time. I'm assuming the kill-a-watt device would give me the same reading, no?
Then older 'spinning disc' meters are notoriously inaccurate at low loads. They always read less than actual usage.

The new electronic meters can accurately read next to nothing.

With your loads as low as they are, I think the old meter wasn't reading accurately and the new one is.
I did a quick calculation and got a number in the mid-60's. Based on the devices and usage I listed in my post, which number do you think is more credible, mine or Con Ed's? If the experts on this site all think Con Ed's numbers sound accurate, I will gracefully concede.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
I would call you service provider and ask them why there was an increase. It's the only way you can really tell why your bill went up.
Con Ed said it was because my old meter was inaccurate. Should I accept this answer on face value, or can I accept that the old meter was inaccurate, but still question the accuracy of the smart meter?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,997 Posts
Con Ed said it was because my old meter was inaccurate. Should I accept this answer on face value, or can I accept that the old meter was inaccurate, but still question the accuracy of the smart meter?
You can question the accuracy of the smart meter until the cows come home, listing your electrical devices wattage and estimated usage is not the way to go about calculating your kWh. It will get you part way there, but not near dead-on-balls accuracy.

You say your monthly kWh is 107 now - which is your kWh rate of .18 x 107 = which is 20 bucks. The rest of your bill is taxes, and service charges.

You claim per the smart meter your fridge uses .02 kWh - that is not a measure of wattage, it a measure of cumulative kilowatts at that moment. If you looked at the fridge's usage for an hour, with all other loads disconnected, that is not enough sample time to determine it's total usage using a multiplier, as the fridge could have been in a satisfied standby mode and not cooling while you observed it's energy use.

A kilowatt is 1000 watts. A kWh is 1000 watts on for one hour. or a 100 watt bulb on for 10 hours. You claim your fridge consumes 320 kWh annually. That is less than one kWh per day. Unless this is a dorm room sized cube refrigerator just big enough for a 6-pack and a box of frozen fish sticks, this is impossible.

A modern brand new high efficiency fridge can use as little as 180 watts while running, or 1575 kWh annually, (as refrigerators cycle on and off, and run time is determined by many factors, it's insulation properties, the frequency the doors are open, the ambient temperature in the area, the ventilation space around it, the cleanliness of it's condenser coils, and how it cycles a defrost mode.)

Your entire electric bill doesn't even account for a month of one refrigerator, let alone the rest of your electrical devices.

 

·
Registered
Power distribution and controls
Joined
·
357 Posts
My utility changed over to electronic meters last year. Mostly to get away from paying a meter reader. Now the meter broadcasts the information to some antenna in the neighborhood.
My bill went up immediately. I asked the utility for 2 years of bills. I could see easily that I had added load slowly. I now turn off my computer, and modem when not in use. I dumped cable tv and went over the air. I found several wall warts that are for the toothbrush and some other things they are all unplugged now. I do plug them in when I need to. I discovered my coffee machine is a killer, the light is so bright you could land planes. Found a way to short it out.
Turned off the clock on the stove and dimmed the one on the microwave.

As for inaccurate that might be more for the utility than the customer. The IEEE and the state regulators all have minimum standards for accuracy.

I have seen a lot of people that had issues with their bills, in 50 years I have seen 2 utility meters that were out of calibration. I have sent in more than 30.
A kill a watt will only help with 120v equipment, to do it correctly you really need a meter designed to monitor volts, amps and kwh.
 

·
Registered
Electrical Contractor
Joined
·
2,231 Posts
My utility changed over to electronic meters last year. Mostly to get away from paying a meter reader. Now the meter broadcasts the information to some antenna in the neighborhood.
My bill went up immediately. I asked the utility for 2 years of bills. I could see easily that I had added load slowly. I now turn off my computer, and modem when not in use. I dumped cable tv and went over the air. I found several wall warts that are for the toothbrush and some other things they are all unplugged now. I do plug them in when I need to. I discovered my coffee machine is a killer, the light is so bright you could land planes. Found a way to short it out.
Turned off the clock on the stove and dimmed the one on the microwave.

As for inaccurate that might be more for the utility than the customer. The IEEE and the state regulators all have minimum standards for accuracy.

I have seen a lot of people that had issues with their bills, in 50 years I have seen 2 utility meters that were out of calibration. I have sent in more than 30.
A kill a watt will only help with 120v equipment, to do it correctly you really need a meter designed to monitor volts, amps and kwh.
That shorted out coffee pot light saved you about 18¢ last month.

You need a new hobby!
 
1 - 20 of 42 Posts
Top