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Woodsman
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For those of us who live minimally except for refrigeration and Internet type things on a homestead or in a smaller cabin what is your average monthly KWh usage and is it supplied by solar,generator, combination or by the power company?
 

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I have a 4 bedroom house here in SE Minnesota that is supplied by Excel Energy. I average monthly between the low 600 kWh in the summer to the low 900 kWh in the winter. I have heating elements for animal watering in the winter along with a couple battery tenders going that gets the usage up a bit in the winter.
 

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Other than my chest freezer, I use 22-33 amp hours a day (I typically stay up late)
2-3% of my 1100 amp hour battery bank.
3% is when I'm up late watching movies (typically when I can't sleep due to pain.) If I'm up reading a kindle book with just my nightlight and reading light on I'm using <1/2 amp each hour.

If I have the cealing light on its 1.8 amps by itself.

That's except my chest freezer (which is rated to use 800W/day yearly average, but with it being winter and me putting it out in the bay it barely comes on so long as the weather stays under 45.)
I haven't even turned on the inverter to run it in a couple days. It's still frozen solid.
During the summer it should get nearer that amount.

My water pump is on its own single unmetered 12V battery (220 Ah)
But uses so little due to being an efficient 12V and filling a pressure tank it's not worth trying to track.

I have 1290W of solar, but winter caught up to me before I could get my stand built so I only have 760W leaned against the building.

I DO cook my toast in a pan and don't have a microwave.
Toast doesn't bother me, would be nice to have a microwave, and I may get one when I get all my solar up, but I only use it about 1x month anyway.

Being single and it taking too long to fill the dishwasher I have done my dishes by hand for years.

Getting a fridge and washing machine in the spring, but the 1290 should handle that no problem.

Edit: below 27 degrees I turn on a heat lamp in the pumphouse a couple times a night.
That's generally another 3-4%, one night I fell asleep with it on and sucked down 12%
 

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I live in a fairly large home, but I try to keep power usage to a minimum. Depending on the weather and AC/heat usage my total comsumption is between 600kwh and 1400kwh. Weather permitting, I only run a frig, deep freeze, tv and hot water heater. Lighting is usually off unless I'm looking for something in the dark.
 

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We average 31 kWh per day. Our biggest items to run are the water heater (terrible, I know), stove/oven, dryer, and AC in the summer.

We could convert the water heater to a natural gas model, but it would take about eight years to break-even. I'm not sure we'll remain in this location that long, and I don't think we'd recoup much of the investment at resale.

My wife likes the smooth top of our electric range, so I doubt very much that we will change that.
 

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energy usage

We're on-grid.

Stepping back from the daily and hourly power draw in our 2 story farmhouse, here is how our demand varies by month (as a daily average as well as monthly--for easy comparison to you own usage)

1890's two story farmhouse, ~1400 sq ft, no A/C, electric hot water, propane furnace with forced air, several rooms 'unheated', no TV, several computers, chick hatching, chicken broodering & plant starting
Since those charts were made, we made further efficiency improvements, installed the solar system, but also added another fridge in the barn for vegetables, pickles and what-not.

And now we're experimenting with hydroponics with LED lighting..

Our old 'daily average was 43 kWh'... I think we're still in that area. Someday, I'll replace that water heater with an electric heat pump style which will be more efficient that resistance heat (typical type).

inMichigan
 

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AC I get, also things like heat lamps for animals etc.

But, I've always been... frugal with my energy useage, (admittedly Moreso now that I check the meter whenever I walk by it

But it blows my mind how many people use more in a day than I do in a month! (Yes, I know some are whole families)

Some friends of mine (ongrid naturally) leave the light on in their garage 24/7.
It bothers me whenever I go the there.
I leave one light on all the time, so i have a light when i get up or come in, but it's a 3 "part" 12V led, which together with a "8 part" led (when they are both on) amount to 1/10AH between them!
 

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Location is also going to be an enabler to low usage, in addition to life style, and ability to afford high efficiency appliances.. I have had up to 2 weeks in a stretch of very low PV harvest due to clouds, then blue sky gives me 63 kWh in a day. Today would be a great day for greater than 60, but I am making 0 due to 10 inches of snow. The water is dipping fast, it will come crashing down soon.

We usually have the propane furnace set to less than 55F during the day and lower at night. The room we are using is warmed with a kerosene heater, Electric space heater, and of course electric under the sheets heating pad ( highly, highly recommend that-- left and right side controls so no disagreements under the covers)
InMichigan
 

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I really like the mattess heating pad too. It's like laying on warm beach sand on a frigid night.
We came across them living in the north of China..and low and behold, we have them here too, if you know what you want. This one has independent temperature for feet, middle and head... in addition to left and right.
 

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Excellent thread. I am fully stuck to the grid with a wife and 2 adult kids who are energy addicted:rolleyes:. They don't seem to admire my energy saving ambitions :D:. 2 meters, one for the house ranges from 900kw in winter w/ propane heat to 1700kw in summer, in the south, a/c and an inefficient 50's house. The other meter runs the water heater, 2 wells and a barn/storage w/ a freezer, lights and a couple outlets. It ranges from 300kw to 600kw. Higher in summer due to the use of the irrigation well. It is used pretty hard from April-October. The only real saving additions I have are a nice folding clothesline(I think I am the only one to ever use it:D:), all led bulbs in the house, and a batch solar water heater to help out the electric. The water heater saves about 5-10$ a month during late spring-early fall. I am amazed by some of you guys ability to conserve. Makes you wonder what would happen if everybody became conscientious about what they were wasting. Seems like they drilled this into us as kids in the early 70's in school.
 

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angel waiting
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We live in a 1500 square foot log home, three adults plus a chicken house that does have electricity to it. In the spring/summer/fall months we average 450-600 kwh in the winter it is usually around 800-900. We put all our tv's, cable box. microwave on power strips when they are done being used we shut them off. We also put our 50 gallon electric hot water heater on a timer and wrapped it in a hot water blanket.
 

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2 meters, one for the house ranges from 900kw in winter w/ propane heat to 1700kw in summer, in the south, a/c and an inefficient 50's house. The other meter runs the water heater, 2 wells and a barn/storage w/ a freezer, lights and a couple outlets. It ranges from 300kw to 600kw. Higher in summer due to the use of the irrigation well. It is used pretty hard from April-October. The only real saving additions I have are a nice folding clothesline(I think I am the only one to ever use it:D:), all led bulbs in the house, and a batch solar water heater to help out the electric. .
You might want to do some Kill-a-watt experiments, as well as monitor the meter reading and check some breakers 1 by 1.. I thought we were heavy users, hot water and stove are the big portion of our use (which I learned by studying daily and hourly power usage for 2 years of data in our 1890's farmhouse with original windows (with storm windows from the 1970's). I could convert the stove and heater to propane, but you know what, I can 'make' electricity for as long as I live here (and maintain the solar PV equipment), but I have to BUY propane.

If the family leaves lights on, that's greatly reduced by LED lights. If you happen to have a smart thermostat, you can figure that out too... It's almost like you've got a parasite, like this:


What you really need, is a clamp-on AC amp meter
http://www.amazon.com/Fluke-323-True-RMS-Clamp-Meter/dp/B00AQKIEXY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1456450404&sr=8-1&keywords=fluke+clamp+meter
Put it around one of your hot wires (say "red") coming into the main panel, make notes, breaker by breaker. Then, move it to the "black", and repeat. Clamp-on meter must be put around a "single" strand of wire. Unfortunately, to get to the single strand (black & red), you would have to remove the cover of your panel. Not everybody has the experience to do this themselves....there's a lot of deadly stuff in there. Hire help if need be, you're burning through a lot of power.

In post #9 of this thread, I show our use by the month. In April, our big use comes from the incubators and brooders (we raise all our poultry). In Sept, our big use comes from canning (electric stove) and food dehydrator (electric too). In the Spring & Fall, we also like to soak in the tub after working the yard. You can see some hour by hour and week by week power consumption charts in Post #258 (16-Jan-2015) of our garden thread. That's when I was finishing up the planning of our solar project, which span various posts off and on through out 2015. It took way longer than I ever imaged.

Makes you wonder what would happen if everybody became conscientious about what they were wasting. Seems like they drilled this into us as kids in the early 70's in school.
They don't remember gas stations with signs 'out of gas'...

inMichigan
 

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Woodsman
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I appreciate all of your replies. Me and electric matters don't see eye to eye. I need to learn A LOT about amperes,volts,watts etc and what it takes for X to power Y while running thru Z. Lol. Thank y'all for all the good info and thoughts
 

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I run all electric for things and my usage averages out to about 700-900kWh/mo. Which is about $80/mo average all told in cost. I do use firewood to heat my main building but have to use electric heat in the well house and also a bedroom cabin. I do not however have Nat gas or propane which a lot of people conveniently forget about when calculating their energy costs.

All in all I consider my electric usage to be very frugal.
 
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