Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The value of Metering

31 Aug: If you have not started storing the meter readings of your house, Autumn is the time to start, using a spreadsheet to store the principal readings. See how the house performs during the Winter. Using GoogleDocs, you can have the pleasure of putting your meter readings on the web for public viewing!

  • Weekly readings are useful, and you will never again have the annoyance of an "Estimated Bill" - you will be charged correctly. 
  • If you are doing something to the house to improve its performance, the winter is coming soon, and you should start metering, so you can assess its performance compared with last year. 
  • Keep all previous bills, water, gas and electric, so you can build a spreadsheet of previous years performance, and compare with more recent ones.
  • My own house metering for the Peveril Solar House is slightly crazy, as I meter EVERY day and have lots of things to  meter, and lots of consequences to calculate - the entire house is a 'Research Rig', and we are testing the Sunboxes for future manufacturing, so this level of metering is important. Yours do not have to be this complicated. 
  • We also test the Water consumption, as we have a supplementary meter on the Hot water, and a normal supply meter on the Cold. If you do not have a water meter, now is the time to ask for it, and I gather that the water utility will do it for free. Water is a precious resource that costs energy to capture, store, purify and deliver.
  • See the above for the article about GAS metering. My meter is in cubic metres, other peoples are in hundreds of cubic feet. There is a procedure for converting from volume to energy.
It seems tedious, but becomes an easy daily routine, and you will be grateful a year later if you are trying to assess the 'payback' on your insulation, PV, draught proofing, or any other eco things you have tried on the house.

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