I have a lighted sign on a commercial building that I need to meter so we
can determine the electric use and divide it between the three tenants on
the property. Are there any simple meters besides a typical meter and socket
used on most homes and business. Is there another way to determine the
What's the supply voltage/phase?
Where's the connection(s)?
There are ways depends on what it is and where, etc., as above.
Alternatively, it's possible one might get an estimated usage and then
simply count operating hours and be close enough.
If it's not on 24/7, just installing an inexpensive hour meter after the
timer of light sensor should be accurate enough once you know the power
draw of the sign. Certainly a $30 hour meter will be a lot cheaper than
a real KWH meter.
Agree unless it is giganticus sign using many kilowatts it should be
pretty easy to calculate how much electrcity it uses and just
For example suppose the sign uses 500 watts. So for one hour that is
half a kilowatt hour.
If electrcity costs ten cents per kilowatt hour that sign will cost 5
cents for every hour it is on.
Even if that 500 watt sign is on continuously for a month (720hrs) it
will only cost approx. $36.
Anyway: Divide the $36 up four ways. One quarter for each tenant and
one quarter for yourself. That will create good will when the tenants
get one third of the usage of the sign and it will only cost you $9.
It's your building after all?
On other hand if it's only on at night it will probably cost less
than $20 bucks/month, hardly worth bothering about?
But apportioning such a minor item seems rather unproductive and time
It's not like trying to share a $600 snow clearing bill between three
Or you could do like my old landlord (whose name was Satan). Hire your
brother-in-law to do the common area maintenance. When the tenants complain,
show them the invoice (at ten times the going rate), go through the math
based on square footage, and declare they're paying a fair pro-rata amount.
Just to reword a comment concerning the rather odd original posting;
"The road to Hell is paved with 'bad' intentions".
It will probably turn out that the sign referred to by the OP (Who, so
far, has never responded to any of the thread posters suggestions),
uses 150 watts (that's about 2 cents worth of electricity per hour);
and is only switched on for six to eight hours per night.
Ergo, for a month total consumption = $5 per
Storm in a teacup; maybe?
Maybe its just me, but I am picturing a billboard that is 30' wide by
10' high, lighted by some huge halogen lighting system drawing
thousands of watts. Why he would be trying to divide the cost of it
between the three tenants is beyond me.
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