On Thu, 19 Apr 2012 06:49:19 -0700 (PDT), " email@example.com"
A lot of people do it to change the panel. Sure, they like to know up front
(some insist on doing it themselves - and charging disconnect/connect fees for
it) but most don't get panty-bunch if they're notified.
Because the times I've called the power company it involved making an
appointment, waiting several days for them to come, filling out
paperwork, and then paying a fee them to come. When I worked for rental
companies that needed to get these buildings ready for tenants, they
wanted the work done today, not next week. Not to mention that they did
not want to pay me for numerous trips to the property, and honestly I
did not want to lose money by not being able to complete a simple task
like tapping into the mains for a sub-panel, and having to leave the
job, spending the rest of the day without pay, and then having to drive
a considerable distance to come back, for a half hour of work.
Then too, I had to disconnect my own meter once when lightning fried a
connection to an old main cartridge fuse disconnect box. I had
flickering lights, saw sparks in the box. I was not going to wait for
the company to come, possibly causing a fire, or other damage. I pulled
the meter, took a photo of the burnt connection in the old box, and
removed that box. I had a good used breaker disconnect box. I
installed it and put the meter back, then called the company. I told
them I had a photo of the burned connection, they said not to worry
about it, they would put a new tag on the meter. I was several months
later before they did it.
I'll tell you right now that electricians pull meters all the time.
They are on a schedule, they dont have time to piss around waiting for
the power company. Actually I think in most cases they power companies
dont want to be getting calls all the time for meter removals. They
have more important things to do.
And does it say in the instructions to break the seal and
pull the meter WITHOUT FIRST AT LEAST CALLING THE
No, the instructions assume you are an electrician and know what to do in
your area when you pull the meter or want it pulled.
In my area there are no permits or the like required for electrical
work. I've pulled the meter a few times to do work before the main
breaker and never had a complaint from the utility. The one time (first
time) when I actually called the utility the idiot whined about permits
and whatnot (after I had already confirmed with the city that none were
required) so I just hung up on them and got on with my work. The key
thing is that *nothing* is consistent from state to state or even city
to city, so figure out the deal in *your* area.
After we switched from normal meter to Time of Day meter where the
rate OFF peak hours was half the cost of ON peak hours, our monthly
electric bill dropped $60. To me, that was NOT false economy.
I have NO idea where all the power went either. We live frugally, one
fridge, [gas heating & hot water], no freezer, electric dryer [rarely
used]. only lights and TV and a few computers. Can't believe the
cooking was THAT expensive. But perhaps it was, because we did tend
to cook more outside peak hours after switching.
I have a 5 month old baby at home and we have an Energy star 4 cubic
foot front load washing machine.
I was stunned at how little electricity the machine used. And we use
cold water strictly.
Average load takes 58 to 104 minutes. Average electrical use as
measured by a Kill-a-watt device was .16 kwhr to .19kwhr. Average
electrical cost (before all hidden fees) was 1.7 cents a load peak time
and 1.1 cents per cheapest time.
We have a gas dryer that averages about 40 minutes per 4 cubic foot load
of laundry. That thing uses between .21 kwhr and .4 kwhr per load
DEPENDING on the type of laundry. Work jeans requiring more drying,
fleece requiring less. We leave it to the sensors.
I get drying loads between 1.4 cents to 5 cents of electrical use (dunno
about gas use but I can measure in summer when furnace and water heater
off) a load measured by the kill-a-watt. Remember it's a gas dryer.
I'm thinking since I'm the stay at home parent, of disregarding the time
of use for laundry because of the seemingly low cost and very marginal
savings of waiting till 7 at night for cheap rates.
I'm still going to measure electrical use of those appliances to make
sure those numbers are legit.
Here in Ontario, Canada, the politicians were selling Smart Meters by
harping on the basis of saving money, all BS. First there is a surcharge on
power bills to cover the costs of the smart meter and attending equipment.
Plus, rates did not go down, instead the normal all day rate became the
night rate, and the daytime rate went up. So you do not save money, but you
could try to not pay more by only using power at night (plus the surcharge).
What you say is not true for everyone. I did save money when my
electrical company switched from tiered to time of use. I was paying
8.2 cents a KWhr under tiered and now I pay 6.2 cents a KWhr for the
cheapest time slot of 7 pm to 7 am and all day weekends. I have a 240
volt swimming pool pump that draws 7.5 amps. It is 2 cents a KWhr
cheaper to run those 12 hours a night plus saturday and sunday than it
was under the old system. Since i turn off the pump during the more
expensive times, I am saving under the new system.
And yes the water is still clear and chemically balanced even though the
pump is only on during cheap rates. That may not apply to other
Every one I've seen has a programmable timer, usually
just a simple mechanical one, so you can set the
periods when you want it to run. It has to run enough
to circulate the water to keep the pool clean. That
might be 8 hours a day.
The idea with different rates is that you aren't cutting
back, your SHIFTING your demand to periods when
the utility charges less.
Which of course has nothing to do with time of use.
Yes and even if you have one that isn't a simple plug-in timer will do
The cost if offset by not having meter readers driving
to each customer to read the meter. My water company, for example,
changed over a decade ago to meters that are read by a guy
driving by in a truck without even stopping.
It obviously saves them enough money that it makes sense,
which is why they did it.
Let's say you wanted to make that a smart water meter,
similar to the electric ones. To make it smart,
all that the meter needs to do additionally is
keep track of how much was used by the hour. That
is a trivial addition of hardware/software to the meter.
It's 2012. We've put a man on the moon, a computer
in your oven,car, and cell phone, yet you think we can't make an
electric meter that records properly? There might be
some problems in some cases, but this isn't some
high technology thing that is hard to make work right. An
electric meter is trivial compared to a cell phone.
Again, lots of utilities have switched to some type of
remote reading system to eliminae the labor of going
up to each meter and reading it. Once you change the
metering to support that, keeping track of how much is
used per hour is trivial.
Overall, just nonsense.
If there weren't a payback, they certainly wouldn't be doing it just for
the funsies of having something to do.
Shifting usage of a _single_ residence slightly from peak to off-peak
hours won't make an impact, sure, but when 10s or 100s of thousands do a
little it can (and will) add up to a lot. That will translate back into
not having to expand/upgrade transmission lines, substations, etc.,
etc., etc., and perhaps even over time at least delaying addition of
All that will add up to significant savings that eventually will impact
the consumer by at least limiting rate increases over what they would
otherwise be (and unless there's a change in administration and rollback
of recent EPA directives "you ain't see'ed nuttin' yet" on what's going
to happen to rates.
If the current CSAPR rule that were to go into effect Jan 1 but was
stayed by a Federal Court at the last minute (almost literally) in
December ends up being implemented, there _will_ be rolling blackouts as
there simply won't be enough generation to satisfy demand and your
hypothetical folks will be turning the thermostat A/C off (not by
choice) intermittently, not up.
It's a fact.
Industry experts and consumer advocates have said exactly the same
Many utilities got grants to do it.
Like I said - they wanted to reduce their cost to read residential
meters. In the vast majority of situations, analog wheel-meters were
replaced by electronic time-of-use meters with telemetry capability.
This gave them the automation they were looking for (no more meter
readers) under the cover of the green / ecological movement (be good to
the environment and use energy responsibly and all that jazz).
I'm telling you that if it means the difference between being
uncomfortable in your home by setting your thermostat higher in the
summer (and suffering when it's 76 degrees and 55 percent humidity) vs
setting it so you're comfortable (74 degrees and 40 percent humidity) ->
guess what people are gonna do. Even if it costs them a buck extra a
People won't opt to save chump change when it means they'll be
comfortable in their homes.
The whole point of time-of-use billing was to go hand-in-hand with a
competitive marketplace for electricity, but someone forgot that we
don't really have a competitive marketplace in electrical generation or
You and I can decide whether to buy gasoline at one station or another,
on one day or another, at one price or another. Gasoline has a flexible
distribution system in that the gas refined at one plant doesn't have to
be retailed by a specific gas station nor consumed by a specific
end-customer. We don't have that when it comes to electricity, and
hence the idea that time-of-use billing completes the picture of a true
competitive marketplace for electricity is a farce.
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