Our water and electricity (and garbage, and soon to be cable/Internet) are all
from the same "company". The city. ;-) ...though the water is billed
separately (electricity and garbage are billed together).
Me? Good God, man. I'm not nuts! I moved out of New England (Vermont), for
good, four years ago. We live in Alabama, 100mi down the road from Dufas. ;-)
I don't think so. Everything (but water) is pretty cheap. Electricity is
$.08/kWh and garbage is $15/month, both half what they're paying in Vermont.
Property taxes are a quarter.
The downside is that there are a significant number of power outages. None
long, just enough to be annoying. ...and no cable TV, yet (Charter did just
come by, but I'm holding out for the city's "fiber to the house").
Sometimes the "power company" does other things. In my case, they're
also the water and gas companies, and handle billing for trash pickup
and sewage (which is the same units as water, just a higher rate).
The city where I live owns and operates the electicity distribution
utility and the water supply.
Which is going to make it tricky for the water department because most
homes have been retrofitted with time-of-use electronic electricity
meters which have some sort of RF wireless communications link which is
supposed to act like some sort of long daisy-chain communications
channel and pass all their readings through each other to collection
points or nodes. Which means that the water department is going to have
to hire their own meter readers when the electronic power meter network
I think they'll partner with the natural gas people, since they still
also have to have a person come by and read the gas meters.
The one the church here is on is computer-generated and isn't perfectly
level; the algorithm adjusts for factors such as weather based on a
(very) crude model that uses previous years' records for an adjustment
factor to try to preclude the catch-up from being too far out. Hence,
the monthlies aren't identical. OTOH, the residential level-pay plans
from the same utility in town don't have the adjustment; they are flat.
Well, while OP said that early on, it wasn't clear to me that that might
have been his impression as opposed to an actual observation that indeed
a real meter reader did physically read the meter each and every month.
So, I was surmising there could be a difference between actual and
what OP thought was actual.
His later posting indicates the guy actually shows up; it's still
indeterminate what he actually does since we don't have his actions on
youtube to see that he only walks in, scribbles down some random set of
numbers and leaves... :)
Still the very large outliers while others are more or less consistent
just reeks of manual correction somewhere. Or, there is a phantom load
that is in use on occasion that OP doesn't know about. It isn't meter
creep or somesuch causing that discrepancy that is so great.
The Kill-O-Watt meter can only measure one load at a time... It might
take him weeks or months to measure all the devices using power in
his office considering he has to also keep doing his actual job at the
same time... An emon demon will measure all of the power flowing
through an entire 3-phase panel...
That is assuming facts not in evidence... The OP has clearly stated
that there is only one electrical meter locked up inside a cabinet
no one in the building has access to, only the meter reader can open
The OP also has stated that whatever office he works in is the only
occupant in the building... OP also described that the "main wires"
split off into several different panels...
You install an emon demon... You then operate each circuit
to ascertain exactly what it is that the circuit is powering... Many
that see weird energy bills often have poorly labeled circuit breaker
and tons of "mystery switches" on the wall which no one working there
knows what they control...
For there to be any vampire loads would require other tenants in the
building -- the OP has not said anything about the existence of such
tenants (other than to say the building he works in belongs to his
Bull... A tamperer would not have access to a utility company lock
was obviously supplied by the power company to secure the main
Yup, the Kill-O-Watt can not measure hardwired loads... Only plugged
appliances... I once saw an office tenant that tried to save money by
removing half the lamps from 4 lamp fluorescent fixtures and not re-
burnt out fixtures in a timely manner... Not re-lamping fluorescent
on a predetermined schedule based on the designed life of the lamps
being used is an error -- you will end up only getting 50% of the
for the same consumption of power...
An emon demon gets wired up to a circuit breaker in the panel it is
in order to sense the precise voltage on each phase... There are
loops which clamp on the feeder conductors for each phase of the
No electronics on the basic emon demon model, its all in the little
The cost depends on what type of meter you want, the basic one just
its reading on its face panel but there are other more advanced meters
can interface with a telephone for remote readings or integrate into a
system to track and graph power usage...
I remember the cost being $400 for a basic meter and upwards of $1,200
for an advanced one with all the options but it also depends on the
of the panel/circuit/equipment you want to monitor...
I've located some PDF documents that my local utility has on-line.
I have to have a "12-month average demand" equal to or more than 50 kW,
or have a 12-month rolling kwh consumption greater than 150,000 KWhrs in
order to have a demand meter. 150,000 kwhrs divided by 12 is 12,500 kwh
per month, which is about 4 times my average monthly consumption.
So no, I don't think I've experienced any one-time excursion into a
higher rate zone, at least not in terms of being demand-metered (if
indeed there are any other ways of entering a higher rate zone).
Why are we talking about the issue of a demand meter and rates?
From your previous posts, it was clear you were on the path of
attempting to measure KWh usage and verify that it matches the
bill. Now, I don't know what kind of bill the guys suggesting it's
a rate issue have, but on my bill it clearly shows the Kwh actually
used. Any billing at higher rates is then taken care of by adjusting
the rate clearly on the bill.
And weren't those Kwh usage numbers from the bills that you
posted already that we had?
Because some people have speculated that I was on a demand meter, and
that degenerated into what the typical (or actual) criteria is for a
utility company to install a demand meter for a given customer.
Yes, that was on friday. Most of this discussion took place over the
weekend, when there was little or no opportunity for new information to
Yes. You'd have to take up that issue with those that have been harping
on the possibility that I have a demand meter.
Yes, those were the "raw" KwH numbers from previous bills. They include
a 5% "adjustment factor" to cover energy lost to "line loss" - primarily
in the form of heat (heating in supply wires, step-down transformers,
etc) - at least that's how they define it.
The adjustment factor for residential customers is 4.1%, and I believe
for commercial customers it's 5%.
OK, there's at least another data point. What does the bill itself say
are the rates just for confirmation that they used the same (or only
fuel factors or other known rate adjustments)?
Again, does the bill actual say every month is a "real" reading or
estimated or averaged/computer-generated one? That should be
discernible as well. That the months that are such obvious outliers are
both early in different calendar years and that the other months are
more or less regular makes me think they aren't reading the meter
physically on the first of every month as you think but are using a
use-estimating/averaging plan w/ the annual catchup that's getting you
because the average isn't high enough for the total annual use.
I'd again ask; does that same trend hold for the other four years or so
since you've had the building? I'm thinking it's a good likelihood it
does. What is the annual _total_ use for each year? Is that pretty
Picking up the phone and confirming that would be a start. Sending a
copy of the summary statements that show the anomaly and asking for an
explanation of that would be another step.
The single-month discrepancies don't jibe w/ the other ideas thrown out
imo unless there's a client/renter/interloper who has a one-month-a-year
fetish to run a kiln 24/7 or somesuch large (very) intermittent load.
I will post more info on what a typical bill looks like, and whether or
not I see the word "estimated" anywhere on it.
I do know that the bill is broken down into about 4 or 5 different
IE - the first X kwh is billed at Y cents per kwh, and the next J kwh is
billed at K cents per kwh, etc.
Our residential bills are similarly structured, but they have fewer
tiers (maybe just 2, or 3 at most).
Let me throw this out as a new question:
How are poly-phase (in this case, 3 phase) kwh measurements made?
Is it just the sum of the individual phases, or is it the sum times some
factor (ie square-root of 3) or some such?
Basically, yes. In theory it could be like three single-phase meters
each connected across a phase and neutral. But, it ain't quite so easy
as generally there isn't access to the N and it turns out one can show
that the equivalent of connecting three to a common point ends up that
one of the three can be eliminated leaving that one only needs two even
for unbalanced loads.
I have vague recollections of this in power circuits 101, but that's
been nearly 50 years now... :)
On 5/30/2011 8:12 PM, email@example.com wrote:
Well, yes, that's what it is that allows as how it can be shown that
only the two are needed...I was trying to smoosh over the details here
on purpose of trying to not write a theme but at least brush by the
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