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Re: How to slow down your electric meter.

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*What about getting a bank of deep cycle batteries, a trickle charger, a timer,
and getting voltage inverters for appliances that require alternating current. P
ower in your house will stay at what you decide, and not at the whim of the powe
r company. Even consider making all lighting and getting appliances that run on
12Vdc.
Set the timer to recharge the batteries to the time of the day when power is sol
d at the most inexpensive rate, and ask the power company to let you buy power w
hen they sell it cheapest. Draw your power from the batteries first, not from th
e power line. The plus to doing this is when the power goes out for your neighbo
rs you can automatically shunt power to some lighting and your food storage appl
iances. Food lost to power failure should be included in the price of power used
.
*you can put a magnet on it ,that wil cut your bill with 25%
Magnets won't work on digital meters.they can not bust you. just take the neodym
off the meter when someone comes investigating :)
Even in apartments with meters in the cellar they cannot bust you, you don´t break
any seals and anyone can put such a thing on your meter.
*The electrician was the most helpful. We turned off all circuits. Turned them o
n one by one and tested items on that circuit. We found that the downlights used
the most juice. Even though they are halogen downlights - they made that thing
spin like crazy. We ended up buying floor / table lamps and leave the downlights
off. Gives a nicer ambiance anyway.
However, even having done all that - we are still getting high bills. I'm not su
re what the source is. I'm pretty sick of checking into it - but can't afford th
ese high bills either.
The guy who remodelled this house before we bought it was an electrician. I'm su
re that there is something f'ed up with it. Having seen some of his handy work -
I'm not sure that I trust what he's done.
Any suggestions for where else we should turn? Should we get ANOTHER electrician
out to have a look? What should we be having them check?
Quoting: Kachina
Halogen Down lights transformers will still run if the globe blows, need to be o
ff at the switch. So if you have a few around the house where the globe has gone
, know that the transformer is sucking juice anyway.
*State: Georgia
House Size: 1,100 square feet
Number of People: 2
Stuff done: changed to compact fluorescent bulbs where possible, timer on the wa
ter heater, lights & stuff off when not in use, etc. No oven use (it's broken).
Microwave, toaster, and NuWave oven only. Very little coffee pot use. Fridge & f
reezer stay full. 2-3 loads of laundry per week.
House faces dead west, with no shade after 10am (can't do anything about that du
e to the way the yard is). We've put heavy curtains on most of the west-facing w
indows.
Latest power bill: $279, and next month's will likely be higher as the temperatu
res have been in the upper 90's and 100's (heat index even higher than that!)
Ironic thing is, our winter power bills are half the amount of the summer bills.
We could easily live without heat if we had to, but it would be dangerous to no
t have A/C with these temperatures. Our regular A/C unit can't keep up with this
100-degree weather. We have to supplement it with two window A/C units. Ugh.
*I noticed years ago that hot water heaters in Italy were often in a tank in the
bathroom and if one needed to use hot water, a switch was then turned on and th
e electric water heater would begin to heat the water.
When one had completed their use of the hot water, they simply shut off the swit
ch.
I thought that was a great idea.
When I got back to the US I put a good simple regular on/off switch in the bathr
oom, and ran electric cable to the water heater in the cold basement.
I connected the electric cable to the water heater so that I could turn it on an
d off right from my bathroom switch.
Its simple to do, and it keeps that electric hot water heater from constantly ke
eping the water in it at 110 or higher degrees 365 days a year.
That's why they constantly use a lot of energy, they continuously keep the unuse
d water in it, all 30 or 50 or whatever gallons, at the hot degree level they ar
e set to, all year, and every year, constantly, which is profitable for the elec
tric company but bad for you.
And since the water heater was in the unheated basement, I figured it would help
things along more to also wrap that water heater tank with thick foil insulatio
n to keep it from losing its heat too fast.
I also just had to learn to give the water heater about 10 or so minutes before
using it to have only the hot water I needed.
I also found that it was best to let it heat the tank to its desired set degree
temperature, which was when the thermostat shut off in the water heater before s
hutting off the switch in the bathroom, that kept it from sometimes blowing fuse
s by shutting it off while the heating elements were heating up the water.
Just simple adjustments to make it work properly.
*On your bill it should show how many Killowatt Hours you are using. It has to b
e really really high to generate a $300 bill ... or the meter has to be broken.
At that rate the meter must be spinning quicly ALL THE TIME.

#1 ... go to your fuse/breaker box and pull ALL the fuses or turn off ALL the br
eakers. Go outside and see if your meter is still turning. If it is something is
getting sucked out BEFORE the power goes into your fuse/breaker box or the mete
r is broken. Call the electric company.
#2 ... if you have an electric hot water heater shut it off for now and again ch
eck the meter. See if the turning has slowed down considerably.
#3 ... do #2 for each circuit, so you can try to see which one is causing all th
e electric use.
Most people don't realize it but old type picture tube tv's often draw a LOT of
power even when they are off ... that is because there is a heater in there to k
eep it warmed up and ready to use. That can cost you more in electric costs over
a year than a new TV does!!
Old refrigerators and freezers are HUGE energy users. Often one can buy a new on
e on just one year's electric savings if one replaces it with a new energy effic
ient model.
Obviously something in your house is using a LOT of electricity if the meter is
OK (they will come and check it for free) ... so you are going to have to sleuth
the energy hog items out yourself.
*open main breaker
verify meter stops dead.
jumper main breaker with ammeter and do this with the other breakers off.
current should be zero
then switch in a breaker and verify load is appropriate. turn off load verifying
current goes to zero.
a load that wont trip a breaker but is on 24-7 will mount up
such as leakage from a buried wire - stuck thermostat on a heater or the like. t
hats why you verify the loads.
write them down- label breakers
*Someone told me if you place a big container of really salty water under the me
ter, it will evaporate so that it corrodes the meter and causes it to run slower
.
I have never tried it and have no idea if it works.
Quoting: Anonymous Coward 730536

I had an engineer tell me this would work. May take a while but worth a try.

*I used to have a flat with a coin meter installed which took 50p pieces. I foun
d that by pressing a coin into a slab of plasticine many times and filling the d
epressions with water I could make 50p ice cubes which worked perfectly. They ev
aporated in the box and were untraceable. Next was the plastic key meters, where
the end of the inserted keys broke off as they were turned. A thick tie wrap co
vered in sticky tape could be stuck down into the box by just levering the box o
ut slightly with a screwdriver, and the key-ends retrieved and re-used with a lo
ng nose pair of pliers.
Then they introduced the electronic key meters. If you take the piezo crystal ig
nition out of a lighter and click it into the key hole it bumps the credit up by
17p a time! With my new meter, they made it pretty well impregnable, but made t
he mistake of adding a thin plastic viewing window. By bending a junior hacksaw
blade to the right shape, I can slide it under the window and stop the wheel. Ju
st waiting for the next one!

*LCD televisions suck up alot of power. Everyone went out and bought them and no
w they are complaining. They average about 30% more than CRT televisions. Don't
argue with me on this one. Do research before you call my bluff.
I'm sure the power rates did go up. I'm also 100% sure that if your bought an LC
D or multiple LCDs then that is the real reason for the majority of the increase
.
And if you bought a plasma you are fucked. Some 42 inch plasmas pull 400 watts.
A 42 inch projection uses about 80 watts. The average 42 inch LCD LCD pulls abou
t 170 watts.

Ever stood next to and LCD or plasma. You can just feel the heat coming off of t
hem. Thats wasted energy. Then you have to pay again to get that heat out of you
r house by running the AC for longer.
My best friend went out and replaced 3 of his televisions with LCD and his power
bill went from 350 to 750.

*IF yours is NOT sealed you can get in there and place a STRONG paperclip on the
wheel next to the point where it passes toward the rear turn
stop it there
pull it out before dawn so you are not seen
watch to be sure the wheel doesnt just turn slowly
with the clip attached as THAT will leave easy to spot marks on the wheel
labor intense method but I WISH I could open the globe on this one!
betcha I would be out there twice a night stopping that meter for most of the ni
ght

*Place a big ass magnet on your meter.......thats what we do here....works well.