Good morning, my name is Rich McCue, and I manage the makerspace in the University of Victoria Libraries. Today I am going to talk about conserving energy.
I work in the Library at UVic.
I have 5 children…
I manage Digital Scholarship Commons MakerSpace at the Library at UVic where... We teach introductory workshops on technologies like: 3D printers, Electronics, Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality Data Visualization, Etc.
In other words we: “We help students & faculty explore and express their ideas in ways other than text.”
Here’s an outline of what I’m going to cover: How much electricity does Rich’s family use? Measuring electricity use at home Electricity consumption around the house How did Rich conserve energy at home? Measuring our carbon footprints
At my house with 7 people living there… [NEXT] we spend $120 per month on BC Hydro. [NEXT] We use electricity for Heating, Hot water, Cooking and clothes drying. [NEXT] That works out to $15 per person per month.
How Do We Measure Electricity?
For small appliances and electronics we can measure electricity usage using An Electricity Usage Monitor (Only $20 on Amazon.ca). It can measure the power consumption of all types of equipment: printers, lamps, monitors, TV’s...
We measure electricity in Watt & Kilowatt hours…
1 thousand watts per hour…
1 thousand watts per hour…
So that lightbulb running for 10 hours would cost about $0.10 to light things up.
In BC it’s currently between 8 and 13 cents per kilowatt hour averaging at about 10 cents. We have things pretty good relatively speaking.
Electricity Consumption Around the House
How much electricity do our electrical devices use? To be honest, I had no idea, until I measured a few years ago...
88 watts with the display at 50% brightness.
22 watts with the display at 50% brightness.
4 watts with the display at 50% brightness.
Electrical usage across devices varies greatly. The iPad uses very little electricity... Laptops also use electricity sparingly, but desktop computers without power saving settings enabled use quite a bit of electricity. Most people don’t know this. When my kids are playing on our XBox and the 60” TV, they use a lot of electricity: A combined 175 watts, as opposed to my 4 watts as I surf on my iPad ;-)
Electrical usage across devices varies greatly. The iPad uses very little electricity... Laptops also use electricity sparingly, but desktop computers without power saving settings enabled use quite a bit of electricity. Most people don’t know this. When my kids are playing on our XBox360 and the 46” TV, they use a lot of electricity: A combined 325 watts, as opposed to my 4 watts as I surf on my iPad ;-)
Measuring Electricity Usage at Home
Next: To measure a single small appliance, I use a device called the “Kill-A-Watt”. It will both measure the draw at a point in time, or over a period of time Next: For measure the whole house, including large appliances like hot water tanks, heat pumps and stoves, your smart meter can help you out…
Everyone in BC can now track their usage through BCHydro.com… For free! Not real time however… you can see your usage for the previous day.
For measure the whole house, including large appliances like hot water tanks, heat pumps and stoves, your new smart meter can help you out… https://rainforestautomation.com/bch/ To find out how much your hot water tank or clothes dryer uses see what your home is using, then turn on the appliance, and see what the difference it.
A short anecdote about why measuring power consumption of different devices and appliance is so important if we want to really make a difference. Several years ago we replaced all our incandescent bulbs with... NEXT: compact fluorescents (and later LED bulbs) to try to reduce our electrical consumption. And it did, a little bit... we could see a small savings on our monthly bill... We also strongly encouraged our children to turn off any lights that weren’t being used...
After we started measuring how much electricity we were using in real time, we discovered that... Whenever our hot water tank turned on it uses 4500 watts of electricity. Compare that with the... NEXT: 9 Watts that a light bulb uses. I did some quick calculations and discovered that...
If I turned on the lights in our… [NEXT]: Kitchen, and our [NEXT] Living Room, and our [NEXT] Front Entry Way for 10 Hours [NEXT]: That would Equal.... [NEXT]: A 15 minute shower! So if you like taking leisurely 30 minute showers. Cutting it back to a 15 minute shower would be the equivalent of having all your living area lights turned off for 10 hours!
What Has Rich Done at His Home?
$4000 for windows & insulation [NEXT] $1500 for heat recovery
Solar hot water $4000 [NEXT] Power Pipe $800
Heat pump $6000 With a programmable thermostat.
Clothes dryer rack… a huge energy saver!
Yearly Savings: $2000 Payback: 8yrs (note: for a family of 7)
How fast your payback is depends on how much you use the system. For example 7 people using hot water in a house will pay back an investment in a solar hot water, shower head & power pipe system much more quickly than a couple would.
Compare Energy Star ratings when you purchase appliances or equipment. Make power consumption a consideration along with price. Factor Energy cost into long term cost of ownership.
Measuring our carbon footprints
An airplane trip to Paris for two = 3 tons of CO2 emissions Drive a Prius for a year (or 20,000 km) is 1.7 tons of CO2. 20,000K is two round trips from Montreal to Victoria!
An airplane trip to Paris for 2 = 3 tons of CO2 emissions Tesla = 6000 Kwh for 20,000km BC Hydro CO2 per Kwh = 0.000009
In other words... One trip to Paris for two = driving a Leaf for 56 years!
How Can We Measure Our Individual Carbon Footprints?
The Saanich Carbon Calculator helps us calculate how big my personal climate impact is? Vehicle travel data (per year) Air trips (per year) Hydro bills Gas and heating oil usage Food habits (your personal choices, not your entire household) Consumption and waste habits
The largest culprit by far for me and my family is air travel.
Thank-you for your time today. Are there any comments or questions?
Conserving Energy One Home or Cubicle at a Time
One Home or
Cubicle at a Time
“We help the UVic
community explore and
express their ideas in ways
other than text.”
Conserving Energy Outline:
●How much electricity does Rich’s family
●Measuring electricity use at home
●Electricity consumption around the house
●How did Rich conserve energy at home?
●Measuring our carbon footprints
What Did It Cost Rich?
● Windows & Insulation: $4000
● Heat Pump & Thermostat: $6000
● Solar Hot Water: $4000
● Heat Recovery Ventilation: $1500
● Drain Heat Recovery: $800
● Lighting: $300
Yearly Savings: $2000
Payback: 8yrs(for a family of 7)
Returns on Investment?
● Programmable Thermostat. 1 year.
● Air Leaks. 2 years.
● Water Heater Insulation. 2 years.
● Shower Head. 2 years.
● Insulation. 5 years.
● Furnace / Heat Pump 13 years.
● Windows. 20 years.
Where to Start?
● Home Energy Assessment:
● BC Hydro Energy Monitor
● Work on low cost, high impact items:
○ Seal up a Leaky House
○ LED bulbs
○ Programmable thermostat