Have you ever considered buying or borrowing a household electric monitoring tool? To find out which devices in your house are using the bulk of electricity in your house, how much and when? There are some nice tools out there that you can connect to your electric panel, collect data for each branch that you monitor and build some nice spreadsheets and charts.
But you can almost get the same info for FREE. From PECO. With no equipment in your electric panel.
Here's what I found out about my house. I'll go step-by-step so you can do the same. It's pretty easy, but there are some nuances.
Step 1 - Log into your PECO account.
Go to www.peco.com. Click on Sign In. Enter the email address that you have given PECO. If you have not logged in before now, you'll have to hit the REGISTER button.
Mouse over My Account at the top, then click on My Usage.
A chart with several options will pop up. Here's what my Electricity for the past year looks like:
A few things to note here:
The dates at the bottom are end-of-billing-cycle dates. I'm not sure why there is one week in Jan that has its own bar. Just think of that bar as stacked on top of the Jan 22 bar.
The shoulder months (Apr, May, Oct), when we probably didn't have any heat or A/C on, shows the usage of lights, appliances and TVs in the house. So about 500 kWh/month.
We have an electric car, so that is added into the baseline usage as well. But we don't have a daily commute, so there is no predictable usage. We could keep a log, but we don't. Actually, I may be able to get that info from the car app.
Comparing With My Neighbors If I click on Neighbors, I see this chart:
I can only get that for the previous 12 months. The fact that we are not at or below the "Efficient Neighbors" green line in this chart is the source of a little household "discussion". Perhaps it is the electric car thing. But this next section should address that.
What Uses Most?
On the left side of the page I click on What Uses Most and I get this info, based on my last bill. I'll do it again this winter and see how it is different.
So this page uses $, not kWh. But it's all proportional.
It says that my appliances (Fridge, Washer/Dryer, Dishwasher) used more than my heating (heat pump) for the month of Oct. This is plausible. And our TV and computer usage accounted for $16 this month. Now that baseball season is over , we should use less.
If this is the first time you logged in, PECO will make some assumptions about your home and its residents. But you can take a quick survey to update your profile - how many people, single home, what kind of heat, EV or not, etc. - and make this analysis more accurate.
The analysis came up with 17% of my electricity use comes from Always-On devices. These might include: TVs or computers in "sleep mode" or "standby mode". A TV set top box is a big energy user. Or the WiFi router. We have "smart lights" and an indoor air quality monitor that probably accounts for some of this. Still, 17% that is always-on seems like a lot. I'll work on that.
Hour By Hour
I can also look at my electricity use for each hour of the day:
The chart above shows my heat pump ramping down as the outdoor temp goes up. And turning on the TV and computer in the evening.
The chart above is from when I was traveling. Nobody was in the house. No heat, A/C, TV or EV charging. We have a tankless water heater. So just the lights on a timer, fridge, wifi and a few "smart" devices that are always in standby. Note that the kWh scale on the left has changed from the previous chart. Overall pretty low - about 200 Wh in each hour. One hour it was almost double that - at 4pm. What could that be? I'm going to guess it's the refrigerator/freezer going through some cycle, but don't know for sure. That spike seems to pop up once every 24 hours. I could always unplug everything except the fridge for one night, then see what the chart looks like. i'm glad to see that my outdoor LED lights which are on a timer (on from sunset (6pm) to midnight) are not that noticeable.
So there's my experience with View My Usage on the peco.com site. I recommend you give it a try. Share your experience with the West Chester Area Clean Energy Future team. We'd love to hear it.