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Falling temperature means lower electric usage
Your smart meter spells it out for you

Posted by Shane McLaughlin on 10/15/2013 at 2:13 PM

The summer heat has passed and Houston saw its first "cold" front of the season come through October 6-7.  

I took a look at my smart meter data to see what that looked like:  

cold front daily reads october 2013

My usage went from 86 kWh to 31 and then 26, saving me roughly $10 that weekend. It's amazing how much of our usage is just air conditioning. And October 5th was not an August-hot day, where our usage can be another 40 kWh higher for the day.  

That math means a hot day look like this:
  • 100 kWh for air conditiong
  • 25 kWh for everything else
Here's a look at hourly usage. You'll see two patterns that you can spot when you're reading your data:
cold front hourlies october 2013

The yellow box is what you'll see more and more of during cool weather: a nearly flat "overnight baseload" when no AC is running and everyone's asleep.  

The red box has two overnight periods in it: a good one where the load went down to the typical bottom, and a higher, spiky period. The spikes are AC usage, but the entire level is higher than normal, which often means lights were left on overnight.

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