Welcome to TrueCost
Create Profile Login
TrueCost Electric Portal

A week in the life of a smart meter
Reading between the chart lines

Posted by Shane McLaughlin on 08/27/2013 at 7:41 PM

I recently wrote about the rainy weather that brought electric usage down for me and most of Houston. I was looking at my meter data again with TrueCost's advanced viewer to see what it looked like with the heat we had not long after.
 
daily kWh Aug 4-12 2013 Cypress TX

Definitely set some new highs for my family. You probably heard stories in the news about the Texas grid setting some electric usage records.

But then the rain came back and helped things out. I zoomed in to look at the hourly readings.
 
Aug 9-11 2013 Cypress, TX
 
 
You can see the distinct pattern. The first "mountain" is August 8, a full-on hot sunny day. August 9 (the next mountain after the overnight valley) was less hot and had some clouds. And then August 10 looks like a landslide happened on the right side of the mountain. It started of just like the day before but then the rains came through, until about 7 p.m.

Finally, there's one more pattern worth noticing: a lot of my summer days look like this V-shaped pattern.

 
V shaped pattern
 
It's not related to the temperature -- that's a pre-set on my programmable thermostat. Someone is turning the temperature down in the morning, and then the thermostat at 2 p.m. is setting itself back to its pre-set temperature. It takes a while for anyone to notice that the house is warming up before they go mess with the thermostat again.

It's probably not the most efficient way to set the thermostat. Maybe if I set it a little lower in the morning and afternoon people won't have to manually adjust it.  

There's my actionable information from my smart meter and TrueCost. Curious what your data looks like? It's simple to create an account and bring in your meter data.

News & Insights

What happens when an electric company goes out of business?
Rates could increase under the "Provider of Last Resort"

What it takes to start selling electricity
Wondering if just anyone can start a company selling electricity? The answer is no.

What happens when your plan expires?
Your electric rate could go up by 65%!

The Year in Electric Prices
A summary of 2013 and a look ahead

Is the rate worth the reward?
Questions about gift card promotions

Why you can't see today's meter data
A look inside how your utility gathers smart meter data

Prices staying low, three-month plans on the move
Electric price trends for the end of October 2013

Switching too early can be costly
Know your plan expiration date!

Get a convenient daily email with your smart meter data
This can be useful for saving money on your electric bill

How energy efficient are new homes?
Usage per square foot falls dramatically


Electric Price Trends

Track the latest price trends and market conditions.

Learn More

Current Poll