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Electric rates – the inexorable surge

In the blog “My Carbon Footprint at Home” I wrote quick tips on what I’m trying to do to control carbon emissions, much less my electric bill.

Looking at the data I collected, which is the next step in a process improvement or tuning effort, I saw that of the 2 annual peaks, winters were greater than summers.  So I thought I would look closer at the data, to see where the trends were going.

I added more information to the online spreadsheet at  There are now sheets for the winter peaks, and for energy costs.

This online tool is web enabled, but I’ll leave it to someone else to instrument feeds from their SAP monitoring system.  My energy bills are only available online in a protected format, so I will be keypunching for some time. 

Here’s a linked version of image generated from the spreadsheet for monthly use back to 2002:


Here are data for the month of March (actually between February 10th and March 10th, usually). 


I entered data with newest at the top, so the most recent values are on the left of the chart above.

2003 and 2007 were colder than in other years, so our average use was higher. 2002, 2005 and 2006 had averages close to 2008; our average this year is lower than those.

Conclusions?  Better data visibility can lead to more informed decisions.

Next steps?  I am still looking for other stories of energy use tracking, whether at home or in the office.  I may write about some of our virtualization efforts if I can get measurements, not just spec sheets.

The Small Print 

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