Going power crazy

As a part of the “CurrentCost craze” that is rife at Hursley these days, I’ve had mine up and running for a few days and am very excited by the possibilities.

The CurrentCost meter gives you a real-time display of how much electricity your house is using. On its own, this would be interesting, but hard to relate to anything. One of its cool features is its awareness of how much electricity actually costs - being told your usage costs £17 per month is much more effective than saying you’re using 1.23kw.

I’m not the only one who has got this meter setup and then obsessively gone around the house to reduce how much is being wasted.

What is great about this particular device, and what appeals to the Hursley crowd, is the ability to plug it into a PC and capture the information it produces. It doesn’t take much plumbing to get the data being graphed online - something which does raise an interesting issue.

I can now see when Jo has got home from work as I see the spike of the kettle being used, but equally, anyone can get a pretty good idea if we’re in the house. Is that a genuine concern? There are certainly easier ways of working out if we’re in or not.

That aside, the graph it produces definitely does give food for thought. Here’s a snapshot of the graph from today (click through for a fully annotated version on flickr): Power Usage

This graph has left me intrigued to find out what the 100watt-ish blip is that happens every 2 hours; there is a PC running all the time, which has the meter connected - I wonder what cron tasks are configured.

The meter has definitely left me feeling slightly guilty for the 600watts of halogen spot-lights we put in the new kitchen.