Old electricity rates

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KL7AJ, Jun 26, 2020.

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  1. AC0GT

    AC0GT Ham Member QRZ Page

    For grins and giggles one day I put my ammeter on the AC line to the furnace. It pulled about 10 amps for a second to get the blower spinning and after that it took about 0.1 amps. A gas furnace is not something that I believe adds much to the electric bill. A nightlight likely takes more power.
     
    N2EY likes this.
  2. WR2E

    WR2E Ham Member QRZ Page

    That sounds unrealistically low. A hundred milliamps to spin an air handler blower? No... can't be.
     
  3. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Probably a good part of that was the igniter. I'll have to put an amprobe on my furnace and see!
     
  4. AC0GT

    AC0GT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Let's assume I recall incorrectly, which is entirely possible. What is a more realistic power demand for a furnace fan in your experience? A quick search of the internet shows a number of furnace fan motors rated for 1/3 and 1/2 HP, and 1 HP is about 750 watts. Running full power that's about 3 amps for a 1/2 HP fan, or less than 400 watts. That's still something like a rounding error when considering lights, refrigerator, and other appliances in the house.
     
  5. WR2E

    WR2E Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yeah, that's more realistic and about what I would have guessed. I think the last time I measured the blower motor on my oil burner it was there about...

    For some reason 7 Amps is sticking in my head but maybe that was the window air conditioner out in the shop.

    I agree it's somewhat of a drop in the bucket in the overall though.
     
  6. AD5HR

    AD5HR Ham Member QRZ Page


    We have summer from March until November, reverse the above
    for South Texas.
    We only had a few hours below freezing this last Winter, so heating
    is no big deal here. A.C. uses the largest share, as we have a natural
    gas dryer, water heater, and kitchen range.
     
  7. K1APJ

    K1APJ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I grew up in Buffalo, NY, which had a lot of interesting electrical history. Here are a couple slides from my collection, but the bill is not my Dad's.

    Also note that, in 1925, that part of Buffalo was served by 25 cycle power (no Hertz in those days.) 25 cycle was not completely discontinued until 2007!

    Rate was 6 cents per kW-hr.



    15-185_electric_bill_1925.gif 15-186_electric_bill_1925_slide_2.gif
     
    N0TZU, K1OIK, WR2E and 2 others like this.
  8. N0TZU

    N0TZU Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Very cool, 1925.

    6 cents per kWh inflates to $0.87 today, far more than even Bert pays.
     
  9. KP4SX

    KP4SX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    When I lived in Nevis 1987-88 I saw some of the old English old coin operated meters on some of the older houses. Not in use, of course, since that coinage was long gone.
     
  10. AG6QR

    AG6QR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    We don't have air conditioning at our house. In the hottest part of the year, we just open the windows at night, and then close them up when we wake up, and that's usually enough to keep the temperature below 75 degrees indoors. By 5:00pm, we open the windows again to bring in the cooler air. If we had air conditioning, we might use it for a week in an average year, but it's not worth installing for such little use.

    In 2007, I had a salesman try to sell me double-paned windows. He went around the house, measuring things, and then he told me, "This is the part of my job that I love. I get to show you how quickly these windows will pay for themselves. Can I see your most recent electric bill?" This was in late summer, so I showed him the July or August bill. It was a bit under $30. Even if the new windows could cut our electricity use to zero, the windows weren't going to pay for themselves in my lifetime. And better windows weren't likely to reduce our summer electric bill at all, since none of our bill was due to air conditioning.

    He was traveling here, based out of the Central Valley of California, where it gets hot enough that air conditioning is virtually universal. I guess he wasn't familiar with our local climate. To be fair, our heating bills in winter are significant. I eventually did buy double-paned windows from another company, both to cut heating costs, and to help keep the house a bit cooler using our summer "open the windows at night" technique.

    I'll never forget the look on that poor salesman's face when he saw our $30.00 electric bill and his confident sales pitch suddenly deflated. He quickly pivoted to how much the windows would reduce noise, improve the looks of the house, etc.
     

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