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Home electricity use, even when you’re sleeping or away! Surprising news and info

October 30, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Local homeowners share their encounters with whole house phantom loads – how they measured and what they found, did and learned.

A recent study, Home Idle Load: Devices Wasting Huge Amounts of Electricity When Not in Active Use, found that nearly one fourth of the electricity used in homes was for “idle” loads — wow. Idle loads are things that are on ALL the time, even though we think they are turned off, and things that cycle in the background, like refrigerators. As we urgently work to meet all of our energy needs with clean and renewable sources, to keep our electricity grid stable and reliable, and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions enormously and rapidly, using significant amounts of electricity for idle loads seems, well, ridiculous.

But can this be? Are we really using that much home electricity for idle loads? How much electricity does your home use when it sits idle? Most of us have no idea. While many of us have used kill-a-watt meters or other devices to measure electricity consumption for specific devices, whole house idle loads have not been widely researched.

At our Oct meeting, we’re going to take a close look at this question, using actual data and experiences for homes right here in our area. Looking at idle loads from a whole-house perspective has led many of us to some eye-opening, and very unexpected, findings.

We have a great lineup of speakers who have used a variety of methods and measures to figure out what their whole house idle loads are, what’s driving them, and what can be done about them. One by one, our speakers will describe what they have measured, found and done.

To estimate whole-house idle loads, some used smart meter data or home monitoring systems. Others took actual meter readings, before they went on vacation and again when they came home, to determine how much electricity their empty house was using. Then the detective work began! What was using this electricity? How even to find out? Then, what to do about it?

The meeting will begin with a quick overview of terms and concepts to be sure everyone has the information they need to follow the presentations. There’ll be time to ask speakers questions. And at the end, we’ll talk about next steps and how these findings may be used.

We hope you’ll join us for this important and interesting discussion. All are invited. Our meetings are free and open to the public. The meeting is Tuesday, October 30, at 7:00 at TEKPark (9999 Hamilton Boulevard, Breinigsville, PA 18031, between Kutztown and Allentown). After the meeting, please plan to stick around and chat with friends old and new. Light snacks will be served. Hope to see you there!


October 30, 2018
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Event Category:


TEK Park
9999 Hamilton Blvd.
Breinigsville, PA 18031 us
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