I took the plunge into the whole ‘connected home’ thing today… Picked up and installed a Sensi thermostat and tied it into Apple’s “Home Kit”.
The impetus for this was my utility company, who is giving $75 rebates on ‘smart’ thermostats and $25 off the bill every October if you let them read data from it.
They say this data collection is to help them monitor utilization amounts and times, and they can nag you a bit if you’re running the AC too much… But that’s it; read-only.
They have another program where they install a remote-operated switch on the AC that allows them to control it – but I’m not horribly interested in that.
The thing they’re beating around the bush about though is electric cars… Recharging 100 miles on your average electric car is the equivalent of running the AC for six hours. Sure, that makes it like $5 for 100 miles, but that 6 hours of AC equivalent makes it so the utility company gripes about regular folk using their actual AC for a couple of hours.
Anyway, so far the new place is far more efficient than the townhome I had last year… I just got the first utility bill and it was about half of what the bill was for March last year at the old place.
I attribute this mostly to the gas range. See, running the stovetop via gas for an hour is probably a nickel, while running two 3000 watt electric burners for the same time is probably close to a dollar. And 350 degrees for an hour via gas is also probably a nickel while the same on an electric range is also probably a buck… And my roommate runs the stovetop pretty much every other evening, and the oven probably twice a week.
So, by that estimate, I’m saving $20 or so per month just by having a gas range.
The new house is also way better insulated and has a lot more windows, which lets in more sunlight when it’s cold outside, so that’s less winter heating… How this holds up in the summer though? I’ll just have to wait and see.