Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Odds & Ends Post #2: New Meter Angst or Something More?

I've been waiting for the arrival of this month's bill following the installation of my new smart meter by FPL. It showed up in the mail today, and I was disappointed to find it reflected only a drop of 118 kWh over the same time period the previous year! A savings, yes, but nothing like the 50%+ decreases we've seen from previous months. And believe me, we've been subjecting ourselves to many a warm day as we've resisted the urge to crank the air conditioning way down. What gives?!? Is this evidence that our new smart meter is actually tallying greater amounts of energy use than its faithful predecessor??  

My initial distress was tempered somewhat by the realization that this year's billing cycle was two days longer than last year's. More importantly, in looking back at my previous bills, its interesting to note that energy use during March of 2010 (758 kWh) seems a bit aberrant as it was couched between significantly higher energy use during February of 2010 (1131 kWh) and April of 2010 (1147 kWh). That seems to suggest that perhaps March was unseasonably cooler last year, as opposed to some of the unrelenting heat we've been experiencing in 2011.

It seems only fair to give the new meter a fair shake-- next month should be a better touchstone against which to test its performance. In the interim, I'll endeavor to find meager satisfaction in the 15% reduction in energy use we achieved.

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