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electrical usage and my Mac

Message #1 - Posted 2006/03/24 - O. Hendersen

My landlord is complaining that my mac is using too much electricity. He says that his elctricity bill has gone up $200 per month since i moved in. Is that possible?

My system includes: dual 1.25 G4 MMD with 4 250GB internal ATAs and 5 external Maxtor 300 GB FW drive, 21" Mitsubishi CRT

My system is always on... running Seti@home, etc.

O. Hendersen ohendersen@yahoo.com

Message #2 - Posted 2006/03/24 - Marc Heusser

Previously, O. Hendersen wrote:

My landlord is complaining that my mac is using too much electricity. He says that his elctricity bill has gone up $200 per month since i moved in. Is that possible?

My system includes: dual 1.25 G4 MMD with 4 250GB internal ATAs and 5 external Maxtor 300 GB FW drive, 21" Mitsubishi CRT

My system is always on... running Seti@home, etc.

Ok lets see:
assuming 500 W for the system (200 W for Mac, 100 W for CRT, etc), you'll use 12 kWh per day (24h * 500 W). That is 360 kWh per month. I do not have your energy prices, over here in Switzerland I'd pay some 0.1 USD/kWh. That would mean 36 USD/month.
You'd have to check requirements on equipment labels, plus cost of electricity and adjust accordingly.
Your landlord seems rather overestimating it unless he gets his electricity from solar power - watch out for halogen/incandescent ligthing instead of fluorescent, laser printers on standby, electrical heating/airconditioning etc though.

HTH
Marc

Switzerland/Europe
<http://www.heusser.com> remove CHEERS and from MERCIAL to get valid e-mail
PGP fingerprint 0823 D741 9E88 0499 82A1 DC80 8B82 9084 246D FBAE

Message #3 - Posted 2006/03/24 - spat

I am not an electrician, nor do I know much about computer power use. But I am a business and homeowner, and my feeling is that your system could not possibly add more than $30 per month to his bill. Do you have control of the heating and A/C in your apartment? Maybe your landlord's previous tenant wasn't there much and had the heater or A/C turned off much of the time.

On 3/24/06 3:26 AM, in article ohendersen-2CAF17.01262824032006@news.giganews.com, O. Hendersen wrote:

My landlord is complaining that my mac is using too much electricity. He says that his elctricity bill has gone up $200 per month since i moved in. Is that possible?

My system includes: dual 1.25 G4 MMD with 4 250GB internal ATAs and 5 external Maxtor 300 GB FW drive, 21" Mitsubishi CRT

My system is always on... running Seti@home, etc.

Message #4 - Posted 2006/03/24 - void * clvrmnky

O. Hendersen wrote:

My landlord is complaining that my mac is using too much electricity. He says that his elctricity bill has gone up $200 per month since i moved in. Is that possible?

My system includes: dual 1.25 G4 MMD with 4 250GB internal ATAs and 5 external Maxtor 300 GB FW drive, 21" Mitsubishi CRT

My system is always on... running Seti@home, etc.

He's over-estimating, but you are contributing to a significant part of that. You are running the equivalent of a 200+ Watt light bulb continuously. Maybe more.

It adds up, especially if you burn incandescents in the rest of the house, and run other bigger watt items.

From his point of view, you moved in, and the bill increased a lot.

Message #5 - Posted 2006/03/24 - Sawney Beane

I run my computer, CRT, and external drive about 18 hours a day and my whole electric bill is about $30 a month. My computer sleeps a lot. My big uses are AC, hot water, refrigeration, and the blower for my furnace.

The TV news said you could save $200 a year on your electric bill by turning off your PC at night. At 12 hours per night, that would be something like 500 watts. I guess they added up the power ratings on the components of a computer system. In fact, a sleeping system is likely to be less than 50 watts. Maybe your landlord was watching that station and thought they said $200 a month.

The kH figure on an electric power meter tells how many watt-hours a rotation of the disk represents. You can use that to see what a computer system uses. You shut off all circuits in the house except a few lights, such as 100 watts' worth. Time the wheel to see how many watts the lights are using. Then see how much power is being used with your computer working hard, and subtract the lighting watts. Then put it to sleep, check again, and subtract the lighting watts.

The reason to have some lights on is that a mechanical power meter is very inaccurate below 100 watts or so.

spat wrote:

I am not an electrician, nor do I know much about computer power use. But I am a business and homeowner, and my feeling is that your system could not possibly add more than $30 per month to his bill. Do you have control of the heating and A/C in your apartment? Maybe your landlord's previous tenant wasn't there much and had the heater or A/C turned off much of the time.

On 3/24/06 3:26 AM, in article ohendersen-2CAF17.01262824032006@news.giganews.com, O. Hendersen wrote:

My landlord is complaining that my mac is using too much electricity. He says that his elctricity bill has gone up $200 per month since i moved in. Is that possible?

My system includes: dual 1.25 G4 MMD with 4 250GB internal ATAs and 5 external Maxtor 300 GB FW drive, 21" Mitsubishi CRT

My system is always on... running Seti@home, etc.

Message #6 - Posted 2006/03/25 - aaJoe

My landlord is complaining that my mac is using too much electricity. He says that his elctricity bill has gone up $200 per month since i moved in. Is that possible?
My system includes: dual 1.25 G4 MMD with 4 250GB internal ATAs and 5 external Maxtor 300 GB FW drive, 21" Mitsubishi CRT
My system is always on... running Seti@home, etc.

Can you look at your meter as its clicking away? If so, measure the usage with your system on full (no sleeping) for an hour, then do the same with it asleep, or at least with that big honking monitor powered off, then shut it off. Make sure nothing else is using electricity at the same time, or at least nothing big like a stove, hair dryer, a/c, etc. You will quickly find your computer uses a rather small amount of electricity.

Message #7 - Posted 2006/03/25 - Mike Rosenberg

O. Hendersen wrote:

My landlord is complaining that my mac is using too much electricity. He says that his elctricity bill has gone up $200 per month since i moved in. Is that possible?

I don't know where you live, how large a place you have or how high the rates are there, but I can tell you that my _total_ electric bill for a 1200 sq ft top floor unit in Jacksonville, FL, has only rarely gone above $100, and that's during the height of air conditioning season.

Mike Rosenberg
<http://www.macconsult.com> Macintosh consulting services for NE Florida <http://www.cafepress.com/macconsult,macconsult4> Mac-themed T-shirts <http://bogart-tribute.net> Tribute to Humphrey Bogart

Message #8 - Posted 2006/03/25 - David C.

"O. Hendersen" <ohendersen@yahoo.com> writes:

My landlord is complaining that my mac is using too much electricity. He says that his elctricity bill has gone up $200 per month since i moved in. Is that possible?

Sounds like BS to me, unless you have insanely high electric rates.

My winter electic bill (when the A/C isn't running) is under $100 a month for my entire house (three bedroom, single-family, northern Virginia). This includes a PowerMac G4 that never sleeps.

I can't imagine anything smaller than an air conditioner or heat pump jacking up an electic bill by $200/mo. Perhaps yours is broken and is running continuously to try and keep the apartment warm.

-- David

Message #9 - Posted 2006/03/25 - Adrian

O. Hendersen wrote:

My landlord is complaining that my mac is using too much electricity. He says that his elctricity bill has gone up $200 per month since i moved in. Is that possible?

Definitely not.

Adrian

Message #10 - Posted 2006/03/26 - Bill

Previously, O. Hendersen wrote:

My landlord is complaining that my mac is using too much electricity. He says that his elctricity bill has gone up $200 per month since i moved in. Is that possible?

My system includes: dual 1.25 G4 MMD with 4 250GB internal ATAs and 5 external Maxtor 300 GB FW drive, 21" Mitsubishi CRT

My system is always on... running Seti@home, etc.

Some calculations:

The power brick for my iBook is rated at 45 watts. Assume that is what it normally draws (which is not true, as it is often asleep, and even when I am using it, probably draws much less than 45 w; the 45 watt rating of the power brick is a maximum)

45 watts, 24 hrs per day, 30 days per month, amounts to 32400 watt-hours, which is equal to 32.4 kilowatt-hours.

(Formula: watts * hours = watt-hours; 1000 watt-hours = 1 kilowatt-hour)

The price of electricity where I live in South carolina is about 9 cents per kilowatt-hour. In round numbers, say 10 cents per kilowatt-hour.

So the cost of electricity to run my iBook for a month cannot exceed:

$0.1/KwH * 32.4 KwH = $3.24

And will actually be much less because of sleep time, and lower than full power consumption in normal use.

A desktop with a CRT monitor might consume a little more power, but again, it sleeps much of the time. I suppose the power consumption of a G5 tower doing heavy video work might be 5 times the power consumption of my iBook?

Another way to look at it: running my iBook at full power is like turning on a 45-watt light bulb.

Bill Collins

Message #11 - Posted 2006/03/26 - Eric Lindsay

Previously, O. Hendersen wrote:

My landlord is complaining that my mac is using too much electricity. He says that his elctricity bill has gone up $200 per month since i moved in. Is that possible?

My system includes: dual 1.25 G4 MMD with 4 250GB internal ATAs and 5 external Maxtor 300 GB FW drive, 21" Mitsubishi CRT

My system is always on... running Seti@home, etc.

If your system were going into low power or sleep mode frequently I can't see that sort of an increase in costs. However running Seti will push it way beyond the average figures.

See http://www.thejemreport.com/mambo/content/view/211/1/ for a discussion of more typical systems.

A dual G4 could pull 220 watts. Unlikely but possible with all those internal drives. You do not mention whether the Firewire drives all run on their own external power supplies. Couldn't find a figure for the 21 inch Mitsubishi, but it ill use a lot of power.

Just to make the calculations easier, assume you draw 500 watts, 24 hours a day, 30 days a month. That is 12kWH a day or 3600kWh a month. At 10 cents a kWh that is $1.20 a day, or $36 a month. However I have no idea what electricity costs are in your area, but the landlord should be able to tell you. $200 extra seems unlikely. Stuff like air conditioning is more likely to put it up that sort of amount.

I think you should check the electricity meter, with computer on and off, and everything else off, as suggested in another post.

Message #12 - Posted 2006/03/25 - heron stone

thanks everyone for your comments.

i have solved the mystery

it seems there was a huge (74%... from 19 to 33 cents/kwh) increase in the highest (100% over baseline and above) tier rate that started the month i moved in.

when i looked at the bill i noticed that the usage (kwh) was only up about 15%, but the bill was up 60%.

i'm not using any more electricity than anyone else... he just didn't know about the rate increase and assumed it was because of me

thanks again

unDO email address
___
Nature, heron stone to be commanded, http://www.gendo.net must be obeyed. mailto:heronDO@gendo.net

Message #13 - Posted 2006/03/26 - Jim Redelfs

Previously, heron stone wrote:

[my landlord] just didn't know about the rate increase and assumed it was because of me

Here's hoping you signed a lease. Good luck!

:)
JR

PowerMac G4 MDD 1.25 SP
Mac OS X 10.4.4

Message #14 - Posted 2006/03/27 - bk

Bill wrote:

Previously, O. Hendersen wrote:

My landlord is complaining that my mac is using too much electricity. He says that his elctricity bill has gone up $200 per month since i moved in. Is that possible?

My system includes: dual 1.25 G4 MMD with 4 250GB internal ATAs and 5 external Maxtor 300 GB FW drive, 21" Mitsubishi CRT

My system is always on... running Seti@home, etc.

Some calculations:

The power brick for my iBook is rated at 45 watts. Assume that is what it normally draws (which is not true, as it is often asleep, and even when I am using it, probably draws much less than 45 w; the 45 watt rating of the power brick is a maximum)

45 watts, 24 hrs per day, 30 days per month, amounts to 32400 watt-hours, which is equal to 32.4 kilowatt-hours.

(Formula: watts * hours = watt-hours; 1000 watt-hours = 1 kilowatt-hour)

The price of electricity where I live in South carolina is about 9 cents per kilowatt-hour. In round numbers, say 10 cents per kilowatt-hour.

So the cost of electricity to run my iBook for a month cannot exceed:

$0.1/KwH * 32.4 KwH = $3.24

And will actually be much less because of sleep time, and lower than full power consumption in normal use.

A desktop with a CRT monitor might consume a little more power, but again, it sleeps much of the time. I suppose the power consumption of a G5 tower doing heavy video work might be 5 times the power consumption of my iBook?

Another way to look at it: running my iBook at full power is like turning on a 45-watt light bulb.

Bill Collins

One way to tell for sure (if you're willing to spend $30) is to plug your power strip into one of these puppies.

<http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/electronic/7657/>

If you _do_ find out that something is pulling 2500 watts and somehow not bursting into flames, you can isolate it :)

bk

Message #15 - Posted 2006/03/27 - Fred Moore

Previously, heron stone wrote:

it seems there was a huge (74%... from 19 to 33 cents/kwh) increase in the highest (100% over baseline and above) tier rate that started the month i moved in.

Wow, may I ask where you live? I'm in Ohio, USA. Just checked my electric bill and my marginal cost for electricity is 5.1 cents (USD 0.051). Most US electricity is between 5 and 10 cents (marginal). Ohio uses mostly coal which is why it's on the low end. Coal is heavily subsidized by not having to clean up after itself. Just curious if your 33 cents is because of cost of generation or taxes.

--Fred

Message #16 - Posted 2006/03/27 - Rick Jones

One way to tell for sure (if you're willing to spend $30) is to plug your power strip into one of these puppies.

<http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/electronic/7657/>

If you _do_ find out that something is pulling 2500 watts and somehow not bursting into flames, you can isolate it :)

I use one of those "Kill-A-Watt" gizmos and have been happy with it. My only complaint, and one that probably does not really apply here but I'll type it anyway:) is there does not seem to be a 220V version.

rick jones

BTW, in a very polite way, it might be good to ask the landlord to show you the actual bills.

a wide gulf separates "what if" from "if only" these opinions are mine, all mine; HP might not want them anyway... :) feel free to post, OR email to rick.jones2 in hp.com but NOT BOTH...

Message #17 - Posted 2006/03/27 - Rick Jones

In comp.sys.mac.system Fred Moore wrote:

Previously, heron stone wrote:

it seems there was a huge (74%... from 19 to 33 cents/kwh) increase in the highest (100% over baseline and above) tier rate that started the month i moved in.

Wow, may I ask where you live? I'm in Ohio, USA. Just checked my electric bill and my marginal cost for electricity is 5.1 cents (USD 0.051). Most US electricity is between 5 and 10 cents (marginal). Ohio uses mostly coal which is why it's on the low end. Coal is heavily subsidized by not having to clean up after itself. Just curious if your 33 cents is because of cost of generation or taxes.

Here in CA (not sure if the OP lives in CA or not) we have a "tiered" rate structure. Electricity usage up to N KWH (aka, "baseline") in a month is priced at M cents per KWH. Electricity usage above N KWH (aka "over baseline") is charged at a rather higher rate and so on. I suspect that the PG&E website (www.pge.com I suspect) discusses it.

That part represents "the stick" at the other end we have "the carrot" which would be the rebates on more energy efficient appliances, lighting and such.

rick jones

firebug n, the idiot who tosses a lit cigarette out his car window these opinions are mine, all mine; HP might not want them anyway... :) feel free to post, OR email to rick.jones2 in hp.com but NOT BOTH...

Message #18 - Posted 2006/03/27 - heron stone

rick jones

BTW, in a very polite way, it might be good to ask the landlord to show you the actual bills.

.i've seen the bill
.there's no question about the fact that it has gone up $200/mo. since jan.
.the question was "?why"

.it turns out there was a 74% rate increase in tier 4
.it just happened to take effect at the same time as
my moving in
.it had nothing to do with my usage per se
.i'm not using more electricity than anyone else in
the house

unDO email address
___
Nature, heron stone to be commanded, http://www.gendo.net must be obeyed. mailto:heronDO@gendo.net

Message #19 - Posted 2006/03/28 -

On 2006-03-24 04:26:28 -0500, O. Hendersen said:

My landlord is complaining that my mac is using too much electricity. He says that his elctricity bill has gone up $200 per month since i moved in. Is that possible?

My system includes: dual 1.25 G4 MMD with 4 250GB internal ATAs and 5 external Maxtor 300 GB FW drive, 21" Mitsubishi CRT

My system is always on... running Seti@home, etc.

I live in a 1600 sqft house, my Mac Dual 1.42 G4 runs 24x7 so does my Dell Wintel box, a 22 cuft fridge, plus the normal oil fired heating, lights etc. Connecticut has some of the highest electric rates in the US, and I pay 110 US$ a month (thanks GWB before you took office that number was 58 US$ dollars a month). I expect this summer with AC that will rise close to 180 US$ per month. I will unfortunately have to evaluate my use of the computers for Stanfords folding@home project. While I can afford it, I have better things to do with that money. --
Jim <jen....not....home..remvdots...@....yahoo

Message #20 - Posted 2006/03/28 - Garner Miller

Previously, heron stone wrote:

.i've seen the bill
.there's no question about the fact that it has gone up $200/mo. since jan.
.the question was "?why"

Backwards sentences writing stop could you, perhaps? That's damn confusing.

I wouldn't be so concerned about the dollar amount, but the number of kilowatt-hours consumed. But I can understand why his eyes were drawn to the dollar amount at first.

My local power company added a surcharge because we had a mild winter, and they bought too much power. The surcharge makes up the money I would have saved *because* of the mild winter. Arrgh! :D

Garner R. Miller
Clifton Park, NY =USA=
http://www.garnermiller.com/

Message #21 - Posted 2006/03/28 - David Magda

"O. Hendersen" <ohendersen@yahoo.com> writes:

My landlord is complaining that my mac is using too much electricity. He says that his elctricity bill has gone up $200 per month since i moved in. Is that possible?

Has your landloard set up a grow-up recently?

David Magda <dmagda at ee.ryerson.ca>
Because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new. -- Niccolo Machiavelli, _The Prince_, Chapter VI

Message #22 - Posted 2006/03/30 - Achilles

Rick Jones wrote:

In comp.sys.mac.system Fred Moore wrote:

Previously, heron stone wrote:

it seems there was a huge (74%... from 19 to 33 cents/kwh) increase in the highest (100% over baseline and above) tier rate that started the month i moved in.

Wow, may I ask where you live? I'm in Ohio, USA. Just checked my electric bill and my marginal cost for electricity is 5.1 cents (USD 0.051). Most US electricity is between 5 and 10 cents (marginal). Ohio uses mostly coal which is why it's on the low end. Coal is heavily subsidized by not having to clean up after itself. Just curious if your 33 cents is because of cost of generation or taxes.

Here in CA (not sure if the OP lives in CA or not) we have a "tiered" rate structure. Electricity usage up to N KWH (aka, "baseline") in a month is priced at M cents per KWH. Electricity usage above N KWH (aka "over baseline") is charged at a rather higher rate and so on. I suspect that the PG&E website (www.pge.com I suspect) discusses it.

That part represents "the stick" at the other end we have "the carrot" which would be the rebates on more energy efficient appliances, lighting and such.

Sounds like CA is on the right track. Normally these utilities companies reward one for using more kilowatts. (as in 'poweruser rebate')

Ed

Message #23 - Posted 2006/04/01 - Ross Bernheim

O. Hendersen wrote:

My landlord is complaining that my mac is using too much electricity. He says that his elctricity bill has gone up $200 per month since i moved in. Is that possible?

My system includes: dual 1.25 G4 MMD with 4 250GB internal ATAs and 5 external Maxtor 300 GB FW drive, 21" Mitsubishi CRT

My system is always on... running Seti@home, etc.

What you need is a Wattmeter. Radio Shack carries the Kill A Watt P3 Wattmeter for about $30. With it you can quickly and
easily and accurately find out what the power draw is of the equipment is piece by piece under different operating conditions.

Alternately, you can plug a power strip into the Kill A Watt and check on the total system power use.

I have one of these and they are very handy. It ususally lives in my Install Fest carrying box and gets a lot of use as people want to know how much their computer or laptop on AC converter really uses under real life conditions.

Ross Bernheim

Message #24 - Posted 2006/05/01 - Chip G.

Previously, Garner Miller wrote:

My local power company added a surcharge because we had a mild winter, and they bought too much power. The surcharge makes up the money I would have saved *because* of the mild winter. Arrgh! :D

That stinks.

Clifton Park, NY =USA=

Been there, done that. Used to live in Saratoga Springs, just a block from the park in town. Been many years now. The parents of a friend of mine live in Clifton Park. I took a road trip to visit them with him a couple of years back. It was great to visit the area, so beautiful. (Currently I am in CT.)

--Chip
remove dots in prefix to fix email address

Message #25 - Posted 2006/05/01 - Chip G.

Previously, Jim wrote:

I live in a 1600 sqft house

1650 sqft here

oil fired heating,

Electric heat here!

Connecticut has some of the highest electric rates in the US

Tell me about it! I'm there as well.

I expect this summer with AC that will rise close to 180 US$ per month.

My expensive time of the year is winter. With electric heat my single month bill can occasionally rise to over $500 for one month. And that's with the house only heated to 60F. One of these days soon I'll have to get a pellet stove and get some serious cost savings!

--Chip
remove dots in prefix to fix email address

Message #26 - Posted 2006/05/01 - Michelle Steiner

Previously, Chip G. wrote:

I live in a 1600 sqft house

1650 sqft here

2100 here

oil fired heating,

Electric heat here!

Natural gas

Connecticut has some of the highest electric rates in the US

Tell me about it! I'm there as well.

I'm in AZ, and am lucky enough to have the Salt River Project electricity--about the lowest rates in the Southwest; don't know how it compares to the rest of the country, though.

I expect this summer with AC that will rise close to 180 US$ per month.

My expensive time of the year is winter. With electric heat my single month bill can occasionally rise to over $500 for one month. And that's with the house only heated to 60F. One of these days soon I'll have to get a pellet stove and get some serious cost savings!

My most expensive time is Summer; electric can run about $250 with the thermostat set for 78--gas runs about $13 then (cooking and hot water). Winter, gas runs about $50, and electricity about the same, for a total of maybe $100.

Stop Mad Cowboy Disease: Impeach the son of a Bush.

Message #27 - Posted 2006/05/01 - not_reg'd

Previously, Garner Miller wrote:

My local power company added a surcharge because we had a mild winter, and they bought too much power. The surcharge makes up the money I would have saved *because* of the mild winter. Arrgh! :D Clifton Park, NY =USA=

Why would you choose to hide the name of the
electric supplier??

Their incompetence should be part of the public
record so investors and
prospective customers- yes, New York State allows
free choice of
electric 'suppliers/providers' whatever- can google.groups and receive
this info.

Thanx!!

Message #28 - Posted 2006/05/01 - Garner Miller

Previously, <not_reg'd@arbeitslose.org> wrote:

My local power company added a surcharge because we had a mild winter, and they bought too much power.

Why would you choose to hide the name of the
electric supplier??

I just didn't think to post it. Not quite the same thing as hiding it!

It was Niagara Mohawk, if you're curious.

Their incompetence should be part of the public record so investors and prospective customers- yes, New York State allows free choice of electric 'suppliers/providers' whatever- can google.groups and receive this info.

Well there you go -- now the answer is archived.

Garner R. Miller
Clifton Park, NY =USA=
http://www.garnermiller.com/

Message #29 - Posted 2006/05/01 - iona

On Mon, 1 May 2006 20:28:00 UTC, Garner Miller wrote:

Previously, <not_reg'd@arbeitslose.org> wrote:

My local power company added a surcharge because we had a mild winter, and they bought too much power.

Why would you choose to hide the name of the
electric supplier??

I just didn't think to post it. Not quite the same thing as hiding it!

It was Niagara Mohawk, if you're curious.

Their incompetence should be part of the public record so investors and prospective customers- yes, New York State allows free choice of electric 'suppliers/providers' whatever- can google.groups and receive this info.

Well there you go -- now the answer is archived.

Across the Hudson River our rural town and a lake
community as well are split in half between NiMo
and NYSEG so one never knows what 'the electric company' really means. Plus we can choose to be
billed by Keystone, et al, who totally lack a
physical presence.

Cheers,

iona

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