I was fortunate enough to spend Memorial Day weekend in Washington, D.C. My wife and I went up for a wedding and I was able to see the great exhibit on Electricity that is at the National Museum of American History. But while I was there I realized I forgot to reprogram my thermostats so they would know I was on vacation! This meant I was cooling space that nobody was in. Below is the image of my electricity consumption from Saturday and Sunday taken from Google PowerMeter and TED 5000:
The red circle is highlighting the electricity consumption between 12 A.M and 12 P.M. on Saturday. Since I have my downstairs thermostat programmed to be off during this time, the green spikes in the circle reflect my upstairs thermostat turning on our A.C. unit (it's where we sleep). The only problem was that we left for D.C. on Friday, so the spikes represent wasted energy!
Luckily I have an Ecobee programmable thermostat that I can control over the internet for our upstairs air conditioning ( I wish I had one for downstairs as well). So around lunch on Saturday afternoon I pulled out my iPhone and used the Ecobee iPhone app to put my thermostat in vacation mode (which basically sets the temperature really high so the thermostat doesn't kick on). I also showed everyone who was in the vicinity how cool it was that I could do this. Unfortunately Secretary of Energy Steven Chu was not around to witness this.
You can see this change reflected in my consumption from 12 A.M. to 12 P.M. on Sunday; there are no spikes in consumption because my upstairs thermostat (now in vacation mode) was not telling my A.C. unit to kick on!
Of course I still had the downstairs thermostat coming on and wasting energy, but since I only have the Ecobee on the upstairs unit I'll have to remember to turn the downstairs one off before we head to the airport.
Luckily I have tools like Google PowerMeter, TED 5000, and Ecobee internet programmable thermostat to help me trim my energy consumption habits!