Smart Meter obsession


I've recently had a smart meter fixed and am absolutely fixated with looking at the meter. Who knew that booking the kettle took so much energy. What I can't work out is, is it better to run my washing machine on a eco wash that takes 4.5 hours versus a regular wash that takes an hour. I'll have to experiment. Be interested in hearing what observations about energy usage people have made with their smart meters.

10 replies

Hi Suz,

I have a feeling that this is going to be an interesting thread, which should throw up some interesting opinions from some Community members. Can't wait.
Userlevel 7
Badge +10
hi suz
If you want to know about your washer you'll need to use a (cumulative) power monitor on each wash to see the total energy used (maybe manufacturer specifies?), most of the ones on Amazon (other retailers are available) aren't that good but if you're obsessed needs must - you have to feed your obsesson. here are a couple of examples Link Link most of the ones with 4 buttons are the same innards with different cases, all will likely be equally unreliable so no point in paying more than you need.
The eco setting may also use less water?
The most gain to be made from monitoring is to get your standing consumption as low as possible, things which are on 24/365 mount up.
You could run (or walk slowly) around the house switching things off while waiting the 4.5 hours for your clothes...
(Do you have the time to wait 4.5hrs for your wash...?)
Suz;31213:
I've recently had a smart meter fixed and am absolutely fixated with looking at the meter. Who knew that booking the kettle took so much energy. What I can't work out is, is it better to run my washing machine on a eco wash that takes 4.5 hours versus a regular wash that takes an hour. I'll have to experiment. Be interested in hearing what observations about energy usage people have made with their smart meters.
Hi Suz!
Eco cycles wash at a lower temperature, but for a longer time period. This saves energy because it takes far less electricity to run the pump/motor than it does the heating. Switching to a lower-temperature eco wash could yield an energy saving of 35-59% according to a report from the University of Surrey.

However, using an eco mode on a 60C wash makes no sense though as most washes are cleaned at 30C, so only use a lower them cycle eco mode if you want to save energy. And be mindful that “eco” is not a defined standard, and it is open to abuse from manufacturers. There are examples where an eco button yielded a saving of only 1%. More about that in this article.

Manufacturers should include a breakdown of kWh/water/time consumption in the appliance’s manual as required under EU Commission regulation 1015/2010 implementing directive 2009/125/EC, but unfortunately (1) only 40C/60C cotton cycles are required to be provided, (plus standby power consumption), (2) the tests are done in a lab environment and (3) manufacturers are allowed to make changes to the tech specs after the tests without needing to retest..

For my power consumption measurements of individual appliances I use Sonoff Pow R2 smart switch meters (£11-12 off eBay) which I wire in a 50cm extension lead from CPC. The benefit is that they are WiFi enabled, and under-worktop appliances often have power sockets in hidden places where a power meter with display isn’t very practical. I leave my power meter switches in situ for long periods and track consumption via the ewelink smartphone app. Here is a sample screenshot of my dishwasher...
2312


Suz;31213:
I've recently had a smart meter fixed and am absolutely fixated with looking at the meter. Who knew that booking the kettle took so much energy. What I can't work out is, is it better to run my washing machine on a eco wash that takes 4.5 hours versus a regular wash that takes an hour. I'll have to experiment. Be interested in hearing what observations about energy usage people have made with their smart meters.
Userlevel 7
Badge +10
hi Dutch
I don't think it's a good idea to have that sort of setup behind higher energy use appliances for long periods.
Plug pins get oxidised in hostile environments then they get hot, then they oxidise more...
I certainly wouldn't recommend others to do that. Sorry if that sounds harsh but I have personal experience of a very good quality extension plug (rubber socket) burning behind a dishwasher. Fortunately it didn't cause a fire.
That said, the sonoff devices although rated at 10A are apparently quite resilient, have a look at this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?
(I believe they do a 16A version?)
​v=SLK84ZJ291k
DutchCaerleon;31265:
Hi Suz!
Eco cycles wash at a lower temperature, but for a longer time period. This saves energy because it takes far less electricity to run the pump/motor than it does the heating. Switching to a lower-temperature eco wash could yield an energy saving of 35-59% according to a report from the University of Surrey.

However, using an eco mode on a 60C wash makes no sense though as most washes are cleaned at 30C, so only use a lower them cycle eco mode if you want to save energy. And be mindful that “eco” is not a defined standard, and it is open to abuse from manufacturers. There are examples where an eco button yielded a saving of only 1%. More about that in this article.

Manufacturers should include a breakdown of kWh/water/time consumption in the appliance’s manual as required under EU Commission regulation 1015/2010 implementing directive 2009/125/EC, but unfortunately (1) only 40C/60C cotton cycles are required to be provided, (plus standby power consumption), (2) the tests are done in a lab environment and (3) manufacturers are allowed to make changes to the tech specs after the tests without needing to retest..

For my power consumption measurements of individual appliances I use Sonoff Pow R2 smart switch meters (£11-12 off eBay) which I wire in a 50cm extension lead from CPC. The benefit is that they are WiFi enabled, and under-worktop appliances often have power sockets in hidden places where a power meter with display isn’t very practical. I leave my power meter switches in situ for long periods and track consumption via the ewelink smartphone app. Here is a sample screenshot of my dishwasher...
2312
Hi Woz,
as it happens the smart meter isn’t close to the dishwasher due to the fact that the socket is behind another kitchen unit, so the switch is away from a heat source.. And luckily the dishwasher has some vent space but I know what you mean about the dishwasher getting very hot... 🆙

woz;31267:
hi Dutch
I don't think it's a good idea to have that sort of setup behind higher energy use appliances for long periods.
Plug pins get oxidised in hostile environments then they get hot, then they oxidise more...
I certainly wouldn't recommend others to do that. Sorry if that sounds harsh but I have personal experience of a very good quality extension plug (rubber socket) burning behind a dishwasher. Fortunately it didn't cause a fire.
That said, the sonoff devices although rated at 10A are apparently quite resilient, have a look at this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?
(I believe they do a 16A version?)
​v=SLK84ZJ291k
Hi Woz, I just watched that destructive testing YT vid - that’s one tough switch... with all my smart switches I use fused extension leads and ensure earthing is always done, even though the basic sonoff smart switches don’t provide connection for earth in their switches. I hope the extension lead fuse would prevent a situation like the one in that video from occurring.
woz;31267:
hi Dutch
I don't think it's a good idea to have that sort of setup behind higher energy use appliances for long periods.
Plug pins get oxidised in hostile environments then they get hot, then they oxidise more...
I certainly wouldn't recommend others to do that. Sorry if that sounds harsh but I have personal experience of a very good quality extension plug (rubber socket) burning behind a dishwasher. Fortunately it didn't cause a fire.
That said, the sonoff devices although rated at 10A are apparently quite resilient, have a look at this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?
(I believe they do a 16A version?)
​v=SLK84ZJ291k
Userlevel 7
Badge +10
ha- JW's videos are really good, he does test a 16A one too. I think the 16A one has a pass through earth connection?
I haven't dipped my toe into the sonoff waters yet, just bought some tplink kasa smart plugs, and so far failed to get ifttt working with them. They do an energy monitoring version but , without sounding dismissive, I still have to switch the appliance on, so little point in paying extra (for me). I might get one just to play with.
DutchCaerleon;31285:
Hi Woz, I just watched that destructive testing YT vid - that’s one tough switch... with all my smart switches I use fused extension leads and ensure earthing is always done, even though the basic sonoff smart switches don’t provide connection for earth in their switches. I hope the extension lead fuse would prevent a situation like the one in that video from occurring.
Hi @Suz
Great thread, nice one for posting it!
FYI I've moved it to the smart meters section of the community. It's getting some interesting replies, so I've also pinned it to the top of the list of posts, too. 🆙
Hi Suz

Suz;31213:
Who knew that booking the kettle took so much energy.

I believe most kettles are approximately 3kw, so if you are boiling more than a cupful or two, it could work out quite expensive, particularly if regularly boil more than you need - I've never worked out why they don't make kettles insulated like they do with some coffee machines. I use a hot water dispenser that you can set the quantity on, I can't guarantee it saves energy because it depends how often you use a kettle.

Suz;31213:
What I can't work out is, is it better to run my washing machine on a eco wash that takes 4.5 hours versus a regular wash that takes an hour.

I can't comment on your machine specifically, but those 'energy efficiency' labels manufacturers like to quote, are based on test data. Therefore, they should supply a 'Consumption Data' breakdown, based on EN 60456 somewhere, probably in the back of the manual.

For example, this is the data for my 6Kg Miele W3740:


Regards
Gwynd
Gwyndy;31490:
Hi Suz


I believe most kettles are approximately 3kw, so if you are boiling more than a cupful or two, it could work out quite expensive, particularly if regularly boil more than you need - I've never worked out why they don't make kettles insulated like they do with some coffee machines. I use a hot water dispenser that you can set the quantity on, I can't guarantee it saves energy because it depends how often you use a kettle.


I can't comment on your machine specifically, but those 'energy efficiency' labels manufacturers like to quote, are based on test data. Therefore, they should supply a 'Consumption Data' breakdown, based on EN 60456 somewhere, probably in the back of the manual.

For example, this is the data for my 6Kg Miele W3740:
2328

Regards
Gwynd



Great advice Gwynd. I make sure I only boil what I need in my kettle. I will look at my machine manual to see the energy consumption rates. Thanks for the tip

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