Electricity consumption help/input/opinions welcome :)

May 16, 2019
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I recently moved into a home with another couple... my boyfriend streams live on twitch and has one tower, 3 monitors and 3 lights that he uses while streaming around 5 hours when he does. He barely does this daily. It is a good source of income for us.
Now the question I have for you... is it fair that the other couple is asking us to pay 60% electricity due to this streaming job my boyfriend does?
I ask this because I feel its not using THAT much more energy compared to the rest of the house. They do around 1-2 loads of laundry a day sometimes with only a few items in it (every day they do laundry) … I feel using the washer and dryer daily uses if not more maybe just as much energy as his PC? I came here because I have asked around and no one seems to really understand what I am talking about when it comes to his set up for Twitch...
In addition... what I was trying to say overall was that our roommate is saying is my boyfriends PC a month will use 10% more in electricity than the rest of the house... (this other said guy also has a gaming PC himself and also plays quite often too for lengths of time). So is 60% for us actually "fair" … I know its only a slight difference but it seems a little ridiculous to me when they do laundry every day as well as run their own PC's.
 
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May 16, 2019
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Evidence beats "I feel.."

Buy one of these:
https://www.amazon.com/P3-P4400-Electricity-Usage-Monitor/dp/B00009MDBU

Actually measure what his PC is using.

Then, go here and show them what the dryer actually consumes and costs, and what the PC actually consumes and costs:
https://www.rapidtables.com/calc/electric/electricity-calculator.html
What our roommate is saying though is that his PC a month will use 10% more in electricity than the rest of the house... (this other said guy also has a gaming PC himself and also plays quite often too for lengths of time). So is 60% for us actually "fair" … I know its only a slight difference but it seems a little ridiculous to me when they do laundry every day as well as run their own PC's.
 
May 16, 2019
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If you wanna do it right way, buy the watt meter (Just dont buy some knockoff), calculate how much does your boyfriend uses PC "in hour time" with the wattage aka watt-hour.

But I may suggest you to use Kill a Watt meter
I also wrote this to another guy... and saw your 50/50 comment as well... what I was trying to say overall was that our roommate is saying is my boyfriends PC a month will use 10% more in electricity than the rest of the house... (this other said guy also has a gaming PC himself and also plays quite often too for lengths of time). So is 60% for us actually "fair" … I know its only a slight difference but it seems a little ridiculous to me when they do laundry every day as well as run their own PC's.
 

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What our roommate is saying though is that his PC a month will use 10% more in electricity than the rest of the house... (this other said guy also has a gaming PC himself and also plays quite often too for lengths of time). So is 60% for us actually "fair" … I know its only a slight difference but it seems a little ridiculous to me when they do laundry every day as well as run their own PC's.
I get that's what they say.
Show them it is not so...:)

This, from the calculator site I linked above

Adjust for your specific numbers.
 
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It would honestly be pretty hard to estimate exactly how much power each couple is using. Especially without knowing what hardware each computer has, how many hours each system is actively being used for gaming each day, how much power other devices like the dryer draw when in use, and so on. So, it's hard to say whether a 60/40 split could be justified without knowing a lot more details. If I had to guess, I would suspect you are probably are not using 50% more power than them due to a gaming system, though again, it's difficult to say for sure. At the very least, the act of streaming itself shouldn't be increasing power draw much compared to regular gaming.

I agree that you could probably get a better idea of how much power the gaming system is using with one of those Kill-A-Watt meters, and they are relatively inexpensive. The process might not be completely straightforward though, since the computer will draw a different amount of power when gaming, compared to when doing less-demanding tasks like browsing the web or leaving the computer sitting idle. And of course, it won't draw much power when shut down or hibernating. Perhaps a good option might be to leave it plugged in for a week and see how many kilowatt-hours are drawn over the course of that time period to determine an average across multiple days, then multiply that by the price per kilowatt-hour on your electricity bill to determine how much it is costing. In some regions, the cost of electricity might vary depending on the time of day though, which could complicate things, so you might need to check that. You would also want to figure in the power draw by the monitor when active, and any other components in the gaming/streaming setup.

Also, if you wanted to check something like a dryer, a Kill-A-Watt probably wouldn't work well for that. It's possible that the dryer will use 220 volt power (with a different plug), while that meter is designed for standard 110 volt devices (in the US, at least). Even if the dryer ran on 110 volts, a Kill-A-Watt shouldn't really be left plugged into a very high power draw device like that for an extended length of time.

And if you are looking for ways to cut your power bill, powering off or hibernating the PCs when they won't be in use for a number of hours is probably a good idea. Replacing frequently-used incandescent light bulbs with LEDs is likely also worthwhile, if they haven't been changed over already. Running a washer and dryer with only a few items daily is probably going to waste a lot of power too though. : P
 

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Basically, your roomies are assuming (incorrectly) that the uber gaming PC and streaming is using an inordinate amount of power.
It is not, in relation to the rest of the household items.

Split the elec bill 50-50, unless they can show that his PC is a major power sucker. (it isn't, and that's what your Kill-A-Watt device would show)
A dryer is relatively easy to show the power usage...it might even be printed on a yellow label on the dryer.

Again, they are just assuming the PC draws a lot, because it is something outside of their wheelhouse.
 
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On most houses you can exactly measure electricity use. A Kill-a-Watt is a really handy device (I have one), but as mentioned above it probably won't work with a 220V dryer hookup, and it only works for one device (or power strip) at a time. But most modern electrical meters on the side of your house will display a bunch of readings including instantaneous wattage.

First, go outside to the electrical meter when your BF is not streaming, and the other couple is not doing laundry. Read the wattage the meter is reporting.

Next have your BF start streaming (but turn nothing else on). Read the wattage again. The difference between this reading and the first reading is how many Watts your BF's streaming consumes. For energy consumption, multiply how many hours he streams each day. (You'll have to measure the time honestly to be fair.)

Finally, have your BF stop streaming, and start doing laundry, and read the meter again (actually you'll probably have to measure the washer and dryer separately). The difference between this reading and the first reading is how many Watts the washer or dryer consumes. For energy consumption, multiply by how many hours per day they run each appliance.

When you multiply Watts by hours of runtime, you get Watt-hours. This is proportional to the dollars and cents in the electric bill, so you can use that as the basis of how to split the electricity bill.

FWIW, a gaming PC with multiple monitors and lights is probably only pulling 300-400 Watts. A washing machine is around 500 Watts, and a dryer (if it's electric) can be anywhere from 2000-5000 Watts. So although your BF is on the computer 5 hours/day, a half hour of running the dryer could easily use more electricity. (If it's a gas dryer, you could counter-argue that they need to be paying a larger share of the gas bill.) But before you jump for joy that this proves you right, remember that they could easily change their washing habits so they only run the dryer once a week. Your BF cannot reduce his computer usage so easily.
 
On most houses you can exactly measure electricity use. A Kill-a-Watt is a really handy device (I have one), but as mentioned above it probably won't work with a 220V dryer hookup, and it only works for one device (or power strip) at a time. But most modern electrical meters on the side of your house will display a bunch of readings including instantaneous wattage.
The only potential issue I can see with that method is that it might be difficult to get an accurate reading based on instantaneous wattage alone. What happens if something like an AC unit, or refrigerator, or electric water heater kicks on in the mean time? Especially with something like a washing machine, you might have the water heater (if electric) adding some randomness to the readings. And then there may also be different amounts of power used during different parts of the cycle. At the very least, it might be an involved process involving going outdoors repeatedly to get a rough idea of how much power is getting used by the device. : D
 
The only potential issue I can see with that method is that it might be difficult to get an accurate reading based on instantaneous wattage alone.
Kill-A-Watt is a device you leave it plugged in for whatever duration, u can even input what you pay per KW/H, and a button later tells u how much is costing you.

Somewhere there is book, "Living with roommates."
 

nicholas70

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Sounds to me like you have stingy roommates. As others have said, 50-50 is the best way to go. If they have problems with how much power is being used start looking at things that will really impact the power bill. Start lowing the temp on the water heater. Keep the ac set a degree or two higher. Dry your clothes on low heat and hang your towels ect.
 
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Kill-A-Watt is a device you leave it plugged in for whatever duration, u can even input what you pay per KW/H, and a button later tells u how much is costing you.
Yes, that's why I wrote a fair amount about it a couple posts above that one. : P I was referring Solandri's suggestion of checking the outdoor power meter to estimate the draw of appliances that can't be used with a Kill-A-Watt. Also, not all Kill-A-Watt models let you enter your cost per kilowatt-hour, but doing that part manually with a calculator should be easy enough.
 

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Yes, that's why I wrote a fair amount about it a couple posts above that one. : P I was referring Solandri's suggestion of checking the outdoor power meter to estimate the draw of appliances that can't be used with a Kill-A-Watt. Also, not all Kill-A-Watt models let you enter your cost per kilowatt-hour, but doing that part manually with a calculator should be easy enough.
And why I posted the simple online calculator earlier.
 
May 16, 2019
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Sounds to me like you have stingy roommates. As others have said, 50-50 is the best way to go. If they have problems with how much power is being used start looking at things that will really impact the power bill. Start lowing the temp on the water heater. Keep the ac set a degree or two higher. Dry your clothes on low heat and hang your towels ect.
We addressed it... not about the 60/40 but for trying to reduce usage of the washer/dryer etc. and he was very upset and said that his usage of that stuff compared to the pc usage is way less and that it will not change from 60/40 ... so... I went out of my way... found out that each bulb uses in watts... how many bulbs and average time they are on a day and the cost for kWh here in our area and it’s about 25 cents a day and his PC and monitors around 27 cents a day.. of course this is a rough estimate for the PC but I did some research and say he uses 500 watts max... it would be roughly 35 cents if his PC is using 500 watts. This is not $40 more in electric on our part and find it unfair and he won’t even listen. His wife finds it rude and thinks 50/50 is fair since there really isn’t any way to actually prove he is using that much more compared to the rest of the house.
 

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The bill this month was $200. So... we ended up paying $40 more than them. $120 for us $80 for them.
In the interest of "not pissing them off", I can see why you paid that.
But there is no way your twitch stream costs $20 or $40/month.

A full 600 watt continuous consumption, 12 hours a day, every day, comes up to about $26/month.
For standard $0.12/kw electricity cost.
 
May 16, 2019
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In the interest of "not pissing them off", I can see why you paid that.
But there is no way your twitch stream costs $20 or $40/month.

A full 600 watt continuous consumption, 12 hours a day, every day, comes up to about $26/month.
For standard $0.12/kw electricity cost.
He actually said that $200 was surprisingly low. We have a 2000sq ft house up and downstairs.
Again. He also has the same set up (minus the lights) and plays just as much as my boyfriend does. Idk. His reasoning to say we should pay 60% because of his PC makes no sense because he has one too and just plays at different times than my boyfriend.
 

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He actually said that $200 was surprisingly low. We have a 2000sq ft house up and downstairs.
Again. He also has the same set up (minus the lights) and plays just as much as my boyfriend does. Idk. His reasoning to say we should pay 60% because of his PC makes no sense because he has one too and just plays at different times than my boyfriend.
I feel for you.
As has been said and intimated above, your roomie is just being an insufferable ***.
 

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