Second quarter 2013 performance

Q2 2013 summary: 13% colder, 44% more usage and 4% less sun.

Now that we are starting to collect our second year of performance data, I’ll be comparing our new data to the same period last year. Year-over-year comparisons should be more illustrative than comparing to previous months. I’m also switching to a quarterly reporting period to look for larger trends, but I will continue to post data monthly at

In Q2 last year our total usage was 1,021 kWh. This year is was 1,468 kWh, a 44% increase. Although it feels like it had rained a lot more this year then last, we only produced 4% less energy in Q2.

Overall, here’s how the first and second quarters compare to 2012.

Q1 and Q2 comparison

2013 Usage Solar PV Net usage
or (surplus)
daily usage
Total 1,468 2,626 (1,158) 16.1 906
528 920 (392) 17.6 571
529 904 (375) 17.1 232
411 802 (391) 13.7 103
2012 Usage Solar PV Net usage
or (surplus)
daily usage
Total 1,021 2,731 (1,709) 11.2 802
387 925 (538) 12.9 535
309 867 (557) 10.0 170
325 939 (614) 10.8 97
All values in kWh (except HDD which is base 65°F).

Interesting note, we used 44% more energy this quarter as compared to 2012, but that was 447 kWh, or about the same as last quarter. We’re consistently using about  5 kWh extra per day than last year. This breaks down to 208 extra watts per hour. 100 watts is a heat lamp for the chick brooder, and the other 108 watts is roughly what my 2 laptops and task lighting use on average per hour.

Our water usage is only up 12%, and our hot water usage is down 3% from Q2 2012.

As for heating, we used the ASHP for roughly 14 hours in April for a total of 7.5 kWh.

In summary, Q2 usage is up compared to last year. That increase is attributed partially to the incubator and brooder box heat lamp (for the turkeys, chickens and guinea fowl), and partially to the increased use of the home office (last year I spent most of the summer building a barn, not staring at computers). We should be retiring the brooder box heat lamp this month, so I predict our next quarter usage will be up roughly 230 kWh from Q3 2012. Let’s see if my prediction holds.

You can see heat maps and detailed charts of temperature and electrical usage at View hourly, daily and monthly values for solar, usage, net usage, temperatures and HDD.

1 Response to “Second quarter 2013 performance”

  1. 1 Jim Merrithew 7-July-2013 at 6:39 pm

    Hello Larry and Jill.

    I hope all is well.

    Thanks for taking the time to post these updates and for analyzing and explaining the power usage. It great to build a house which is theoretically more energy efficient and has a reduced carbon footprint but the proof is in the results.

    Have a great summer.


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