dkostel
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri May 20, 2016 4:53 am
Delivery Date: 20 May 2016
Leaf Number: 6440

Electricity usage

Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:25 am

Hello,
I'm hoping you can help me solve a mystery. I've had my 2013 leaf for 1.5 years now and until two months ago my electric bill hasn't increased too much. For January my bill is up 64% over the prior year (that is kwh, not dollars) and last Jan was colder. By far the highest usage time of my day is when I get home from work and plug the Leaf in until it is fully charged about 10 hours later. I haven't increased my daily commute any and I think I get home with pretty much the same number of miles remaining on the car as I did last year. Is there something wrong with the car that may be causing the increased use of power? (Or maybe something wrong with the charger?) I use standard household current to charge with the included charger.
Thanks in advance.

jake14mw
Posts: 110
Joined: Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:53 pm
Delivery Date: 13 Nov 2017
Location: Connecticut, USA

Re: Electricity usage

Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:52 am

Is there a reason that you are thinking that the increase is due to car charging vs. other things in the household?

dkostel
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri May 20, 2016 4:53 am
Delivery Date: 20 May 2016
Leaf Number: 6440

Re: Electricity usage

Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:09 pm

Mostly because I have the same relatively new furnace which was inspected/serviced this year. I keep the furnace at the same temperature always and there is nothing else different from last year. When I look at the time of day usage for a comparable day between the two years the main difference is the hours that the car is plugged in.

SageBrush
Posts: 1727
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:28 am
Delivery Date: 13 Feb 2017
Location: Colorado

Re: Electricity usage

Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:52 pm

Read your electrical meter before and after periods with and without your LEAF plugged in.
The LEAF should pull about 1.44 kwh an hour (power equal to 1.44 kW)

If you are inpatient then learn to read the power at the meter
http://michaelbluejay.com/electricity/measure.html
You may wish to turn off the furnace and fridge for the test since they are intermittent.

So...
Turn off intermittent power devices; Ask family to not turn anything on or off for 15 minutes
Measure power at the meter; this is your baseline
Plug in LEAF;
Measure power at the meter.

If the Leaf/EVSE is found to be pulling 1.44 kW,
rinse and repeat to find the culprit(s)
Last edited by SageBrush on Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
2013 Model 'S' with QC & rear-view camera
Bought off-lease Jan 2017 from N. California with 63.9 Ahr after 22k miles
Car is now enjoying an easy life in Colorado

User avatar
RegGuheert
Posts: 5859
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:12 am
Delivery Date: 16 Mar 2012
Leaf Number: 5926
Location: Northern VA

Re: Electricity usage

Wed Jan 31, 2018 2:30 pm

Welcome to the forum, dkostel!

Where do you live and what period does your "January" bill cover? The calendar month? (Please update your profile by clicking on your name in the upper right and then editing the "Location" field under the "Profile" tab.)

I know you said "last January was colder", but where I live this January was one of the coldest in a long time. One local friend had a $550 electricity bill for January, the largest they have ever had. His wife said, "And it was COLD in the house!" A neighbor up the street who has lived in their (older) house for nearly forty years had to move to a hotel for about a week in January because they could not keep their house warm.

One idea on how the LEAF could use more electricity even if it the climate was warmer: Is it possible that you currently have the climate control scheduled, but did not in the past?
RegGuheert
2011 Leaf SL Demo vehicle
10K miles: Apr 14, 2013, 20K miles (55.7Ah): Aug 7, 2014, 30K miles (52.0Ah): Dec 30, 2015, 40K miles (49.8Ah): Feb 8, 2017, 50K miles (47.2Ah): Dec 7, 2017.
Enphase Inverter Measured MTBF: M190, M215, M250, S280

cmwade77
Posts: 73
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:04 pm
Delivery Date: 15 Nov 2017

Re: Electricity usage

Wed Jan 31, 2018 4:26 pm

I would get an electricity monitor that you can plug into your outlet and plug whatever you need it into it to monitor electricity usage per outlet.

Then I would measure each outlet at a time and see if any seems unusually high, of course you have no base lines to compare them to.

Additionally, if you have WiFi router, check to make sure that no one is connected to it besides you and your family and that there is a secure password on the WiFi connection, probably best to change it. Having others connected to it can dramatically increase power consumption.

If you have any devices like a Roku, Smart TV, etc., check that they don't have auto update turned on, it can increase power consumption to continually check for updates. Additionally, check for updates manually on all of your devices, including computers.

I would also check your refrigerator and make sure that it is running as it should and that no one has adjusted the temperature on it, same goes for any additional freezers and such you might have. Also, look to make sure the quantity of food in these is about the same as normal, too little and too much food can both cause them to use more power.

Is your Water Heater gas or electric? If it is electric, have it inspected as well.

Is your oven/stove electric? If so, check it to make sure that it isn't consuming a lot of electricity even when off.

If you have an area of the house you don't use very often, such as a basement or attic space, make sure no one has left lights on in these locations, it can make a big difference, especially since they are more likely to still have older, less energy efficient light bulbs.

The list goes on and on, but you get the idea, I seriously doubt it is your car, unless something is malfunctioning with your EVSE.

dkostel
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri May 20, 2016 4:53 am
Delivery Date: 20 May 2016
Leaf Number: 6440

Re: Electricity usage

Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:20 pm

Thanks everyone for your replies. I'm in Chicago and although December was very cold, January was colder last year (the electric company lists the daily temps on their website). I'll check other appliances and maybe get a monitor. Thanks for all of the great suggestions.

GerryAZ
Gold Member
Posts: 1561
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:47 pm
Delivery Date: 12 Jun 2011
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Electricity usage

Wed Jan 31, 2018 6:18 pm

If you have an electric water heater, a hot water leak can use a lot of power (especially when incoming cold water is really cold).
Gerry
Silver LEAF 2011 SL rear ended (totaled) by in-attentive driver 1/4/2015 at 50,422 miles
Silver LEAF 2015 SL purchased 2/7/2015

dkostel
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri May 20, 2016 4:53 am
Delivery Date: 20 May 2016
Leaf Number: 6440

Re: Electricity usage

Wed Jan 31, 2018 6:46 pm

My hot water heater is gas, my heat is gas. My electric bill is higher than it was in the summer with the air conditioner on all of the time. I'll have to investigate further. I'm taking the car in for recall stuff so I'll see what they have to say.

User avatar
RegGuheert
Posts: 5859
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:12 am
Delivery Date: 16 Mar 2012
Leaf Number: 5926
Location: Northern VA

Re: Electricity usage

Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:16 am

dkostel wrote:My electric bill is higher than it was in the summer with the air conditioner on all of the time. I'll have to investigate further. I'm taking the car in for recall stuff so I'll see what they have to say.
It sounds like you were using a LOT of extra electricity in January. The thing is that the when the battery in the LEAF (or any electric car) gets full, there is no place for extra power to go. If the charger somehow malfunctioned and kept supplying power to the battery, that battery would likely be destroyed within a matter of HOURS. (Don't worry, I have never heard of any such thing happening!) Depending on your commute, you should expect that the LEAF will not consume more than about 25 kWh each day. For most people, the LEAF consumes less than 15 kWh daily.

This is why I asked about the heater in the LEAF. That is the only part of the car that I can think of that can consume a large amount of power continuously. If it is programmed to warm the car that takes real power in the cold weather. But even then it should not run more than about an hour each day in the coldest weather.
RegGuheert
2011 Leaf SL Demo vehicle
10K miles: Apr 14, 2013, 20K miles (55.7Ah): Aug 7, 2014, 30K miles (52.0Ah): Dec 30, 2015, 40K miles (49.8Ah): Feb 8, 2017, 50K miles (47.2Ah): Dec 7, 2017.
Enphase Inverter Measured MTBF: M190, M215, M250, S280

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