Overpowering red, Webcomic mayhem, Wastng time online

Ouch! According to Red Energy, I have somehow managed to average a houshold power consumption of roughly one kilowatt for the entire last quarter. This puzzles me somewhat, but only somewhat: I have long suspected that my ancient, Astor clothes drier, which is substantially older than I am, is consuming more than its fair share of“Astor” Drier power. It’s not that we want to burn power, but the clothes line here is one of the features of this venerable and often quaint house that is just plain unusable. We have, and use clothes-horses, but three generous clothes-horses is still nowhere near enough space to dry our weekend washing before the subsequent weekend comes along. Clearly though, I am fooling mysel if I think I can’t afford to buy an alternative.

For those who follow such things (if you don’t, and you don’t have lots of spare time, do not follow these links) Sluggy and Miracle of Science are both being nicely climactic at the moment. Regarding MoS, I think they’re about to end, which is a shame, but they also claim to have a new project in train, so I may yet be appeased. Quick summary: MoS is well-written hard SF from a couple of newcomers with scant personal time. Fabulous ideas.  Sluggy, on the other hand, is Just Silly, and bears no further description, except perhaps to call it ‘vast’… too many years of nifty darn comics. Today’s comic in particular bodes very ill indeed. Only one entity in the Sluggyverse talks like that.

Finally, just another quick plug for the foolishest Online Roleplaying Game ever: Vampires, the Dark Alleyway. It’s an online game that is guaranteed not to tax your PC or your available time. If you click here and enter a name, even if you don’t ever play agin, my pet creature of the night ‘wallace’ gets more tasty blood! Your donations are appreciated. 🙂

10 thoughts on “Overpowering red, Webcomic mayhem, Wastng time online

  1. Hmm, it seems somewhat unlikely to be the dryer; an ordinary household socket is only rated to supply 2.4kW nominal; even if you exceed that, which is possible (but not recommended), you’d still be hard-pressed to make that average with a couple of hours use a week.

    Seems more likely to be many small things adding up than one large appliance.

    How accurate is the Red Energy information, BTW? If they estimated the previous reading and actually read the meter this time, it might represent an adjustment rather than actual usage.


    PS, I think you meant today’s sluggy (061019) rather than yesterday’s (061018). I hope 🙂

  2. Thanks for pointing out the broken URL. Fixed now.
    WRT Red Energy, I didn’t know they could bill you without reading the meter. That’s shocking! (No pun intended)
    I am concerned about the dryer. We tend to only run it for about ten to twelve hours per week, but when we do, I would not be at all surprised if it was drawing way more power than it’s supposed to. I have not closely inspected the fuses in my house, but I would bet money that they’re not using the correct wire, so I probably should.
    At least I know it’s not Trouble: the UPS gives me a nice explicit watt-count which tells me it’s well below 100w most of the time, and that includes the modem and the backup drive.

  3. What you need is one of them kill-a-watt gadgets, so you can walk around the house and figure out what’s doing it; unfortunately, I’ve never seen an Australian one… Personally, I’d suspect something that’s permanently on (fridge, TV on standby, even the UPS on the input side).


  4. Clothes-dryers use vast amounts of power (something like 6kW).
    It’s hard to say whether its age would make it any more energy-hungry or inefficient but I doubt it (dryers are very simple: a medium-sized motor and a whopping big heating element. There’s a handful of other bits but they’re passive or negligible in terms of power consumption).

    IIRC, Red Energy does some sort of energy-consumption estimate that is balanced over the year. In the short term, it may appear inaccurate but I’m told that it works in the long term. I’m also told that their rates are good and they’re one of the better “green” power companies in Victoria. YMMV. I’d be interested to hear more about what you think of ’em. 🙂

  5. Dude, we I used that dryer it did chew the juice a bit, but not that much.
    I just got a massive power bill too. Turns out that damage is caused by my blow heater. U using one of them?

  6. Newer dryers are more energy efficent – they’re still not great, but we had a 30 year old dryer that finally died – and I bought a $270 one from the good guys with the best star rating I could get for

  7. Nope. This guy never reads his comments, I can vouch for that. After all, it’s not like WordPress emails them to him or anything, is it?
    I’m sure your spar-o-meter never crossed his mind anyway. He probably thinks it smells…

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