The Meeting Place

Are you being force-fed more electricity than you need?

Richard McIndoe, who used to run Energy Australia, investigated the high power usage in his home, and what he found was shocking.

"I was getting up once every three or four months to change light globes," he told 7.30. "And this is what led me to look at voltage.

I'm being force-fed more electricity than I need."

He found that the grid was delivering electricity at 254 volts — just above the allowable voltage limit.

"Based on the 254 volts I'm getting here, I'm roughly paying about $1200 more for my electricity each year than I need to," he said.

"We have a major issue with regulating voltage across Australia. And it's getting worse."

After finding the cause of his high power bills, he created a company that filters out extra voltage, to help others save wasted power and money spent of oversupply.

According to the ABC, the nominal voltage for Australian households is 230 volts, but because voltage fluctuates all the time, electricity should be delivered within an allowable range of between 216 and 253 volts.

For households in much of Australia, electricity is supplied with voltage towards the top end of that range and even just above the 253-volt limit.

Depending on the appliances in your home, that can mean greater electricity consumption and bigger power bills.

Do you know how much power is being supplied to your home?

13 comments

No I do not know -- I will have to find out how to check

Yes , and also the old scam with off peak . They control when they switch it on and if they have spare capacity they can give your hot water a boost at your cost and their profit . Also by upping their voltage they can reduce your Solar output so reducing your savings .

More about Richard McIndoe and Edge Electrons voltage regulator technology which regulates the flow of electricity in a household and claims to be able to reduce consumption by 10 to 15 per cent.

https://www.afr.com/brand/chanticleer/technology-game-changer-in-power-sector-struggle-20150929-gjxrcl

I suppose this means, when they say they are going to reduce electricity costs, they just dim the lights a bit by meddling with the supply.

So is anybody going to tell us how to measure the electricity. Other wise it is a useless article.

All I'll say is if he is paying $1200 a year more for electricity then his bill must be enormous. 

My friendly sparkie will be calling in later so I'll ask him about it. 

The voltage being received by an individual house can be measured and recorded . When we moved into a house years ago in Wembley Downs Perth we were always getting lights blowing and appliances failing, I contacted the Electricity board and they came fitted amonitoring meter. Voltage was running at over 253 volts which explained burn outs of appliances/light bulbs. The electricity board cut down the voltage received from the transformer  and then there were no more problems. Hope this helps others.

I an sorry, but my limited knowledge of electricity tells me that we are charged by the Watts per hour. which is the amount of "work" done over time.  A Watt is the voltage multiplied by the current (Amps).  Unless you can measure the current as well as the voltage, you do not know what you're being charged for.  Maybe addding up all the wattage rating of items using the electricity would give a better idea of your power usage compared to your bill?

Roy R, what you say is basically correct. But since your appliances/lamps do not change their "resistance" then increasing the voltage will force more current to be consumed by them and increase the wattage used. No real need to measure current. Watts = Voltage (squared) / Resistance. Since the only thing that changes is the voltage you can see that the  wattage consumed will change(up or down depending on voltage).

You could add up all the rated wattage of your appliances/lights but you would need to take into account of how long each item is switched on per day/period. Also some appliances (motors) are not always loaded to their maximum rating. Remember its KilowattHours used that you are charged for.

Apart from changing companies, what can we do about it? Useless info if tje answer is nothing... Not convinced changing companies is the solution to this one either if they are all guilty of doing this!

 

The information given in the article is too simplistic. There are many factors affecting the power consumed in your household particularly power factor (ie the phase relationship between voltage and current). The actual voltage (nominally 250Vac in the easern states and 240Vac in WA) can be affected by other factors than what is suggested (ie the power companies deliberately increasing the voltage), particularly distance from the local transformer, the further away from the transformer the lower the voltage (due to voltage drop in the wires). During periods of low consumption (usually between midnight and dawn) the voltage at individual pemises may go up due to lower voltage drop in the wires as less current is flowing. All I can say is I would not waste my money on any device marketed on the basis of the information in this article , it is a load of ...........

Leon may be an excellent journalist but he does not understand electrical engineering.

I saw it on TV last night -- looks like you might have to get a Sparky to test for you

Its simple maths, amps x volts = watts. Increase the volts and that automatically increases the watts even if the amps don't change, and watts are what they are charging us for. At the end of the day its the supply charge thats the big rip off.

13 comments