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Keeping the Elec$$$ bills down.

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Well I get huge bills in the winter from all the heaters running in my tanks, I had a smart meter put on my box the other day and I am now focusing on running everything I can outside of the "peak" time. (pool filter, washing machine, hot water system etc).

So I bought a heap of 24hr timers and have all my heaters set to run from 10pm at night till 2pm.

Will be interesting to see how much money it saves me.

I have an energy usage meter on the powerpoint I run my main rack off it used to average around 1.2KW an hour during the day and about 1.6KW an hour during the evening/early morning before I started the timer method.

It now averages about 400w an hour (just the main pump, air pump and a few powerheads) during the peak times and around 1.6kw during the offpeak.

Now for marine enthusiasts this might not be acceptable solution (corals/anenomes being very sensitive etc) but I don't think a small fluctuation of 2 - 3c over a few hours is going to harm the fish.

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:dntknw: Do you mean 10pm to 2am.

Would be ok if you only get a small drop in temp as you say.

I only need to run a oil heater in my fish room at night in winter and have it go on at offpeck time only along with the lights.

If your temp is only dropping 2/3dec you should be able to do the same.

Edited by dobbin4

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:dntknw: Do you mean 10pm to 2am.

If your temp is only dropping 2/3dec you should be able to do the same.

nope I mean I run the heaters are able to work from 10pm at night till 2pm the following afternoon as required.

All I want to do is dodge the $$$ peak period which I think is 40c a KWH compared to 7c a KWH

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I would keep a close eye on the fish - frequent temperature fluctuations can easily stress them, leaving them susceptible to disease. It could end up saving you on power costs and costing you on corrective measures.

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work from 10pm at night till 2pm the following afternoon as required

As required is dictated by temperature not by time. Heating for tropical fish is a critical life issue and there are plenty of days, in winter especially, where the heaters are required outside the times mentioned. In summer there are the southerly busters that can drop temps suddenly, and though the tanks will lag behind the temp drop it is still a potential issue.

Heaters are thermostatically controlled anyway, which means they are only on when required.

Cut back on lighting (provided the fish can still see) but not on their heating.

You can drop the temperature the heaters are set at to 22 degrees by the way, as this is sufficient.

If you want to keep tropical fish the water needs to be tropical. If you don't want to pay for this heating - get a goldfish :thumb

Edited by CThompson

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hey i found this interesting... i kept neons, rummy nose, silvertip tetra, clown loach, bristlenose all in 1 4 foot tank with plants all winter with no heater or circulation and i didnt lose 1 fish at all. the temp of the tank ranged from 18-22 degrees, the anubis barteri i had in there grew more in cold water than the same i had in 28 degree water for the same time. also my red tiger lotus went ballistic and from 1 plant i now have over 10,the valis slowed down quite alot.

i wouldent tell anyone to do it but i found it interesting and let it go to see what would become of everything.

p.s., just got my power bill, $3600 :shock: dad craP his pants! lol

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Does everyone get charged at peak and off peak times?

Yep. Should be able to see it on your previous bill.

It'll have two separate lines; one with the off peak usage, one with the peak useage and on the front the total bill ($) and total useage (KWh).

Edited by pseudotrop

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hey i found this interesting... i kept neons, rummy nose, silvertip tetra, clown loach, bristlenose all in 1 4 foot tank with plants all winter with no heater or circulation and i didnt lose 1 fish at all. the temp of the tank ranged from 18-22 degrees, the anubis barteri i had in there grew more in cold water than the same i had in 28 degree water for the same time. also my red tiger lotus went ballistic and from 1 plant i now have over 10,the valis slowed down quite alot.

i wouldent tell anyone to do it but i found it interesting and let it go to see what would become of everything.

p.s., just got my power bill, $3600 :shock: dad craP his pants! lol

I have a little 100 octagonal tank with Anubias and some praecox rainbows unheated through winter and I would say also that I saw no great issue with it, other than the fact the lower temps were buffered by the house and probably didn't go lower than the temps you mention. If it did go wrong it was five fish, but with fish like neons who can be tough to keep alive anyway, temperatures as low as 18 must be at their lower tolerance level. We were both lucky, you more than me as my fish were hardier. The problem is, we can't really predict how low the temperatures will go, and there is a risk in that. In my case, I made sure my house didn't go below 16 degrees (ducted air conditioning) so maybe I cheated, but I was prepared to loose the fish.

28 degrees is warmer than they require.

Edited by CThompson

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work from 10pm at night till 2pm the following afternoon as required

As required is dictated by temperature not by time. Heating for tropical fish is a critical life issue and there are plenty of days, in winter especially, where the heaters are required outside the times mentioned. In summer there are the southerly busters that can drop temps suddenly, and though the tanks will lag behind the temp drop it is still a potential issue.

Heaters are thermostatically controlled anyway, which means they are only on when required.

Cut back on lighting (provided the fish can still see) but not on their heating.

You can drop the temperature the heaters are set at to 22 degrees by the way, as this is sufficient.

If you want to keep tropical fish the water needs to be tropical. If you don't want to pay for this heating - get a goldfish :thumb

Interesting !!!.

Would that not be where the fish are kept?

IE in a garage,in a fully lined garage, in a house with or without aircon, in a outside area, or maybe in a cool-room that outside temp makes little difference.You control the air in the room that is higher than the temp of the water!!!.Only needing a oil heater and no heaters in any tank unless you want a tank at a higher temp?.

I do the opposite to you and increase the lighting at winter as the heat from the light's cut back on the time needed for the heater.

Agree you can slowly drop back the tanks/room temp in winter with no problem, as you say 22/23dec.

I'm lucky and my family working shift so my room door is open in 8months of the year.

Only keeping it shut in winter.Outside temp does not effect the room unless the door is open. Ie. 30+ dec i need to shut the door to keep the temp at max 28dec.

Just what i do. Look around coolroom panels are real cheap 2nd hand & save the cost in power in one year.

aqua84,,,, what the heck amount of heaters for that cost.

I have 32 tanks, 5 x6fter's inside my house and last power bill was $890???

cheers

john

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I do the opposite to you and increase the lighting at winter as the heat from the light's cut back on the time needed for the heater.

Wouldn't all those lights combined power consumption be greater than, didn't you say somewhere you used gas to heat the room?? (think there were two questions there so i put in two question marks :p )

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Does everyone get charged at peak and off peak times?

Depends on your hot water system.

Most smaller units are all as you use the water.

Large units use offpeck & peck only if you empty them to heat the water, pay more for the system but save more than you pay over the years.

Not many will tell you this when you buy.Solar even better, BUT lg outlay = good return.

I worked for Rheem!!!

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I do the opposite to you and increase the lighting at winter as the heat from the light's cut back on the time needed for the heater.

Wouldn't all those lights combined power consumption be greater than, didn't you say somewhere you used gas to heat the room?? (think there were two questions there so i put in two question marks :p )

Nope,,, dont use a light for each tank.

I have 5 x fluoro's only, oil heater at 1000watts on thermostat.

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most of my tanks are in the garage, its not insulated properly and i leave the door up for the sunlight most of the day untill from 6am to around 11pm, so any heat i have accumulated gets lost basically at the begging of everyday.

i had 70 tanks and i have 4 ppl living here, other than that i cant say why it is so high, the tanks have 150w heaters up to 300 watt heaters. its a rediculous amount for a bill and i have since sold 40 or so tanks :(

i sold them partly because i dont have time anymore to look after so many and then the bill came and it just confirmed to me i should downsize.

i have been thinking of setting up black piping like a solar hot water system but on the ground outside, and then run it up through my garage so as the water in the pipe heats up it travels through the room to keep a heat source that doesant require electricity, it would look ruff but it would do the trick, you coud dip the pipe into each tank as well if you liked, just a thought ive been thinking of for a while. hope that makes sense...

cheers

pete

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Hi

well I've been reading this thread with some interest & would like to add something to make ppl wonder a little. :)

I keep a fair few tanks have ducted heating & have a considerable power bill especially in winter! I am in the process of installing a solar system on the house it is 4.1 kilowatts & will generate at their spec's about $500 more power than my average bill over the last 3 yrs per annum.

Now the intial cost ( third deposit) is hard to raise for most people was $5000 ( total system is $15000) but with almost all solar installers their is also a interest free 2 yr term to pay of the balance which for me is going to be $410 per month which over the next 2 yrs is almost the same as I am paying in electrictity per annum anyway.

my average bill over the last 3 yrs was $4500 per annum that is for the entire year & household useage

I am surprised more people aren't looking at or have suggested the option as for instance in 2yrs I will

1. have payed off & own the system

2. never have another electrity bill again as I am installing a larger than required system to meet current power needs so even if needs go up a little I have power to spare

3. will add to the value of your home, (well providing its not a rental or something this does need to be your own house)

so I made this choice based on the fact that I know I will not be moving anytime soon, & even though it is a bit to outlay in time it is a rather win win situation & with our hobbies being very power & don't forget water hungry thanks to them zillion water changes we all do each yr, it is a very good thing to do for the enviroment & not to mention our pockets

& most importantly keeps the other half of our backs when ever we get a big power bill,

( although it's ok for them to go shopping every week Or is that just my wife :roll )

please note I know not everyone can't do this but thought I'd just put an idea out there for those who have their own homes & have large power bills as a way to solve the keeping costs down problem as this removes the problem essentially.

just some stats solar panels are gauranteed for 25 yrs the invertor which converts the power from dc power back to ac has a 10 yr gaurantee , unfortunately as they use the putting it back into the grid system if their is a blackout you still have one also, unless you are using the battery system which is much much more expensive & also costs a lot more money long term as batteries only have a limited life span.

Mark

Edited by mawfish

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No that is a bloody good idea

Mike

Hi

well I've been reading this thread with some interest & would like to add something to make ppl wonder a little. :)

I keep a fair few tanks have ducted heating & have a considerable power bill especially in winter! I am in the process of installing a solar system on the house it is 4.1 kilowatts & will generate at their spec's about $500 more power than my average bill over the last 3 yrs per annum.

Now the intial cost ( third deposit) is hard to raise for most people was $5000 ( total system is $15000) but with almost all solar installers their is also a interest free 2 yr term to pay of the balance which for me is going to be $410 per month which over the next 2 yrs is almost the same as I am paying in electrictity per annum anyway.

my average bill over the last 3 yrs was $4500 per annum that is for the entire year & household useage

I am surprised more people aren't looking at or have suggested the option as for instance in 2yrs I will

1. have payed off & own the system

2. never have another electrity bill again as I am installing a larger than required system to meet current power needs so even if needs go up a little I have power to spare

3. will add to the value of your home, (well providing its not a rental or something this does need to be your own house)

so I made this choice based on the fact that I know I will not be moving anytime soon, & even though it is a bit to outlay in time it is a rather win win situation & with our hobbies being very power & don't forget water hungry thanks to them zillion water changes we all do each yr, it is a very good thing to do for the enviroment & not to mention our pockets

& most importantly keeps the other half of our backs when ever we get a big power bill,

( although it's ok for them to go shopping every week Or is that just my wife :roll )

please note I know not everyone can't do this but thought I'd just put an idea out there for those who have their own homes & have large power bills as a way to solve the keeping costs down problem as this removes the problem essentially.

just some stats solar panels are gauranteed for 25 yrs the invertor which converts the power from dc power back to ac has a 10 yr gaurantee , unfortunately as they use the putting it back into the grid system if their is a blackout you still have one also, unless you are using the battery system which is much much more expensive & also costs a lot more money long term as batteries only have a limited life span.

Mark

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Hi

well I've been reading this thread with some interest & would like to add something to make ppl wonder a little. :)

I keep a fair few tanks have ducted heating & have a considerable power bill especially in winter! I am in the process of installing a solar system on the house it is 4.1 kilowatts & will generate at their spec's about $500 more power than my average bill over the last 3 yrs per annum.

Now the intial cost ( third deposit) is hard to raise for most people was $5000 ( total system is $15000) but with almost all solar installers their is also a interest free 2 yr term to pay of the balance which for me is going to be $410 per month which over the next 2 yrs is almost the same as I am paying in electrictity per annum anyway.

my average bill over the last 3 yrs was $4500 per annum that is for the entire year & household useage

I am surprised more people aren't looking at or have suggested the option as for instance in 2yrs I will

1. have payed off & own the system

2. never have another electrity bill again as I am installing a larger than required system to meet current power needs so even if needs go up a little I have power to spare

3. will add to the value of your home, (well providing its not a rental or something this does need to be your own house)

so I made this choice based on the fact that I know I will not be moving anytime soon, & even though it is a bit to outlay in time it is a rather win win situation & with our hobbies being very power & don't forget water hungry thanks to them zillion water changes we all do each yr, it is a very good thing to do for the enviroment & not to mention our pockets

& most importantly keeps the other half of our backs when ever we get a big power bill,

( although it's ok for them to go shopping every week Or is that just my wife :roll )

please note I know not everyone can't do this but thought I'd just put an idea out there for those who have their own homes & have large power bills as a way to solve the keeping costs down problem as this removes the problem essentially.

just some stats solar panels are gauranteed for 25 yrs the invertor which converts the power from dc power back to ac has a 10 yr gaurantee , unfortunately as they use the putting it back into the grid system if their is a blackout you still have one also, unless you are using the battery system which is much much more expensive & also costs a lot more money long term as batteries only have a limited life span.

Mark

Mark,

I didn't know you could access solar with a deposit and a 2 year interest free term to pay off the balance. This is fantastic information, thanks for spending the time typing it up.

Have you done any research as to the supplier and any relevant panel information?

The idea of paying the balance off instead of paying for the electricity is a fantastic enticement.

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The idea of paying the balance off instead of paying for the electricity is a fantastic enticement.

Not only that, if I understand correctly then he should also be getting paid extra since he is generating more electricity then he is using (unless this was factored in somewhere)

Thanks for posting this, its good to read information from someone who has done lots of research into

solar.

John

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Hi Guys

I looked at doing this a few times over the last couple of years & this was the first time that i was confident it was the time to do it.

now most companies use chinese 180 watt panels & german invertars, the company I am using uses swiss panels hich are 185 watt panels & german invertors, so should last longer & produce more than the chinese equivalant.

My own personal opinion here i went with a company that has been around for a long time not one of the new ones that has popped up out of no where & will most likely disapear as quick until the quick buck from being a solar installer dries up. especailly when you have a 25 yr warranty on panels etc etc, while they still be around to help in 10-20 years if the need arises?

now I deliberately chose a system bigger than my needs as I didn't see the point in doing it if I still had a power bill to pay, granted would have been cheaper to install but still I think this is the better option. & yes I will generate extra than I use so a win win there also.

my main sticking point in deciding to do it was the fact that I have a the 2 yr interest free option to pay of the balance so essesntaily what it will cost me to pay it off over the next 2 yrs was almost the same amount as what my average bill for electricity was already, so in a way I was already going to be paying that amount out thru the next 2 yrs already, but at a easier rate to afford ie a regular fixed amount each month rather than quareterly & most of that in 2 quarters ie winter time which we all know is when our bill sky rockets. the only difference is that i'll pay that money to someone else & only for 2 yrs & then my power bill is totally gone from after that time, so from then its way in front time.

now not everyone has roof space or adequate sunlight on their roofs to install panels, but i recommend that get someone out to get a qoute & ask lotsa questions to see if its a viable option & if its right for you.

Just remember there are no stupid questions & if you dont ask you don't know.

mine should be installed about the end of next month & am planning to keep a log of what I use as opposed to what I produce to compare just for my own curiousity & interest.

Mark

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uses swiss panels hich are 185 watt panels & german invertors, so should last longer & produce more than the chinese equivalant

Give me a hint who this is?

I assume it's GE?

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hi folks,

First off: to set some context... I'm as solar convert (check my roof as evidence :-)

IPB Image

but I think I need to chime in with a few cents worth as some of the info here is a teensy bit misleading.

First off the green loans program was closed so you can't get access to that interest free guvment money any more (and I gather the replacement "green start" program is just subsidising energy "assessments".)

Secondly: in NSW (and the ACT) you're operating solar systems on a Gross FIT arrangement. That means you sell all your generated power to the local energy retailer (at an inflated price) and buy back whatever you use (at the regular price). That means whilst a solar system should give you zero or better bills you still have the same incentive to improve energy efficiency in the fishroom as you ever had.

If you reduce the power consumption in the fishroom by $100/month without solar you reduce your bill by $100/month. With solar you would be getting an extra $100/month back from the energy retailer. Either way you still end up $100/month better off.

Things that can improve the energy efficiency:

  • insulation! if you don't lose heat in winter or get too hot in summer you don't have to consume energy trying to rectify it.
  • energy efficient heating. As per heating/cooling your house; gas is cheaper than electricity in terms of heat produced per $, heat pumps are cheaper again and have the benefit of cooling in summer. Finding a way to effectively utilise the sun in winter would be ideal but skylights can lose a lot of heat at night and let in a lot of unneccessary heat in summer.
  • Think about unneccessary heat sources in summer. A 200w pump is effectively a 200w heater, ditto for lights. In the winter that's not an issue but in the summer that's heat you need to get rid of which consumes more energy.
  • Think about how much lighting you really need, how you produce it and how you deal with the heat from it as there are a lot of discretionary kilowatt hours involved here.
  • Consider what temperature you really need/want. Ask the people who've scuba dived in Lake Tanganyika and/or Malawi and they'll all pretty much tell you how surprisingly cool the water was. 28 degree conditions are unhealthy for most cichlids and pretty well all cichlid keepers. Deeper water fish like frontosa are going to be much happer in cooler conditions, especialyl if we can keep them stable
Edited by chorrylan

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can i pls ask couple of questions pls:

1. what happen if one of the panel die, do you have to replace the one that die or the whole lot?

2. what will happen when the system fail say after 10 yrs and the company that installed have closed down or move on doing somethinge else? The reason for this question is that since the govt rebate introduced, there have been an influx of installer and to me some of those kind of back yard handy man (a bit like those with the insulation scandal)

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1. what happen if one of the panel die, do you have to replace the one that die or the whole lot?

just the panel and apart from something like a golfball I'd expect it to be replaced under warranty (provided by the manufacturer not the retailer. )

2. what will happen when the system fail say after 10 yrs and the company that installed have closed down or move on doing somethinge else?

as above...

I chose to buy mine from solarshop, the grandpappy of the solar PV industry here in oz. They're not considered cheap (though their budget subsidiary "sunsavers" is) but have been here for a long while, know their business and market their product to people who realise price is just one of the variables, not the only one.

Mind you.. Solar PV is a growing industry and arguably will continue to do so for some time; not all of those business will disappear... some I'm sure will carve out a niche or an empire that looks after them and their customers just fine.

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1. what happen if one of the panel die, do you have to replace the one that die or the whole lot?

just the panel and apart from something like a golfball I'd expect it to be replaced under warranty (provided by the manufacturer not the retailer. )

2. what will happen when the system fail say after 10 yrs and the company that installed have closed down or move on doing somethinge else?

as above...

I chose to buy mine from solarshop, the grandpappy of the solar PV industry here in oz. They're not considered cheap (though their budget subsidiary "sunsavers" is) but have been here for a long while, know their business and market their product to people who realise price is just one of the variables, not the only one.

Mind you.. Solar PV is a growing industry and arguably will continue to do so for some time; not all of those business will disappear... some I'm sure will carve out a niche or an empire that looks after them and their customers just fine.

Laurie (the solar guru ;) ),

Do Solarshop, have that deal/offer as mawfish explained (ie $5000 down and two years to pay off the rest)?

Did you do any research on GE when you were looking into it? If so, how did they shape up compared to Solarshop?

Craig

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